17. MINIMUM WAGE
- Who cares about minimum wage? Should that be a topic that Christians are discussing? If so, why? If not, why not?
- Lets review the principles on page 152 and following, and discuss why each one of these is important and the scriptures associated with them. Discuss them one at a time:
1) Maintain a healthy workplace environment
2) Don’t take advantage of workers
3) Pay in a timely fashion
4) Permit a free market where wages can be negotiated
5) Be concerned for the unemployed
6) Be willing to reduce profits where possible to hire more of the unemployed
7) Pay a livable wage (with the exception where “starting wage” is merited)
8) Respect employees and serve employers
9) Invest in employees and their families
- Lets go back and review a couple of those. Principle 4. Read the story in Matthew 20:1-15. There was no governmental or union involvement creating hostilities in workplace. The workers could negotiate their wages. The employer continued to hire people throughout the day, but he paid them the same amount for the day. At the end of the day, some were upset because they had worked all day, while others had only worked an hour or so. His question to them was, “Did I not honor what I said I would pay? Are you objecting to my generosity?” Discuss that.
- What was it that caused the employer to keep hiring people throughout the day?It was not his concern for his harvest. It was the concern for unemployed workers. He knew that unemployment harms the soul. He paid them the same because he knew what it would cost them to live that day.
- What is the difference between a living wage, that people can afford, and a starting wage, such as for a high school junior who just needs to make a few dollars for spending money?
- Is it possible that employers could pay more per hour if 1) the government was not so overreaching in its regulations, 2) the government was not involved in such exorbitant taxation of businesses, and 3) if an atmosphere of mutual trust and relationships could be developed between employers and employees?
- Reread page 160 about Hobby Lobby’s commitment to pay significantly above the minimum wage, not because some union forced and created hostility between the worker and the employer, not because the government coerced it, which knows nothing about running a business, but because they were willing to share their profits and build a close relationship with their employees. Is that not the biblical model of Matthew 20?