Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching the U.S. Economy


1 Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy 1986 United States Catholic Bishops

2 Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy In November 1986, the National Confer ence of Catholic Bishops adopted Economic Justice for All: Catholic Social . To mark the document’s tenth anniversary, the U.S. Catholic bishops have issued two Teaching and the U.S. Economy documents. nuing Principles, Changing Context, New Challenges, A Decade After “Economic Justice for All”: Conti which was approved in November 1995, is a pastoral reflection applying the message of Economic Justice for All to the A Catholic Framework for Economic Life , which was approved in November 1996, outlines ten economy of the ‘90s. cial teaching on the economy. key principles of Catholic so This anniversary publication, which includes all three do cuments as well as updated suggestions for action, is authorized by the undersigned. Monsignor Dennis M. Schnurr General Secretary NCCB/USCC (1997) Excerpts from , Walter M. Abbott, SJ, general editor, copyright © 1966, America Press, The Documents of Vatican II th Street, New York, NY are reprinted w ith permission. All rights reserved. Inc., 106 West 56 Excerpts from Vatican Council II: The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents , Austin P. Flannery, ed. (Collegeville, Minn.: Liturgical Press, 1975) are reprinted with permission. All rights reserved. ent scriptural excerpts are from The New American Bible , copyright © 1970, Unless otherwise noted, Old Testam D.C.; New Testament scriptural excerpts are from Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, The New American Bible , copyright © 1986, Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. Both are used with the permission of the copyright owner. Copyright © 1997, 2009, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, D.C. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or otherwise, including photocopying, recording, or by any info rmation storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright holder. iv

3 Table of Contents A Pastoral Message: Economic Justice for All / vi Why We Write Principal Themes of the Pastoral Letter / vii A Call to Conversion and Action / ix Economic Justice for All / 1 Chapter I: The Church and the Future of the U.S. Economy A. The U.S Economy Today: Memory and Hope 2 / / 3 B. Urgent Problems of Today / 5 C. The Need for Moral Vision Chapter II: The Christian Vision of Economic Life / 8 A. Biblical Perspectives / 8 B. Ethical Norms for Economic Life / 15 C. Working for Greater Justice: Persons and Institutions / 22 / 28 D. Christian Hope and the Courage To Act Chapter III: Selected Economic Policy Issues / 32 A. Employment / 33 / 39 B. Poverty / 48 C. Food and Agriculture / 54 D. The U.S. Economy and the Developing Na tions: Complexity, Challenge and Choices E. Conclusion / 63 Chapter IV: A New American Experiment: Partnership for the Common Good / 72 A. Cooperation within Firms and Industries / 72 74 / B. Local and Regional Cooperation / 75 C. Partnership in the Development of National Policies D. Cooperation at the International Level / 77 / 81 Chapter V: A Commitment to the Future A. The Christian Vocation in the World Today / 81 / 84 B. Challenges to the Church C. The Road Ahead / 88 / 89 D. Commitment to a Kingdom of Love and Justice v

4 Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy A Pastoral Message Economic Justice for All Brothers and Sisters in Christ: 1. We are believers called to follow our Lord Jesu s Christ and proclaim his Gospel in the midst of a complex and powerful economy. This reality poses both opportunities and responsibilities for Catholics in the United States. Our faith calls us to measure this economy not only by what it produces, but also by how it touches human life and whether it protect s or undermines the dignity of the human person. Economic decisions have human consequences and moral content; they help or hurt people, strengthen or weaken family life, advance or diminish the quality of ju stice in our land. 2. This is why we have written Economic Justice for All: A Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy on to Catholics to use the resources . This letter is a personal invitati of our faith, the strength of our economy, and the acy to shape a society opportunities of our democr nd basic rights of our both in this land and that better protects the dignity a sisters and brothers, around the world. 3. The pastoral letter has been a work of car eful inquiry, wide consultation, and prayerful by this process of liste discernment. The letter has been greatly enriched ning and refinement. We offer this introductory pastoral message to Catholic s in the United States s eeking to live their faith in the marketplace—in homes, offices, factories, and schools; on farms and ranches; in board rooms and union halls; in service agencies and legislative chambers. We seek to explain why we wrote the pastoral letter, to introduce its major themes, a nd to share our hopes for the dialogue and action it might generate. Why We Write 4. We write to share our teaching, to raise questi ons, to challenge one another to live our faith in the world. We write as heirs of the biblical prophe ts who summon us "to do the right and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God" (Mi 6:8) . We write as followers of Jesus who told us in the Sermon on the Mount: "Blesse d are the poor in spirit... Blessed are the meek... Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for ri e salt of the earth... Y ou are the light of ghteousness... You are th the world" (Mt 5:1-6, 13-14). These words challenge us not only as believers, but also as consumers, citizens, workers, and owners. In the parable of the Last Judgment, Jesus said, "For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink... As often as you did it for one of my least brothers, you did it for me" (Mt 25:35- 40). The challenge for us is to discover in our own place and time what it means to be "poor in spirit " and "the salt of the earth" and what it means to serve "the least among us" and to "hunger and thirst for righteousness." 5. Followers of Christ must avoid a tragic se paration between faith and everyday life. They can ties nor, as the Second Vatican Council declared, "immerse neither shirk their earthly du [them]selves in earthly activities as if these latter were utterly fo reign to religion, and religion were nothing more than the fulfillment of acts of worshi p and the observance of a few moral obligations" ( Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World , no. 43). 6. Economic life raises important social and mora l questions for each of us and for society as a whole. Like family life, economic life is one of th e chief areas where we live out our faith, love our vi

5 Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy neighbor, confront temptation, fulf ve our holiness. Our economic ill God's creative design, and achie shop feeds our families—or feeds our anxieties. It exercises our activity in factory, field, office, or ings us into cooperation with talents—or wastes them. It raises our hopes—or crushes them. It br preach the message of Council instructs us "to others—or sets us at odds. The Second Vatican el will shine on all activities of the faithful" ( Pastoral Christ in such a way that the light of the Gosp ook at economic life through the eyes of faith, Constitution , no. 43). In this case, we are trying to l applying traditional church teaching to the U.S. economy. 7. In our letter, we write as pastors, not publ ic officials. We speak as moral teachers, not economic technicians. We seek not to make some political or ideological point but to lift up the aspects too often neglect human and ethical dimensions of economic life, ed in public discussion. We bring to this task a dual heritage of Catho lic social teaching and traditional American values. Catholics thought and action on the moral dimensions 8. As , we are heirs of a long tradition of of economic activity. The life and wo rds of Jesus and the teaching of his Church call us to serve economic justice. As a community of believers, we those in need and to work actively for social and stice among us, that we can best measure our life know that our faith is tested by the quality of ju together by how the poor and the vuln erable are treated. This is not a new concern for us. It is as old as the Hebrew prophets, as compelling as the Se rmon on the Mount, and as current as the powerful voice of Pope John Paul II defending the dignity of the human person. 9. As Americans , we are grateful for the gift of freedom and committed to the dream of "liberty and justice for all." This nation, blessed w ith extraordinary resources, has provided an ople. We are proud of the strength, productivity, unprecedented standard of living for millions of pe er those who have been left behind in our and creativity of our economy, but we also rememb progress. We believe that we honor our history best by working for the day when all our sisters and brothers share adequately in the American dream. 10. As bishops, in proclaiming the Gospel for these times we also manage institutions, balance budgets, and meet payrolls. In this we see the hum an face of our economy. We feel the hurts and hopes of our people. We feel th e pain of our sisters and brot hers who are poor, unemployed, homeless, living on the edge. The poor and vulnerabl e are on our doorsteps, in our parishes, in our service agencies, and in our shelters. We see too much hunger and injustice, too much suffering and despair, both in our own country and around the world. 11. As pastors, we also see the decency, generosi ty and vulnerability of our people. We see the struggles of ordinary families to make ends meet and provide a better future for their children. We know the desire of managers, professionals, and busi ness people to shape what they do by what they believe. It is the faith, good will, and generosity of our people that gives us hope as we write this letter. Principal Themes of the Pastoral Letter 12. The pastoral letter is not a blueprint for the American economy. It does not embrace any particular theory of how the economy works nor does it attempt to resolve the disputes between different schools of economic thought. Instead ou r letter turns to Scripture and to the social teachings of the Church. There, we discover what our economic life must serve, what standards it must meet. Let us examine some of these basic moral principles. vii

