Meeting Recap: March 26, 2015

The Ethics and Economics Forum, where Seton Hall faculty from across the university come together to discuss economic justice met on Thursday, March 26, 2015 from 12:30 to 2 p.m. in the Student Affairs Conference Room, Room 214 in University Center.

During this meeting, Associate Professor Anthony Haynor of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work,  discussed worker-owned businesses. “The prevailing capitalist model is one in which ‘profit’ goes to investors with workers receiving a ‘wage’ as compensation for their labor/expertise,” Dr. Haynor explained. “The state has entered into the picture in cases in which the ‘wage’ is deemed to be inadequate (minimum wage laws) or there is no wage (public assistance, food stamps, unemployment compensation, etc.). But, what if the workers were the investors and were responsible for the work process, for what is done with profit, and for the wage/benefits structure?”

According to Dr. Haynor, the area of worker cooperatives contains an established Catholic tradition, demonstrated through Pope Leo XIII’s Rerum novarum, Pope Pius XI’s Quadragesimo anno, G. K. Chesterton’s distributism and the Mondragon cooperatives established in the Basque region of Spain in 1956. A 2013 documentary, titled Shift Change, mentions the Mondragon cooperatives and reports on experiments primarily in the United States. Shift Change may be found through SHU Libraries Here.

The Forum’s conversations on economic justice aim to take an interdisciplinary approach, bringing together faculty from various schools and departments across the university. The Forum is open to faculty presentation ideas and suggestions.
The Ethics and Economics Forum website, works to provide resources for interdisciplinary study of economic justice as well as an online forum to promote discussion beyond the Forum’s regular meetings.

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