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Editorial

The Worker in the Field

“Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?” Matthew 20:15

The principle of Matthew 20 is clear.  The husbandman of the vineyard employed those who were willing to work for the wages they agreed to.  And that is a good thing. Both parties are satisfied.  Voluntary mutual cooperation delivers goods and services the supplier offers.  It is up to the individual consumer to decide if they want the good or service.

How much should the grocery store clerk earn?  Right now, they are taking a risk.  By interacting with a multitude of people, they are at risk of contracting the COVID-19.  Hence, how much do you think they should earn?

However, before we ask that, let’s ask, “How many of those individuals do you employ?”  The business relationship between the employee and the consumer is indirect.  You, as a consumer, who think that the clerk should earn $15/hour because they are “essential” do not employ the clerk.

You pay for the service of the clerk, but you do not employ the clerk.  The clerk is employed by the store where you are shopping.  The store pays the clerk out of the proceeds yielded from the service and goods they sell to you.  You pay, but you do not employ.

Nor do you employ the delivery person who brought the goods to the store.  Nor the warehouse person who loaded the vehicle that brought the goods to the store.  You do not employ the lender who lent the money to the warehouse for its construction or the individuals that constructed it.  You do not employ the manager of the warehouse who handles the administration of the warehouse.  How about the individual who grew the produce?  Nope, you do not employ them either. Do you see where this is going?

I may think, and you may think, that somebody deserves more than what they are earning.  But until we employ them, it is none of our business what they are being paid. The relationship between employee and employer is of no concern to anybody other than the two of them.

 

 

 

 

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