6 Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy Every economic decision and institution must be judged in light of whether it protects or 13. undermines the dignity of the human person. The pastoral letter begins with the human person. We of God among us. Human dignity comes from clearest reflection believe the person is sacred—the us, or any human accomplishment. We judge any God, not from nationality, race, sex, economic stat economic system by what it does for and to people a nd by how it permits all to participate in it. The economy should serve people, not the other way around. 14. . In our teaching, the Human dignity can be realized and protected only in community ciety—in economics and human person is not only sacred but also social. How we organize our so politics, in law and policy—directly affects human dignity and the capacity of individuals to grow in community. The obligation to "love our neighb or" has an individual di mension, but it also mmon good. We have many partial ways to measure requires a broader social commitment to the co tional Product, per capita and debate the health of our economy: Gross Na income, stock market ian vision of economic life looks beyond them all and asks, Does prices, and so forth. The Christ our life together as a community? economic life enhance or threaten 15. All people have a right to participat e in the economic life of society . Basic justice demands that people be assured a minimu m level of participation in the economy. It is wrong for a person or to be unable to participate or group to be excluded unfairly or contribute to the economy. For example, people who are both able and willing, but ca nnot get a job are deprived of the participation is through employment that most individuals and that is so vital to human development. For, it families meet their material needs, exercise their talents, and have an opportunity to contribute to the larger community. Such part icipation has special significance in our tradition because we believe that it is a means by which we join in carrying forward God's creative activity. 16. All members of society have a special obligation to the poor and vulnerable . From the Scriptures and church teaching we le arn that the justice of a society is tested by the treatment of the of God's covenant with Israel poor. The justice that was the sign was measured by how the poor and unprotected—the widow, the orphan, and the st ranger—were treated. The kingdom that Jesus proclaimed in his word and ministry excludes no one. Throughout Israel's history and in early Christianity, the poor are agents of God's transfor ming power. "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, ing glad tidings to the poor" (Lk 4:18). This was therefore he has anointed me. He has sent me to br Jesus' first public utterance. Jesus takes the side of those most in need. In the Last Judgment, so are told that we will be judged according to how dramatically described in St. Matthew's Gospel, we we respond to the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, th e stranger. As followers of Christ, we are e poor"—to speak for the voiceless, to defend the challenged to make a fundamental "option for th defenseless, to assess life styles, policies, and social institutions in terms of their impact on the poor. This "option for the poor" does not mean pitting on e group against another, but rather, strengthening the whole community by assisting those who are most vulnerable. As Christians, we are called to respond to the needs of our brothers and sisters, but those with the greatest needs require the all greatest response. 17. . In Catholic teaching, Human rights are the minimum conditions for life in community human rights include not only civ il and political rights but also economic rights. As Pope John XXIII declared, “all people have a right to life, f ood, clothing, shelter, rest, medical care, education, and employment.” This means that when people ar e without a chance to earn a living, and must go hungry and homeless, they are being denied basic rights. Society must ensure that these rights are protected. In this way we will en sure that the minimum conditions of economic justice are met for all our sisters and brothers. viii

7 Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy 18. Society as a whole, acting through public and private institutions, has the moral . In addition to the clear responsibility to enhance human dignity and protect human rights responsibility in this area. This responsibility of private in stitutions, government has an essential does not mean that government has the primary or exclusive role, but it does have a positive moral ensuring that the minimum conditions of human responsibility in safeguarding human rights and dignity are met for all. In a democracy, government is a means by which we can act together to protect what is important to us and to promote our common values. e not the only ones presented in the pastoral letter, but they 19. These six moral principles ar give an overview of the moral vision that we are trying to share. This vision of economic life cannot exist in a vacuum; it must be translated into concre te measures. Our pastoral letter spells out some specific applications of Catholic moral principl es. We call for a new national commitment to full l that one of every seven Americans is poor, and employment. We say it is a social and moral scanda adicate poverty. The fulfillment of we call for concerted efforts to er the basic needs of the poor is of ght of their impact on the the highest priority. We urge that all economic policies be evaluated in li ss of family farms and to resist the life and stability of the family. We support measures to halt the lo growing concentration in the ownership of agricultural resources. We specify ways in which the of poor nations and assist in their development. United States can do far more to relieve the plight We also reaffirm church teaching on the rights of workers, collective bargaining, private property, subsidiarity, and equal opportunity. 20. We believe that the recommendations in our letter are reasonable and balanced. In analyzing the economy, we reject ideo logical extremes and start from the fact that ours is a "mixed" economy, the product of a long history of reform and adjustment. We know that some of our specific recommendations are controve rsial. As bishops, we do not claim to make these prudential judgments with the same kind of authority that ma rks our declarations of principle. But we feel undertake concrete analysis and make specific obliged to teach by example how Christians can ngs cannot be left at the level of appealing judgments on economic issues. The church's teachi generalities. 21. In the pastoral letter we suggest that the time has come for a "New American broaden the sharing of economic power, and to Experiment"—to implement economic rights, to e common good. This new experiment can create make economic decisions more accountable to th new structures of economic partnership and particip ation within firms at the regional level, for the whole nation, and across borders. 22. Of course, there are many aspects of the economy the letter does not touch, and there are basic questions it leaves to furt her exploration. There are also many specific points on which men and women of good will may disagree ange among differing viewpoints. . We look for a fruitful exch We pray only that all will take to heart the urgenc y of our concerns; that together we will test our views by the Gospel and the Church's teaching; and th at we will listen to other voices in a spirit of mutual respect and open dialogue. A Call to Conversion and Action 23. We should not be surprised if we find Ca tholic social teaching to be demanding. The Gospel is demanding. We are always in need of c onversion, of a change of heart. We are richly blessed, and as St. Paul assures us, we are destined for glory. Yet it is also true that we are sinners; that we are not always wise or loving or just; that, for all our amazing possibilities, we are ix

