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Welcome to capitalism

Alex Andre | Monday, February 22, 2010

Dear Mr. Nowak (“Words of social justice,” Feb. 19) and Mr. McHugh (“No ‘words of wisdom,'” Feb. 19),

University employees are not coerced into maintaining their current jobs. If their services were more valuable than their current wages indicate, then they would surely quit their current work in favor of more lucrative salaries elsewhere.

The University has no legal or moral obligation to pay employees any more than market price. To suggest that it is immoral to refrain from overpaying one’s employees is akin to condemning one who does not offer charitable payment to a seller beyond their asking price, as this would seem an equivalent gesture of generosity. Surely, this is a ridiculous proposition, as is any proposition that holds the University responsible for the welfare of the lower class, or any individual responsible for the welfare of another, for that matter.

This is not an issue of Catholic virtue or right vs. left philosophy, but simply the realities of capitalism, to which we are all subject. If you would personally like to donate money to University employees out of your own pocket then I’m sure you will have no trouble finding takers. You may then petition your own employer for higher wages to fund your other philanthropic pursuits and see the reaction with which your request is met. However, such projects are not to be demanded of the University or anyone else, even with ill-conceived appeals to morality.


Alex Andre


Stanford Hall

Feb. 19