American Bishops Urge Renewal of Economy

Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, Calif.

Washington D.C., Aug 15, 2012 / 12:03 am (CNA).- The U.S. bishops’ point man on domestic justice issues has called for an economic renewal that places “working people and their families at the center of economic life.”

“Everyone and every institution has a role to play in building a more just economy,” said Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, Calif., who chairs the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

He recalled the words of Blessed Pope John Paul II that both “society and the State must ensure wage levels adequate for the maintenance of the worker and his family.”

In his 2012 Labor Day statement, the bishop reflected on the “moral and human dimensions” of “a broken economy that is not producing enough decent jobs.”

He observed that more than 46 million people in the U.S. live in poverty, and more than 16 million children grow up in poverty.

In addition, he noted, there are more than 12 million people looking for work but unable to find it, “and millions more have actually given up seeking employment.”

Millions of other individuals are “underemployed,” wishing to work full time but unable to find a job that allows them to do so, he added, while over 10 million families are “working poor,” unable to meet their basic needs despite being employed.

These numbers show “a serious economic and moral failure for our nation,” Bishop Blaire said. He called for the faithful to show solidarity to those who are struggling, in order to help them meet basic needs.

At the same time, he said, there is a need for “national economic renewal,” keeping in mind the dignity of human work while building “an economy that serves the person rather than the other way around.” (Read more here.)

  • Arkenaten

    Poverty is often a mindset, one that is like a ball and chain, and just as difficult to break.
    Perhaps schools should approach education differently; take a leaf out of a self help experts like John Kehoe, or Anthony Robbins? Also include subjects like meditation or even yoga on the curriculum?

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      I think we’ve got waaayyyyy too much non-educational curricula in our schools as it is; at least here in America. I don’t know what it’s like in South Africa.

      • Arkenaten

        Non -educational curricula?
        I have no idea what this means, even in context, I’m sorry. “Shrugs*

        • Rebecca Hamilton

          What I was referring to is the practice of using our schools for instruments of inculcation of various socio-political ideas (many of them fads) rather than focusing on educating young people. That may not be such a problem in South Africa, but I believe that it is a serious one here in America.

          • Arkenaten

            Ah,fair enough. With you, now.
            I wasn’t suggesting eschewing Mathematics and basic literary skills for “fads”., but rather teach more life skills; entrepreneurial skills, this sort of thing. And not just carpentry and metalwork, but proper business tools.
            Only a few years ago, when my kids were at school, did they introduce such subjects – and my children went to a private school (A CATHOLIC school as well ! – that should make you smile)
            It might come as a surprise to realise how many learners leave school not knowing simple things like writing a cheque?
            And there’s nothing wrong with Yoga or meditation either. It helps with many issues and in a world where stress is a huge killer learning to stay calm and relaxed is almost as mandatory as a good diet.
            So many children believe they are useless, have no hope and somewhat inevitably end up in gangs or on the street.
            Anything that helps to prevent this must be good surely?

            • Rebecca Hamilton

              Very wise words.

              The trouble with adding anything to the curricula is that it’s already too full, at least here in America. Our poor little kids down even have recess. Yet, as you say, many of them come out of school functionally illiterate.

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