8 Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy incompletely born, wary of life, and hemmed in by fears and empty routines. We are unable to entrust ourselves fully to the living God, and so we seek substitute forms of security: in material ures warn us that these things in popularity, in pleasure. The Script things, in power, in indifference, can become forms of idolatry. We know that, at times, in order to remain truly a community of lture, to certain trends and ways Jesus' disciples, we will have to say “no” to certain aspects in our cu of acting that are opposed to a life of faith, love, a nd justice. Changes in our hearts lead naturally to a desire to change how we act. With what care, human kindness, and justice do I conduct myself at work? How will my economic decisions to buy, sell, i nvest, divest, hire, or fire serve human dignity se my talents so as to fill the world with the and the common good? In what career can I best exerci Spirit of Christ? How do my economic choices cont ribute to the strength of my family and community, to the values of my children, to a sensitiv ity to those in need? In this consumer society, how can I develop a healthy detachment from thi ngs and avoid the temptation to assess who I am by what I have? How do I strike a balance between la bor and leisure that enlarges my capacity for friendships, for family life, for community? What support to attain the government policies should I lly the poor and vulnerable? well-being of all, especia 24. The answers to such questions are not always clear—or easy to live out. But, conversion is a lifelong process. And, it is not under taken alone. It occurs with the support of the whole believing prayer, and our daily efforts, large and small, on behalf of community, through baptism, common justice. As a Church, we must be people after the Spirit, sustaining one God's own heart, bonded by another in love, setting our hearts on God's king dom, committing ourselves to solidarity with those who suffer, working for peace and jus tice, acting as a sign of Christ's love and justice in the world. The Church cannot redeem the world from the dead ening effects of sin a nd injustice unless it is working to remove sin and injustice in its own life and institutions. All of us must help the Church to practice in its own life what it preaches to others about economic justice and cooperation. 25. The challenge of this pastoral letter is no ntly, but also to act t merely to think differe differently. A renewal of econo mic life depends on the conscious choices and commitments of individual believers who practice their faith in the world. The road to holiness for most of us lies in ich calls forth and supp orts lay initiative and our secular vocations. We need a spirituality wh witness not just in our churches but also in business, in the labo r movement, in the professions, in faith is not just a weekend obligation, a mystery to be celebrated education, and in public life. Our around the altar on Sunday. It is a pe every day in homes, offices, rvasive reality to be practiced factories, schools, and businesses across our land. We cannot separa te what we believe from how we act in the marketplace and the broader comm unity, for this is where we make our primary contribution to the pursu it of economic justice. 26. We ask each of you to read the pastoral letter , to study it, to pray about it, and match it with your own experience. We ask you to join with us in service to those in need. Let us reach out personally to the hungry and the homeless, to the poor and the powerless, and to the troubled and the vulnerable. In serving them, we serve Christ. Our service efforts cannot substitute for just and compassionate public policies, but they can help us practice what we pre ach about human life and human dignity. 27. The pursuit of economic justice takes believers into the public arena, testing the policies of government by the principles of our teaching. We ask you to become more informed and active citizens, using your voices and votes to speak for the voiceless, to defend the poor and the vulnerable, and to advance the common good. We are called to shape a constituency of conscience, x

9 Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy hes the least, the lost, and th e left-out among us. This letter measuring every policy by how it touc calls us to conversion and common action, to new forms of stewardship, service, and citizenship. 28. The completion of a letter such as this is but the beginning of a long process of education, discussion, and action. By faith and baptism, we ar e fashioned into new creatures, filled with the Holy Spirit and with a love that compels us to seek out a new profound relationship with God, with the human family, and with all created things. Jesu s has entered our history as God's anointed son who announces the coming of God's kingdom, a ki ngdom of justice and peace and freedom. And, what Jesus proclaims, he embodies in his actions. His ministry reveals that the reign of God is something more powerful than evil, injustice, and the hardness of hearts . Through his crucifixion and resurrection, he reveals that G od's love is ultimately victorious over all suffering, all horror, all meaninglessness, and even over the mystery of death. Thus, we proclaim words of hope and assurance to all who suffer and are in need. 29. We believe that the Christia n view of life, including economi c life, can transform the lives of individuals, families, schools, and our whole culture. We believe that with your prayers, reflection, service, and action, our economy can be shaped so that human dignity prospers and the human person is served. This is th e unfinished work of our nation. This is the challenge of our faith. xi

10 The Church And The Future Of The U.S. Economy CHAPTER 1 THE CHURCH AND THE FUTURE OF THE U.S. ECONOMY 1. Every perspective on economic life that is hu man, moral, and Christian must be shaped by three questions: What does the economy do for people? What does it do to people? And how do in it? The economy is a human reality people participate : men and women working together to d's creation. All this work must serve the material and spiritual develop and care for the whole of Go well-being of people. It influences what people hope for themselves and their loved ones. It affects the way they act together in society. It influences their very faith in God.(1) oys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the 2. The Second Vatican Council declared that "the j people of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted, these too are the joys and the followers of Christ."(2) Ther hopes, the griefs and anxieties of e are many signs of hope in U.S. economic life today: • Many fathers and mothers skillfu lly balance the arduous responsib ilities of work and family life. There are parents who pursue a purposeful e and by their example and modest way of lif encourage their children to follow a simila r path. A large number of women and men, drawing on their religious tradition, recognize the challenging vocation of family life and child rearing in a culture that emphasizes material display a nd self-gratification. • Conscientious business people seek new and more equitable ways to organize resources and the workplace. They face hard choices over ex panding or retrenching, shifting investments, hiring or firing. • Young people choosing their life's work ask whet her success and security are compatible with service to others. • Workers whose labor may be toilsome or repe titive try daily to ennoble their work with a spirit of solidarity and friendship. New immigrants brave dislocations while hoping for the opportunities realized by the • millions who came before them. 3. These signs of hope are not the whole stor y. There have been failures—some of them massive and ugly: • Poor and homeless people sleep in community sh elters and in our church basements; the hungry line up in soup lines. Unemployment gnaws at the self-respect of bot h middle-aged persons who have lost jobs • and the young who cannot find them. • Hard-working men and women wonder if the sy stem of enterprise that helped them yesterday might destroy their jobs and their communities tomorrow. • Families confront major new challenges: dwindling social supports for family stability; economic pressures that force both parents of young children to work outside the home; a driven pace of life among the su ccessful that can sap love and commitment; lack of hope 1

