> It seems to me that we should emphasize the _solidarity_ between the poor
> and the working class rather than seeing their interests as opposed or
> hoping that good stuff for the working class will trickle down to the poor
> or that good stuff for the poor will trickle up. Think about programs that
> are good for both, such as full employment, training & education, a rising
> real minimum wage ...

To me 'solidarity' means a convincing portrait
of how the poor and the working class are ONE.
Poor people are workers without jobs or income,
workers are people whose only source of
sustenance is their labor, a large part of the
working class is poor at one time or another,
all workers are at risk of poverty (more so
now than other times), etc.

That's why the concept of social insurance is
so appealing to me.  It is a unifying concept
(unlike welfare, which is isolating).  It binds
the class together conceptually, not just in
'one hand washes the other' fashion.  We're
not different patches making up a quilt, with
apologies to J. Jackson.

There's more to Rawls than I can explicate, but
his 'maximin' notion, while appealing philsophically,
I think is prey to the conventional, politically
disastrous 'isolationist' view of the poor.
In this vein, just to be provocative, I would
suggest that the Church's concept of social
justice is broader, more appealing, and more
effective politically than Rawls.  The Church
as institution is something else again.  And of
course we need not dwell too long on the World

I'd like to hear more about Illich too.


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