Peace & Justice

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

Monday, September 02, 2013

Bishop’s Labor Day Reflection

Albany Bishop Howard Hubbard has used his monthly column in The Evangelist to address income inequality, the importance of unions and other issues of importance to both business and labor:
As Labor Day approaches this year, there are both some hopeful and some ominous signs. The unemployment rate has fallen to 7.4 percent, the lowest since 2008, as the economy has added jobs for 34 consecutive months.  
But as Bishop Stephen Blaire, the author of our U.S. bishops' 2013 Labor Day statement, writes: "Over four million people have been jobless for over six months, and that does not include the millions more who have simply lost hope; for every available job, there are as many as five unemployed and underemployed people actively vying for it. This gap pushes wages down - half of the jobs in this country pay less than $27,000. Over 46 million people live in poverty, 16 million of them children."  
Furthermore, income inequality has grown at an alarming rate. In the 1960s, the average compensation of an American CEO was about 25 times the average compensation of a production worker. That ratio rose to about 70 times by the end of the 1980s, and to around 250 times these days.  
Equally distressing is the growing income disparity between the haves and the have-nots. Today, the United States has less equality of opportunity than almost any other advanced industrialized country. Study after study has exposed the myth that America is the "land of opportunity."
The entire column is here.

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