11 Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy among those who have less or nothing at all. Very different kinds of families bear different burdens of our economic system. Farmers face the loss of their land and way of life; young people find it difficult to choose • e threatened; migrant farm workers break farming as a vocation; farming communities ar their backs in serf-like conditions for disgracefully low wages. 4. And beyond our own shores, the reality of 800 million people living in absolute poverty and 450 million malnourished or facing starvation ca sts an ominous shadow over all these hopes and . problems at home 5. Anyone who sees all this will understand ou r concern as pastors a nd bishops. People shape the economy and in turn are shaped by it. Economic arrangements can be sour ces of fulfillment, of hope, of community—or of frustration, isolation, a nd even despair. They teach virtues—or vices— and day by day help mold our characters. They aff ect the quality of people's lives; at the extreme beyond purely technical even determining whether people live or die. Serious economic choices go issues to fundamental questions of value and human purpose.(3) We believe that in facing these questions the Christian religi ous and moral tradition can ma ke an important contribution. A. The U.S. Economy Today: Memory and Hope 6. The United States is among the most economi cally powerful nations on earth. In its short to provide an unprecedented standa rd of living for most of its history the U.S. economy has grown people. The nation has created productive work for millions of immigrants and enabled them to broaden their freedoms, improve their families' quali ty of life, and contribute to the building of a great nation. Those who came to this country from other lands often unders tood their new lives in the light of biblical faith. They thought of th emselves as entering a promised land of political freedom and economic opportunity. The United States is a land of vast natural resources and fertile to undertake bold ventures. Through soil. It has encouraged citizens hard work, self-sacrifice and cooperation, families have flourished; towns, c ities and a powerful nation have been created. 7. But we should recall this history with sobe r humility. The American experiment in social, conflict and suffering. Our nation was born in the political, and economic life has involved serious independence was paid for with the blood of face of injustice to native Americans, and its revolution. Slavery stained the co mmercial life of the land through its first 250 years and was ended only by a violent civil war. The establishment of women's suffrage, the protection of industrial workers, the elimination of child labor, the res ponse to the Great Depression of the 1930s, and the civil rights movement of the 1960s all involved a sustained struggle to transform the political and economic institutions of the nation. eedom. It also recognizes that the market is 8. The U.S. value system emphasizes economic fr are never to be bought or sold.(4) This limited by fundamental human rights. Some things the operation of the market when it harms conviction has prompted positive steps to modify vulnerable members of society. Labor unions help workers resist expl oitation. Through their government, the people of the United States have provided support for educ ation, access to food, unemployment compensation, security in old age, and protection of the environment. The market system contributes to the success of the U.S. economy, but so do many efforts to forge economic institutions and public policies that enable all to share in the riches of the nation. The country's 2

12 The Church And The Future Of The U.S. Economy eative struggle; entr epreneurs, business people, workers, economy has been built through a cr ssential roles. unions, consumers, and government ha ve all played e 9. The task of the United States today is as demanding as that faced by our forebears. Abraham Lincoln's words at Gettysburg are a reminder that complacency today would be a betrayal of our nation's history: "It is for us the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work they ... have thus far nobly advanced."(5) There is unfin ished business in the American experiment in freedom and justice for all. B. Urgent Problems of Today 10. The pre-eminent role of the United States in an increasing ly interdependent global economy is a central sign of our times.(6) The United States is still the world's economic giant. Decisions made here have immediate effects in other countries; decisions made abroad have immediate company employees in Houston, and farmers in consequences for steelworkers in Pittsburgh, oil on resources from other countries and on their Iowa. U.S. economic growth is vitally dependent purchases of our goods and services. Many jobs in U.S. industry and agriculture depend on our ability to export manuf actured goods and food. 11. In some industries the mob ility of capital and technology makes wages the main variable in mpetitors with the same technology but with wage rates as low the cost of production. Overseas co as one-tenth of ours put enormous pressure on U.S. firms to cut wages, relocate abroad, or close. U.S. workers and their communities should not be expected to bear these burdens alone. 12. All people on this globe share a common ecological envir onment that is under increasing pressure. Depletion of soil, water, and other natura l resources endangers the future. Pollution of air and water threatens the delicate balance of the biosphere on which future generations will depend.(7) The resources of the earth have been cr eated by God for the benefit of all, and we who llenge to develop a new ecological ethic which will are alive today hold them in trust. This is a cha both just and sustainable. help shape a future that is 13. In short, nations separated by geography, culture, and ideology ar e linked in a complex cal, and environmental network. These links have two direct commercial, financial, technologi hope for a new form of community among all peoples, one built on consequences. First, they create dignity, solidarity, and justice. Second, this rising global awareness calls for greater attention to the stark inequities across countries in the standards of living and c ontrol of resources. We must not look at the welfare of U.S. citizens as the only good to be sought. Nor may we overlook the disparities of power in the relationships betwee n this nation and the developing countries. The United States is the major supplier of food to ot her countries, a major source of arms sales to developing nations and a powerful influence in multila teral institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the United Nations. What Americans see as a growing interdependence is regarded by ma ny in the less-developed countries as a pattern of domination and dependence. 14. Within this larger internat ional setting there are also a numbe r of challenges to the domestic economy that call for creativity and courage. The promise of the “American dream”—freedom for all persons to develop their God-given talents to the full—remains unfulfilled for millions in the United States today. 3

13 Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy 15. Several areas of U.S. economic life demand special attention. Unemployment is the most d in the past decade, basic. Despite the large number of new jobs th e U.S. economy has generate approximately 8 million people seeking work in this country are unable to find it, and many more opped looking.(8) Over the past two decades the nation has come to are so discouraged they have st The 6 to 7 percent rate deemed acceptable today tolerate an increasing level of unemployment. would have been intolerable twenty years ago. Among the unemployed are a disproportionate number of blacks, Hispanics, young people, or wome n who are the sole support of their families.(9) others as a result of economic Some cities and states have ma ny more unemployed persons than re to work. Unemployment is a tragedy no matter forces that have little to do with people's desi whom it strikes, but the trage dy is compounded by the unequal and unf air way it is distributed in our society. 16. Harsh poverty plagues our country despit e its great wealth. More than 33 million Americans are poor; by any reasonable standard another 20 to 30 million are needy. Poverty is increasing in the United States, a people who believe in "progress," this not decreasing.(10) For should be cause for alarm. These burdens fall most heavily on blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans. Even more disturbing is the large in women and children living crease in the number of in poverty. Today children are the largest single group among the poor . This tragic fact seriously poor in a nation as rich as ours is a social and threatens the nation's future. That so many people are moral scandal that we cannot ignore. 17. Many working people and middle-class Americans live dangerously close to poverty. A rising number of families must rely on the wages of two or even three members just to get by. From 1968 to 1978 nearly a quarter of the U.S. population was in poverty part of the time and received welfare benefits in at least one year.(11) The loss of a job, illness, or the breakup of a marriage may be all it takes to pus h people into poverty. 18. The lack of a mutually s e and economic life is one of upportive relation between family lif today.(12) The economic the most serious problems facing the United States and cultural strength of the nation is directly linked to the stability and health of its families.(13) When families thrive, spouses contribute to the common good through their work at home, in the community, and in their jobs; and children develop a sense of their own wo rth and of their responsibility to serve others. e dignity of parents and children is threatened. When families are weak or break down entirely, th inflicted on society at large. High cultural and economic costs are 19. The precarious economic situation of so many people and so many families calls for examination of U.S. economic arrangements. Chri stian conviction and the American promise of liberty and justice for all give the poor and the vulnerable a special claim on the nation's concern. They also challenge all members of the C hurch to help build a more just society. 20. The investment of human creativity and ma terial resources in the production of the weapons of war makes these economic problems even more difficult to solve. Defense Department expenditures in the United States are almost $300 billion per year . The rivalry and mutual fear reaten death, minds, and m oney that could better between superpowers divert into projects that th human life. Developing countries engage in arms races they can ill afford, often with the encouragement of the superpowers. Some of the poorest countries of the world use scarce resources to buy planes, guns, and other weapons when they and health care their lack the food, education, people need. Defense policies must be evaluated and assessed in light of their real contribution to freedom, justice, and peace for the citizens of our own and other nations . We have developed a perspective on these multiple moral c oncerns in our 1983 pastoral letter, The Challenge of Peace: 4

