Acton Institute Powerblog

Kennedy on CST and Unions

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Robert Kennedy, author of Acton’s CSTS volume, The Good that Business Does, weighs in on the Wisconsin/Ohio flap over public sector unions and collective bargaining in this interview with ZENIT. A sample:

The Church has certainly been a champion of the right of workers to form labor unions but has never argued that unions have the liberty to undermine the common good.

Like many other kinds of organizations in many other sectors of society, unions can lose sight of their responsibility to respect the common good in the pursuit of their legitimate objectives. A union, no less than a business trade association, can position itself to exercise disproportionate influence in public life….

A well-ordered society, in the Catholic view, is one in which the appropriate independence and freedom of each sector — labor, business and government, for example — is preserved for the sake of the common good. If this balance breaks down, the common good is likely to suffer.

Kevin Schmiesing Kevin Schmiesing, Ph.D., is a research fellow for the research department at the Acton Institute. He is a frequent writer on Catholic social thought and economics, is the author of American Catholic Intellectuals, 1895-1955 (Edwin Mellen Press, 2002) and is most recently the author of Within the Market Strife: American Catholic Economic Thought from Rerum Novarum to Vatican II (Lexington Books, 2004). Dr. Schmiesing holds a Ph.D. in American history from the University of Pennsylvania, and a B.A. in history from Franciscan University ofSteubenville. Author of Within the Market Strife and American Catholic Intellectuals, 1895—1955 (2002), he serves as Book Review Editor for the Journal of Markets & Morality. He is also executive director of CatholicHistory.net.

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