The frugal “vision”

We all know (I started an Idlepost in this way, just to be offensive) that homebody women and Catholic religious share an important economic virtue: they are underpaid. This has been true for long (going back to the Late Roman Empire), and — let me cut straight to the chase — made possible the growth of Western Civilization. It could never have worked without a constant supply of cheap labour.

Our educational, medical, and welfare systems were built upon people working practically for free. (“Room and board.”) All of it was Catholic, until modern times. The reader who has not spent time in a hospital, need only visit one to see what I mean. The entire operation is ludicrously costly. Imagine — whether we are under capitalism or socialism — paying nurses a competitive wage? Or taking doctors too seriously? And making extravagant investments, whether in computer tomography, or janitorial services? As my mama once said (and she was an R.N.), half the “health issues” in society could be solved by an attentive nurse, and a bar of soap. Half of the remainder might involve Dettol. (Attentive nurse is optional.)

Ditto-plus for “social workers”; and ditto-plus-plus for teachers and professors. Firing all the high-paid administrators would be a welcome start; then reducing salaries for the faculty would end the financial problems. Tuition could finally come way down.

Nun-like women should chiefly populate these charitable institutions, with a scattering of monk-like men.

It is said — by the usual empty heads — that the West is re-Christianizing. People are spontaneously abandoning their wickedly expensive ways, and returning to what works. I have seen some slight evidence at Latin Masses.

But to really give the Church an economic push, we must restore her exploitation of labour.