14 The Church And The Future Of The U.S. Economy .(14) When weapons or strategies make questionable God's Promise and Our Response contributions to security, peace, and justice and w ill also be very expensive, spending priorities pressing social needs.(15) should be redirected to more quire careful analysis: the movement of many 21. Many other social and economic challenges re industries from the Snowbelt to the Sunbelt, the federal deficit and in terest rates, co rporate mergers and takeovers, the effects of new technologies such as robotics and information systems in U.S. industry, immigration policy, growing international traffic in drugs, a nd the trade imbalance. All of the economy. Rather they are symptoms of more these issues do not provide a complete portrait of fundamental currents shaping U.S. economic life toda y: the struggle to find meaning and value in human work, efforts to support individual freedom in the context of renewed social cooperation, the urgent need to create equitable forms of global interdependence in a world now marked by extreme inequality. These deeper currents are cultural and mo ral in content. They show that the long-range ection on the values that challenges facing the nation call for sustained refl guide economic choices and are embodied in economic institutions. Such explicit reflection on th e ethical content of economic choices and policies must become an integral part of the way Christians relate religious belief to the realities of everyday life. In this wa y, the "split between the faith which many profess Vatican II counted among the more and their daily lives,"(16) which serious errors of the modern age, will begin to be bridged. C. The Need for Moral Vision 22. Sustaining a common culture and a common commit ment to moral values is not easy in our world. Modern economic life is based on a division of labor into specialized jobs and professions. Since the industrial revolution peopl e have had to define themselves and their work ever more narrowly to find a niche in the economy. The benef its of this are evident in the satisfaction many their specialized skills to soci people derive from contributing ety. But the costs are social fragmentation, a decline in seeing how one's work serves the whole community, and an increased emphasis on personal goals and priv ate interests.(17) This is vi vidly clear in discussions of economic justice. Here it is often difficult to find a common ground among people with different in writing this letter is to encourage and backgrounds and concerns. One of our chief hopes contribute to the development of this common ground.(18) 23. Strengthening common moral vision is essential if the economy is to serve all people more fairly. Many middle class Americans feel themselves in the grip of economic demands and cultural pressures that go far beyond the individual family's capacity to cope. Without constructive guidance in making decisions with serious moral impli cations, men and women who hold positions of responsibility in corporations or government find their duties exacti ng a heavy price. We want these reflections to help them contribute to a more just economy. 24. The quality of the national discussion about our economic future will affect the poor most of all, in this country and throughout the world. The life and dignity of millions of men, women, and children hang in the balance. Decisions must be judged in light of what they do for the poor, what they do to the poor and what they enable the poor to do for themselves . The fundamental moral criterion for all economic decisions, po They must be at the service of licies, and institutions is this: all people, especially the poor . 25. This letter is based on a long tradition of Catholic social thought, rooted in the Bible and developed over the past century by the popes an d the Second Vatican Council in response to 5

15 Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy that human dignity, realiz modern economic conditions. This tradition insists ed in community with others and with the whole of God's creation, is the norm against wh ich every social institution must be measured.(19) 26. This teaching has a rich hist ory. It is also dynamic and grow ing.(20) Pope Paul VI insisted ve the responsibility "to analyz e with objectivity the situation that all Christian communities ha ry, to shed on it the light of the which is proper to their own count Gospel's unalterable words and to draw principles of reflection, norms of judgment, and directives for action from the social teaching of the Church."(21) Therefore, we build on the pa st work of our own bishops' conference, including r pastoral letters.(22) In addition many people the 1919 Program of Social Reconstruction and othe from the Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish communiti es, in academic, business or political life, and from many different economic back grounds have also provided guida nce. We want to make the legacy of Christian social thought a living, growing resource that can inspire hope and help shape the future. 27. We write, then, first of all to provide guidance for members of our own Church as they seek to form their consciences about economic matters. No one may claim the name Christian and be comfortable in the face of the hunger, homelessness, insecurity, and injustice found in this country and the world. At the same time, we want to add our voice to the public deba te about the directions in which the U.S. economy should be moving. We seek the cooperation and support of those who do not share our faith or tradition. links all persons is the source The common bond of humanity that of our belief that the country can attain a rene wed public moral vision. The questions are basic and the answers are often elusive; they challenge us to serious and sustaine d attention to economic justice. 6

16 The Church And The Future Of The U.S. Economy FOOTNOTES Chapter I The Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World , 33. [Note: This pastoral letter 1 Vatican Council II, r official teachings of the frequently refers to documents of the Second Vatican Council, papal encyclicals, and othe Catholic Church. Most of these texts have been published by the United States Catholic Conference; many are available in collections, though no single collection is comprehensive. See selected bibliography.] , 1. Pastoral Constitution 2 3 See ibid., 10, 42, 43; Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Instruction on Christian Freedom and Liberation (Washington, D.C.: United States Catholic Conference, 1986), 34-36. On Human Work 4 See Pope John Paul II, Octogesima Adveniens (1971), 35. See (1981), 14; and Pope Paul VI, Equality and Efficiency: The Big Tradeoff also Arthur Okun, (Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution, 1975) ch. 1; Michael Walzer, Spheres of Justice: A Defense of Pluralism and Equality (New York: Basic Books, 1983), ch. 4; Jon Commutative Justice," paper presented at th P. Gunnemann, "Capitalism and e 1985 meeting of the Society of Christian Ethics. 5 Abraham Lincoln, Address at Dedication of National Cemetery at Gettysburg, November 19, 1863. Peace on Earth (1963), 130-131. 6 Pope John XXIII, 7 Synod of Bishops, (1971), 8; Pope John Paul II, Redeemer of Man (1979), 15. Justice in the World 8 U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, The Employment Situation: August 1985 (September 1985); Table A-l. 9 Ibid. Current Population Reports, Series P-60 , 145, Money Income and Poverty Status of 10 U.S. Bureau of the Census, Families and Persons in the United States: 1983 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1984), 20. 11 Greg H. Duncan, Years of Poverty, Years of Plenty: The Changin g Economic Fortunes of American Workers Research, University of Michigan, 1984). and Their Families (Ann Arbor, Mich.: Institute for Social 12 See John Paul II, (1981), 46. Familiaris Consortio Pastoral Constitution , 47. 13 The Challenge of Peace: God's Promise and Our Response 14 National Conference of Catholic Bishops, (Washington, D.C.: United States Catholic Conference, 1983). 15 Cardinal Joseph L. Bernardin and Cardinal John J. O'Connor, Testimony before the House Foreign Relations Committee, June 26, 1984, Origins 14:10 (August 10, 1984): 157. Pastoral Constitution 16 , 43. The Homeless Mind: Modernization 17 See, for example, Peter Berger, Brigitte Berger, and Hansfried Kellner, (New York: Vintage, 1974). and Consciousness 18 For a recent study of the importance and difficulty of achieving such a common language and vision see Robert N. Bellah, Richard Madsen, William M. Sullivan, Ann Swidler, and Stephen M. Tipton, Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life (Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 1985). See also Martin E. Marty, The Public Church (New York: Crossroads, 1981). 19 Pope John XXIII, (1961), 219; Pastoral Constitution , 40. Mater et Magistra 20 Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, , Instruction on Certain Aspects of the Theology of Liberation (Washington, D.C.: United States Catho lic Conference, 1984); Pope Paul VI, Octogesima Adveniens (1971), 42. 21 Octogesima Adveniens , 4. Program of Social Reconstruction , February 22 Administrative Committee of the National Catholic War Council, 12, 1919. Other notable statements on the economy by our predecessors are The Present Crisis , April 25, 1933; Statement on Church and Social Order , February 4, 1940; The Economy: Human Dimensions, November 20, 1975. These and numerous other statements of the U.S. Catholic episcopate can be found in Hugh J. Nolan, ed., Pastoral , 4 vols. (Washington, D.C.: United States Catholic Conference, 1984). Letters of the U.S. Catholic Bishops 7

