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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Whaddya Say We Call it a DAY?

"A company that takes care of their people, and takes care of their customers may not make a lot of money in their stock the first couple years, but they are going to be around a long time."
 - Craig Jelinek, CEO  Costco.  January 1, 2012 interview with The Motley Fool.

Good day, everyone!  Welcome to another chance to play the ever growing and immensely popular game "I'm a Better Catholic the YOU"!.

Grand prize?  No, not a trip to Rome or an audience with The Holy, no, no!  The Grand Prize is a chance to publicly hold up Holy Mother Church (The Church Jesus founded and the one you proclaim your love for every single day) to ridicule!  Yes indeedy, you can become one of the chief reasons people outside Her arms look at us and think, "Why in the world would I want to throw my lot in with that bunch of mean-spirited loons?".

Ok,. Ok...maybe I should just calm down a little and back up.  I don't mean to sound mean-spirited myself but I think I am losing patience with a large chunk of "The Crowd" once again.  Watching a running debate between Mark Shea and a group of 'conservative Catholics" over whether or not the labor practices of WalMart are warranted, necessary, fair or basically good has me shaking my head in disbelief.

What always surprises me is the leap into an 'either/or' mentality when it comes to looking at a problem or a situation.  WalMart is definitely a 'situation' in my book, but a 'problem' for others.  I do not think the proprietors of WalMart should be punished for being successful in business; however, I think it is foolish on any one's part to ignore the long standing labor practices of that particular going concern.  I think it is sad if people think the only way to make money is to squeeze and squeeze and squeeze either the labor force or the company itself until both are completely depleted and incapable of producing.  I think there is a way to be successful in this country AND make sure your employees can pay their rent, feed themselves and their families, afford a trip to the doctor and/or dentist when necessary, buy a new car or fix the old one and take the occasional vacation to Disneyland.  I think it is possible to become rich without selling your soul to the devil.  I don't think WalMart looks for ways to take care of its labor force until it is forced to do so via the courts.

Now, no company or political party is pure and perfect.  There has been corruption in the Vatican Bank, for heaven's sake, and even a good Catholic had to bend to political pressure and say he would support abortion in the case of incest or rape.  I wish we lived in a pure and perfect world, but our first parents took care of that by unleashing sin into the world.

What bothers me about these rather public and nasty brawls that take place online is the way it makes us all look!  If the discussion was cordial, I wouldn't feel so uncomfortable.  When it reaches the level of "You (namecalling) (name calling) think that all companies are evil and that makes you a (name calling name calling namecalling) socialist!" I cannot help but think, "Good Lord, the Protestants must be rolling in the aisles over this one.

Ah well...

Thanksgiving was great.  I went to see the remake of Red Dawn and had such a fun time.  The Niners beat the Saints while being lead to victory by Colin Kapernick, Turlock boy from the valley.  I finished a sloppy but lovingly made neck warmer for a local veteran and I got a massage on Saturday.

Life is good - even for a Catholic Socialist Fiscal Conservative Rock and Roll Wild Child like me!


Robert said...

There is a lot of that “Prudential Judgment” thing going around these days. I agree with your assessment concerning the observational powers of our Protestant brothers and sisters. My $.02 and instincts inform me that part of this is an artifact of living with one foot in one world, and one in another. If this artifact has a virtue, it is that it works for Conservatives, Liberals, Libertarians, Socialists, Communists, Anarchists, Fascists, Mad dogs and Englishmen. Another artifact of civilization I notice is that we tend to dislike scoundrels, except of course if they are our scoundrels. I am guilty of this, as well as being a world class hypocrite.

I think the issue of Walmart, and its treatment of its employees, is a topic all by itself, the “living wage” topic. That is a particularly interesting topic, where we get to discuss distributism, socialism, capitalism- wow, there is a lot of “isms” out there! How would you judge such a debate, by who get to the ends justify the means first, or by the best rationalizations to get around the 7th and 10th Commandments? I suspect that we will be judged on what we do when we are faced with each individual situation, reach out and help someone, outsource our guilt by having society deal with it, or rob Peter to pay Paul. It has been with us a very long time, and will continue to be with us to act as a kind of mirror to see ourselves, not others. It is definitely a day!

Leslie Klinger said...

You know what people need to learn to do? Dare I say it? They need to learn to disagree without being DISAGREEABLE !!!

And you are right - Walmart stands alone as its own topic.

I think I get disgusted with people who play the "Better Catholic Card" with topics like "living wages'. Come on people!

Robert said...

Ha! I wish the same thing. There is nothing like being shunned, is there? Sometimes it looks like people are carrying a pile of cardboard cut outs, whipping them out one by one to see if any of them fit me. The interesting reaction to me is the increase of the disagreeable factor when none of the patterns match. For example, have you ever been beaten over the head with this:

It is the “Jesus Christ the Bearer of the Water of Life” found at the Vatican website. It has been popularly misinterpreted (IMHO) in some circles to show the evil influence that certain methods of recovery have within them. And these people are not content to “agree to disagree,” they keep pounding on you until it gets to the “shun limit.” It severely tests my patience, tolerance and an almost irresistible urge to reach out for a “…good piece of hickory” as Clint Eastwood said.