Stay in your lane, Cardinal

Posted on February 27, 2016

Washington: Timothy Cardinal Dolan asks New York to turn the minimum wage into a living wage, framing the debate as a moral issue (“Our moral duty to raise the wage,” Op-Ed, Feb. 24). But there’s nothing moral or correct about a wage mandate that keeps vulnerable young people out of gaining a starter job. The Catholic Church does admirable work in some of the city’s most troubled communities. Surely the cardinal knows that New York City faces a staggering 34% youth unemployment rate. A majority of economists agree that a broad $15 “living wage” would leave even more of them without job opportunities. Absent divine intervention, the state’s businesses can’t simply absorb the cost of a $15 wage requirement — they have to offset it, often by reducing staffing levels. Many New Yorkers seek spiritual advice from the Cardinal, befitting his expertise. Accordingly, he may wish to seek advice on economic policy from those with the expertise to give it.