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OF COURSE, SOME COMPANIES BETTER value employees than others, both as human beings and as productive workers. Indeed, treating workers well typically is cost-effective, since doing so attracts better employees, reduces turnover, and so on. But the mere fact that a firm fires for economic reasons an employee it originally hired for economic reasons does not, in Colson’s words, leave “people as disposable commodities and dehumanized.”
In any case, the best response to fear of the latter is never to treat the economic realm as the be-all and end-all of life. It isn’t. Our moral worth comes from being created in the image of God, whatever our economic skills. Family and community remain the most critical foundation of moral life.
Did Circuit City make the right decision in laying off 3,400 workers? It’s impossible for me, or Chuck Colson, to say. But Circuit City had to act, lest the company face even more grievous problems in the future.
Moreover, though the firings were unpleasant and unfortunate, the workers had no moral claim to be paid above market wages. The firm had no more obligation to pay them more than the market “said” they were worth than they had a moral obligation to stay with Circuit City if it paid them less than the market “said” they were worth. A culture of “moral restraint,” as Colson puts it, does not absolve employers and employees alike from having to make tough decisions in a competitive marketplace.
There’s no Christian politics, whether right or left. Nor is there any Christian economics, whether capitalist or socialist. People should be moral because they are human beings, not because they are businessmen.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?