Thursday, February 05, 2009

Law and Spirit

I've been discussing the latest Washington efforts to get the rampant abuse of power by corporation in check with my son. The major question we have been discussing is - Are the caps on executive income useful? Yes, but only to the degree of attacking symptoms, not problems

I think a recent email from him to me speaks succinctly to the depth and complexity of the problem AND to the fact that solutions are not being considered from the perspective of the spiritual malaise that afflicts large portions of our governing society. His email follows here and references Holy Father as well.

I, of course, think it is wrong for executives to abuse their position and power the way that they do, but I'm not convinced it is for the state to put a cap on anyone's pay, regardless of how just or unjust the pay is. It goes against the very idea of freedom. What would have been better would be to put laws in place that require company execs to ensure the security of their employs, not just themselves.

I think that the bailouts were wrong. Hence, what I meant earlier by trying to right a wrong with a wrong.

I'll give an example of the symptoms vs. problems issue: An international lawyer had a case against Brazil because Brazil failed to protect a woman from spousal abuse when she had clearly sought that help. Now Brazil, because of the case, will pay more attention and more strictly enforce its domestic violence laws. Let's say that Brazil does such a good job of this that their domestic violence crime rate is drastically reduced. Sure this is a good thing, but it doesn't mean that people's hearts have been changed. It simply means that people are afraid to break the law because of the consequences. This is not a society of love, but one of fear. Incidentally, this lawyer was saying this in relation to the importance of Benedict's Deus Caritas Est.

The point is this: because our government is unwillingly to look at the problems of our country from any other perspective other than secular they are impotent to truly do anything. This is why I generally do not get excited about politics simply because a certain candidate happens to be "pro-life". The vast majority of politicians see things above all else from a political point of view. At the root of our problems they can do absolutely nothing because of this. What I have said applies to every single issue that comes up in politics.

So there it is. Peace and God bless you.

In Christ through Mary,

1 comment:

trailbee said...

I agree with Quanah. Putting caps on perks will remove our freedoms, but more than that, it removes the incentive to work hard, to love that work. This is the American way. Remove it and you will have socialism. People are banging down our doors, and slipping in under barbed wire, to be able to earn up to their full potential. As long as you have investors, you will have this problem. We, as Americans, are made to feel dirty and greedy and heartless, because we work hard, and enjoy our rewards. Please note, that this passion of ours has put billions upon billions of dollars and free manufactured goods in the pockets of foreign countries, who look at us with disdain and call us unmentionable names. However, they stand there with their hands out, waiting for their next freeby! Yes, there are unconscionable perks, but we'll have to figure out some other way, than risking earned rewards for the regular employee; because that's who will feel the pinch first if you start putting caps on salaries.