Peace & Justice

This is the blog of the Commission on Peace and Justice for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, New York.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Bishop Hubbard’s monthly column in The Evangelist offers a reflection on Labor Day, the minimum wage, and the need for labor unions, among other subjects:
This past Monday, we celebrated our annual Labor Day, in which we were reminded -- as Blessed Pope John Paul II pointed out in his 1981 encyclical, "On Human Work" -- that "labor is essential to our identity as human beings and a tangible expression of our dignity," as well as a concrete way we can cooperate with the creator and bring into fulfillment the dream God has for all of creation.
Certainly, this Labor Day, which in the recent past has been more associated with picnics, the end of summer vacations and the opening of schools than with its initial intent, presents us with some sobering realities.
The unemployment rate remains at more than eight percent, the longest stretch of such high joblessness since the Great Depression. Further, millions of working people are struggling to pay their monthly mortgages; thousands of college graduates are struggling with crushing student loan debt; formerly middle-class folks are now feeding their families with food stamps; and, over the past 30 years, there has arisen a growing income inequality which has led researchers to conclude that the United States is the most economically unequal country in the advanced world.  
In 1986, the U.S. Catholic bishops sought to address the issues confronting our economy in the light of Catholic social teaching, with a particular focus on poverty, unemployment and the relationship between the American economy and world economies.
The entire column is here.

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