Focusing on the universal to the neglect of the particular is a collectivist error, says Dylan Pahman in the first of this week’s Acton Commentary.
Justice, classically defined, is to render to each what is due. A just wage, then, is that wage which remunerates a worker with proper regard to his or her particular contribution, need, and other circumstances. The focus on a living wage reduces this criterion to need alone and furthermore presumes that the need of each worker is the same. But is this actually the case? No, it isn’t.
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