Please consider the juxtaposition of Pope Francis installing showers for the homeless in the Vatican with the fear expressed in a recent letter that the homeless will drive tourists away from Portland (“Portland’s panhandlers cannot be good for tourism,” Nov. 13).

Or consider a servant ministry in Florida threatened with arrest for feeding the homeless.

The goal appears to be starve the homeless away from our town. Out of sight, out of mind. There must be a better way forward.

Many champions of capitalism point to their founder as Adam Smith, who in 1776 published “The Wealth of Nations.” Somehow, these champions overlook the primary source of their capital – the workers who produce the goods and services. They also overlook Book 1, Chapter 8, of “The Wealth of Nations,” titled “Of the Wages of Labor.”

The contention that higher wages will increase costs neglects the reality Smith addresses. Equity implores managers to pay workers so they may feed, clothe and lodge their families. He goes on to say, “To complain of it is to lament over the necessary effect and cause of the greatest public prosperity.”

“Of the Wages of Labor” should be required reading for all corporate executives, board members and politicians. If we want to renew American prosperity, then it is time that the wages of all workers be increased. No more scare tactics about losing jobs with a modest increase in the minimum wage.

The Rev. Dr. James M. Young

retired United Methodist pastor