17 Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy CHAPTER 2 THE CHRISTIAN VISION OF ECONOMIC LIFE out the moral dimensions of economic life is its 28. The basis for all that the Church believes ab The dignity of the human he sacredness—of human beings. vision of the transcendent worth—t criterion against which all aspects of economic life person, realized in community with others, is the to be served by the institutions that must be measured. (1) All human beings, therefore, are ends make up the economy, not means to be exploited for more narrowly defined goals. Human we deal with each other, we personhood must be respected with a reverence that is religious. When should do so with the sense of awe that arises in the presence of so mething holy and sacred. For that the image of God (Gn 1:27). Similarly, all economic is what human beings are: we are created in community and solidarity that institutions must support the bonds of are essential to the dignity of to conform to the demands of human dignity persons. Wherever our economic arrangements fail e convictions have a biblical lived in community, they must be questioned and transformed. Thes basis. They are also supported by a long traditio n of theological and philosophical reflection and through the reasoned analysis of human experience by contemporary men and women. turn first to the Scriptures for guidance. 29. In presenting the Christian moral vision, we Though our comments are necessarily selective, we hope that pastors and other church members will become personally engaged with the biblical texts. The Scriptures contain many passages that speak directly of economic life. We must also attend to the Bible's deeper vision of God, of the purpose of creation, and of the dignity of human life in society. Along with other churches and ecclesial communities who are "strengthened by th e grace of baptism and the hearing of God's doers of the word.(2) We also claim the Hebrew Word," we strive to become faithful hearers and our Jewish brothers and sisters, and we join with them in the Scriptures as common heritage with quest for an economic life worthy of the divine revelation we share. A. Biblical Perspectives at human life is fulfilled in the knowledge and 30. The fundamental conviction of our faith is th love of the living God in communion with others. Th e Sacred Scriptures offer guidance so that men and women may enter into full communion with G od and with each other, and witness to God's saving acts. We discover there a G od who is creator of heaven and earth, and of the human family. Though our first parents reject the God who crea ted them, God does not abandon them, but from Abraham and Sarah forms a people of promise. When this people is enslaved in an alien land, God which they are summoned to be faithful to the delivers them and makes a covenant with them in torah or sacred teaching. The focal points of Is rael's faith—creation, covenant, and community— provide a foundation for reflection on issu es of economic and social justice. 1. Created in God's Image 31. After the exile, when Israel comb ined its traditions into a written torah , it prefaced its history as a people with the story of the creation of all peoples a nd of the whole world by the same God who created them as a nation (Gn 1-11). God is the creator of heaven and earth (Gn 14:19-22; 8

18 The Christian Vision of Economic Life s God's glory (Ps 89:6-12) and is "very good" (Gn 1:31). Fruitful Is 40:28; 45:18); creation proclaim harvests, bountiful flocks, a loving family, are G od's blessings on those who heed God's word. Such is the joyful refrain that echoes this theology of creation is the throughout the Bible. One legacy of conviction that no dimension of human life lies beyond God's care and concern. God is present to creation, and creative engageme nt with God's handiwork is itself reverence for God. on of man and woman, made in God's image (Gn 32. At the summit of creation stands the creati le dignity that stamps human existence As such every human being possesses an inalienab 1:26-27). prior to any division into races or nations and prior to human labor and human achievement (Gn 4- 11). Men and women are also to shar e in the creative activity of God. Th ey are to be fruitful, to care for the earth (Gn 2:15), and to have "dominion" ov er it (Gn 1:28), which means they are "to govern the world in holiness and justice, and to render judgment in integrity of heart" (Wis 9:3). Creation is in caring for the earth. They can justly consider a gift; women and men are to be faithful stewards that by their labor they are unf olding the Creator's work.(3) e origin of the strife and suffering that mar the 33. The narratives of Genesis 1-11 also portray th macy with God and the fruits of the earth, Adam and Eve world. Though created to enjoy inti disrupted God's design by trying to live independently of God through a denial of their status as creatures. They turned away from God and gave ience due to God alone. to God's creation the obed For this reason the prime sin in so much of the biblical tradition is idolatry: service of the creature rather than of the creator (Rom 1:25), and the attempt to overturn creation by making God in human likeness. The Bible castigates not only the worship of idols, but also manifestations of idolatry, such as the quest for unrestrained power and the desire for great wealth (Is 40 :12-20; 44:1-20; Wis 13:1- 14:31; Col 3:5, "the greed that is idolatry"). The sin of our first parents had other consequences as well. Alienation from God pits brother against brot her (Gn 4:8-16) in a cycl e of war and vengeance nd the primeval history culminates with another assault on the (Gn 4:22-23). Sin and evil abound, a tered over the face of the earth (Gn 11:1-9). Sin heavens, this time ending in a babble of tongues scat simultaneously alienates human beings from Go d and shatters the solidarity of the human community. Yet this reign of sin is not the final word. The primeval history is followed by the call arer of the promise to many nations (Gn 12:1-4). of Abraham, a man of faith, who was to be the be struggle between sin and repentan ce. God's judgment on evil is Throughout the Bible we find this followed by God's seeking out a sinful people. 34. The biblical vision of creation has provided one of the most enduring legacies of church teaching. To stand before God as the Creator is to respect God's creation, both the world of nature and of human history. From the patristic period to the present, the Church has affirmed that misuse of the world's resources or appropriation of them by a minority of the world's population betrays belongs to God belongs to all." (4) the gift of creation since "whatever 2. A People of the Covenant 35. When the people of Israel, our forerunners in faith, gathered in than ksgiving to renew their covenant (Jos 24:1-15), they reca lled the gracious deeds of God (D t 6:20-25; 26:5-11). When they lived as aliens in a strange land and experienced cried out. The Lord, oppression and slavery, they the God of their ancestors, heard their cries, knew their afflictions, and came to deliver them (Ex 3:7-8). By leading them out of Egypt, God created a people that was to be the Lord's very own (Jer 24:7; Hos 2:25). They were to imitate God by treati ng the alien and the slave in their midst as God had treated them (Ex 22:20-22; Jer 34:8-14). 9

