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All You That LaborReligion and Ethics in the Living Wage Movement$
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C. Melissa Snarr

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780814741122

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814741122.001.0001

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Living Wages

Living Wages

Religious Ideology and Framing for Moral Agency

(p.37) 2 Living Wages
All You That Labor

C. Melissa Snarr

NYU Press

This chapter examines how the moral framing of the living wage movement and its religiously resonant arguments on the moral nature of government and wages enable an alternative vision of the political economy. Religious activists not only define the injustice about working poverty, but also identify culpable actors (businesses and government), offer an action plan, and provide the motivation to move people to action. While drawing on long-standing religious traditions for their arguments, religious activists also include pragmatic economic appeals. The social equity strand of neoclassical economics encourages governments to focus their economic corrections on lower and middle classes for greater economic growth. While this establishment has great resonance with U.S. voters, activists must be careful not to embrace the neoliberal ideal of independence from government.

Keywords:   moral government, religious activism, poverty, wages, neoclassical economics, neoliberalism, economic growth

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