"The Living Wage and Its Feasibility" by Reverend John A. Ryan


John A. Ryan Essay

Courtesy of ACUA

John Ryan, a theoretician in the Catholic Church, focused his intellectual work on economic and political issues plaguing America at the beginning of the 20th century. With an influx of Catholic immigrants looking for work during the industrial revolution, Ryan spoke out against mistreatment of these un-skilled laborers.

As you read the document, address the following questions:

  • What are Ryan's arguments in favor of the living wage in his essay, "The Living Wage and Its Feasibility?" What are the reasons he states of those why are in opposition to the living wage?
  • What is the ethical argument for the living wage, according to Ryan? How does this argument relate to Catholic teaching as understood by someone in the 1920s-1930s 'Catholic Action' Church?