19 Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy covenant at Sinai (Ex 19- 24). It begins with an 36. In the midst of this saving history stands the the people (Ex 19:1-6; cf. Jos 24: 1-13) and includes from God's account of what God has done for ) and faithfulness ( , Ex 34:5-7). The people are side a promise of steadfast love ( hesed 'emeth summoned to ratify this covenant by faithfully worshiping God alone and by directing their lives according to God's will, which was made explicit in Israel's great legal codes such as the Decalogue (Ex 20:1-17) and the Book of the Covenant (Ex 20:22-23:33). Far from being an arbitrary restriction on the life of the people, these code s made life in community possible.(5) The specific laws of the covenant protect human life and pr operty, demand respect for parents and the spouses and children of one's neighbor, and manifest a speci al concern for the vulnerable members of the community: widows, orphans, the poor, and strangers in the land. Laws such as that for the Sabbath year when the land was left fallow (Ex 23:11; Lv 25:1-7) and for the year of release of debts (Dt od's gift and reminded Israel that as a people 15:1-11) summoned people to respect the land as G freed by God from bondage they were to be concer ned for the poor and oppressed in their midst. ed as a year of "liber Every fiftieth year a jubilee was to be proclaim ty throughout the land" and property was to be restored to its original owners (Lv 25:8-17, cf. Is 61:1-2; Lk 4:18-19).(6) The codes of Israel reflect the norms of the covenant: reciprocal responsibility, mercy, and truthfulness. om oppression: worship of the On e God, rejection of idolatry, They embody a life in freedom fr and protection for every member mutual respect among people, care of the social body. Being free and being a co-responsible community are God's intentions for us. 37. When the people turn away from the livi ng God to serve idols and no longer heed the commands of the covenant, God sends prophets to recall his saving deeds and to summon them to return to the one who betrothed them "in right and in justice, in love and in mercy" (Hos 2:21). The substance of prophetic faith is proclaimed by Micah : "to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God" (Mi 6:8, RSV). Bib lical faith in general, and prophetic faith the covenant joins obe dience to God with reverence and concern for especially, insist that fidelity to the neighbor. The biblical terms which best summari ze this double dimension of Israel's faith are sedaqah , justice (also translated as righteousness), and mishpat (right judgment or justice embodied in a concrete act or deed). The biblical understand ing of justice gives a fundamental perspective to our reflections on social and economic justice.(7) 38. God is described as a "God of justice" (Is 30:18) who loves justice (Is 61:8; cf. Pss 11:7; 33:5; 37:28; 99:4) and delights in stice from the whole people (Dt it (Jer 9:23). God demands ju Central to the biblical presentation of justice 16:20) and executes justice for the needy (Ps 140:13). by its treatment of the powerless in society, most is that the justice of a community is measured often described as the widow, the orphan, the poor , and the stranger (non-Is raelite) in the land. The Law, the Prophets, and the Wisdom literature of the Old Testament all show deep concern for the proper treatment of such people.(8) What thes e groups of people have in common is their ey are often alone and have no pr otector or advocate. Therefore, vulnerability and lack of power. Th it is God who hears their crie s (Pss 109:21; 113:7), and the king who is God's anointed is commanded to have special concern for them. 39. Justice has many nuances.(9) Fundamentally it suggests a sense of what is right or of what should happen. For example, paths are just when they bring you to your de stination (Gn 24:48; Ps 23:3), and laws are just when they create harmony within the community, as Isaiah says: "Justice will bring about peace; right will produce calm and s ecurity" (Is 32:17). God is "just" by acting as God should, coming to the people's aid and summoning them to conversion when they stray. People are summoned to be "just," that is, to be in a proper relation to God, by observing God's laws which form them into a faithful community. Biblical ju stice is more comprehensive than subsequent 10

20 The Christian Vision of Economic Life concerned with a strict definition of rights and duties, but with the philosophical definitions. It is not rightness of the human condition before God and w ithin society. Nor is justice opposed to love; rather, it is both a manifestation of love and a condition for love to grow.(10) Because God loves Israel, he rescues them from oppression and summons them to be a people that "does justice" and loves kindness. The quest for justice arises from loving gratitude for the saving acts of God and manifests itself in wholehearte d love of God and neighbor. 40. These perspectives provide the foundation for a biblical vision of economic justice. Every denial of dignity to a person is a blot on this human person is created as an image of God, and the image. Creation is a gift to all men and women, not to be appropriated for the benefit of a few; its beauty is an object of joy and reverence. The sa me God who came to the aid of an oppressed people tinues to hear the cries and formed them into a covenant community con of the oppressed and to create communities which are responsive to God's word. God's love and life are present when ese cardinal points of the faith of Israel also people can live in a community of faith and hope. Th saving action of God in the life and teaching of furnish the religious context for understanding the Jesus. 3. The Reign of God and Justice 41. Jesus enters human history as God's anoint ed son who announces the nearness of the reign of God (Mk 1:9-14). This proclamation summons us to acknowledge God as creator and covenant partner, and challenges us to seek ways in which God's revelation of the dignity and destiny of all creation might become incarnate in history. It is not simply the prom ise of the future victory of God over sin and evil, but that this victory has already begun—in the life and teaching of Jesus. 42. What Jesus proclaims by word, he enacts in his ministry. He resist s temptations of power and prestige, follows his Father's will, and teaches us to pray that it be accomplished on earth. He " (Mt 6:19) and exhorts hi warns against attempts to "lay up treasures on earth s followers not to be anxious about material goods but rather to seek fi rst God's reign and God's justice (Mt 6:25-33). His mighty works symbolize that the reign of God is more powerful than evil, sickness, and the oving mercy to sinners (Mk 2:17), takes up the cause hardness of the human heart. He offers God's l nd social discrimination (Lk 7:36-50; 15:1-2), and attacks the use of those who suffered religious a of religion to avoid the demands of char ity and justice (Mk 7:9-13; Mt 23:23). 43. When asked what was the greatest comm andment, Jesus quoted the age-old Jewish affirmation of faith that God alone is One and to be loved with the whole heart, mind, and soul (Dt 6:4-5) and immediately adds: "You shall love your neighbor as your self" (Lv 19:18; Mk 12:28-34). This dual command of love that is at the basis of a ll Christian morality is illustrated in the Gospel of Luke by the parable of a Samaritan who interrupts his journey to come to the aid of a dying man (Lk 10:29-37). Unlike the other wayfarers who look on the man and pass by, the Samaritan "was moved with compassion at the sight"; he stops, te nds the wounded man and takes him to a place of safety. In this parable compassion is the bridge between mere seeing and action; love is made real through effective action.(11) 44. Near the end of his life, Jesus offers a vivi d picture of the last j udgment (Mt 25:31-46). All the nations of the world will be assembled and will be divided into those blessed who are welcomed into God's kingdom or those cursed who are sent to eternal punishment. The blessed are those who fed the hungry, gave drink to the thirsty, welcomed the stranger, clothed the naked, and visited the sick and imprisoned; the cursed are those who negl ected these works of mercy and love. Neither the 11

21 Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy blessed nor the cursed are astounde of Man, nor that judgment is d that they are judged by the Son comes when they find th at in neglecting the rendered according to works of charity. The shock f. Jesus who came as poor, the outcast, and the oppressed, they were rejecting Jesus himsel “Emmanuel” (God with us, Mt 1:23) and who promises to be with his people until the end of the age (Mt 28:20) is hidden in those most in need; to reject them is to reject God made manifest in history. 4. Called to Be Di sciples in Community of heart and to take on the yoke of God's 45. Jesus summoned his first followers to a change reign (Mk 1:14-15; Mt 11:29). They are to be the nucleus of that community, which will continue the work of proclaiming and building God's kingdom through the centuries. As Jesus called the first eryday occupations of fishing and disciples in the midst of their ev he again calls tax collecting, so people in every age in the home, in th e workplace, and in the marketplace. 46. The Church is, as Pope John Paul II reminded us, "a community of disciples" in which "we must see first and foremost Christ saying to each member of the community: follow me."(12) To be a Christian is to join with others in responding to this personal call and in learning the meaning of ned by that loving intimacy with the Father that Jesus experienced in Christ's life. It is to be sustai his work, in his prayer, and in his suffering. 47. Discipleship involves imitating the pattern of Jesus' life by openness to God's will in the service of others (Mk 10:42-45). Di sciples are also called to follow him on the way of the cross, and to heed his call that those who lo se their lives for the sake of the Gospel will save them (Mk 8:34- 35). Jesus' death is an example of that greater lo ve which lays down one's life for others (cf. Jn 15:12-18). It is a model for those who suffer persecuti on for the sake of justic e (Mt 5:10). The death , for he was raised up by the power of God. Nor of Jesus was not the end of his power and presence did it mark the end of the disciples' union with him. After Jesus had appeared to them and when they received the gift of the Spir it (Acts 2:1-12), they became apostl es of the good news to the ends of the earth. In the face of poverty and persecu tion they transformed human lives and formed nd presence of God. Sharing in this same communities which became signs of the power a owers of Christ can f ace the struggles and ch allenges that await resurrection faith, contemporary foll those who bring the gospel vision to bear on our complex economic and social world. 5. Poverty, Riches, and the Challenge of Discipleship 48. The pattern of Christian life as presented in the Gospel of Luke ha s special relevance today. In her , Mary rejoices in a G od who scatters the proud, br ings down the mighty, and Magnificat raises up the poor and lowly (Lk 1:51-53). The first public utterance of Jesus is, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor" (Lk 4:18; cf. Is 61:1-2). Jesus adds to the blessing on the poor a warning, "Woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation" (Lk 6:24). He wa rns his followers against greed and reliance on abundant possessions and underscores th is by the parable of the man wh ose life is snatched away at the very moment he tries to secure his wealth (L k 12:13-21). In Luke alone, Jesus tells the parable of the rich man who does not see the poor and su ffering Lazarus at his gate (Lk 16:19-31). When the rich man finally "sees" Lazarus, it is from the place of torment and the opportunity for 12

22 The Christian Vision of Economic Life ecalled this parable to warn the prosperous not conversion has passed. Pope John Paul II has often r to be blind to the great poverty th at exists beside great wealth.(13) n, like the prophets takes the side of the poor, 49. Jesus, especially in Luke, lives as a poor ma used for poor, while primarily describing lack of and warns of the dangers of wealth.(14) The terms material goods, also suggest dependence and powe rlessness. The poor are also an exiled and oppressed people whom God will rescue (Is 51:21-23) as well as a faithful remnant who take refuge in God (Zep. 3:12-13). Throughout the Bible, mate rial poverty is a misfortune and a cause of for and protected and that when sadness. A constant biblical refrain is that the poor must be cared they are exploited, God hears th eir cries (Prv 22:22-23). Convers ely, even though the goods of the earth are to be enjoyed and peopl e are to thank God for material blessings, wealth is a constant postasy and idolatry (Am danger. The rich are wise in their own eyes (Prv 28:11) and are prone to a ll as to violence and oppression (Jas 5:4-13; Is. 2:6-8), as we they are neither 2:6-7).(15) Since e poor can be open to God's presence; throughout blinded by wealth nor make it into an idol, th e poor are agents of God's transforming power. Israel's history and in early Christianity th 50. The poor are often related to the lowly (Mt 5:3, 5) to whom God reveals what was hidden Jesus calls the poor "blessed," he is not praising their condition from the wise (Mt 11:25-30). When of poverty, but their openness to God. When he states that the reign of God is theirs, he voices God's special concern for them, and promises that they are to be the beneficiaries of God's mercy and justice. When he summons disciples to leave all and follow him, he is calling them to share his own radical trust in the Father a nd his freedom from care and anxiet y (cf. Mt 6:25-34 ). The practice of evangelical poverty in the Church has always been a living witness to the power of that trust and to the joy that comes with that freedom. t of God's special love, but it neither canonized 51. Early Christianity saw the poor as an objec ivation as an inevitable fact of material poverty nor accepted depr life. Though few early Christians possessed wealth or power (1 Cor 1:26-28; Jas 2:5), their communities had well-off members (Acts 16:14; 18:8). Jesus' concern for the poor was conti nued in different forms in the early church. The early community at Jerusalem distributed its posse ssions so that "there was no needy person among e that suggests not only shared material them" and held "all things in common"—a phras possessions, but more fundamentally, friendship and mutual concern among all its members (Acts wealth, the early church proposed the proper use 4:32-34; 2:44). While recognizing the dangers of of possessions to alleviate need and suffering rather than universal dispossession. Beginning in the mmunities have developed varied structures to first century and throughout history, Christian co support and sustain the weak and powerless in societ ies that were often brutally unconcerned about human suffering. 52. Such perspectives provide a basis for what today is called the "pre ferential option for the poor."(16) Though in the Gospels and in the New Te stament as a whole the offer of salvation is those most in need, physic ally and spiritually. The extended to all peoples, Jesus takes the side of example of Jesus poses a number of challenges to the contemporary church. It imposes a prophetic for them, to be a defender of the defenseless, mandate to speak for those who have no one to speak who in biblical terms are the poor. It also demands a compassionate vision th at enables the Church to see things from the side of the poor and powerless and to assess lifestyle, policies, and social institutions in terms of their impact on the poor. It summons the Church also to be an instrument in assisting people to experience th e liberating power of God in thei r own lives so that they may respond to the Gospel in freedom and in dignity. Finally, and most radically, it calls for an emptying 13

23 Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy of self, both individually and cor experience the power of God in porately, that allows the Church to the midst of poverty and powerlessness. 6. A Community of Hope eation, covenant, and community, as well as the summons to 53. The biblical vision of cr discipleship, unfolds under the tension between promise and fulfillment. The whole Bible is spanned by the narratives of the first creation (Gn 1-3) and the visi on of a restored creation at the end of history (Rv 21:1-4). Just as creation tells us that God's desire was one of wholeness and unity family itself, the images of a new creation give between God and the human family and within this hope that enmity and hatred will cease and justice and peace will reign (Is 11:6; 25:1-8). Human life unfolds "between the times," the time of the first creation and that of a restored creation (Rom 8:18- of God's plan lies in the future , Christians in union with all 25). Although the ultimate realization in the image of God's people of good will are summoned to shape history creative design and in response to the reign of God proclaimed and embodied by Jesus. ity, "God's own people" (1 Pt 2:9-10), who, like 54. A Christian is a member of a new commun the people of Exodus, owes its existence to the gr acious gift of God and is summoned to respond to God's will made manifest in the life and teaching of Jesus. A Christian walks in the newness of life on; the old has passed away, the ne (Rom 6:4) and is "a new creati w has come" (2 Cor 5:17). This new creation in Christ proclaims that God's creativ e love is constantly at work, offers sinners forgiveness, and reconciles a broken world. Our ac tion on behalf of justice in our world proceeds from the conviction that, despite the power of in justice and violence, life has been fundamentally changed by the entry of the Word made flesh into human history. 55. Christian communities that commit themselves to solidarity with those suffering and to of acting which institutionalize injustice, will confrontation with those attitudes and ways themselves experience the power and presence of Christ. They will embody in their lives the values of the new creation while they labor under the old. The quest for economic and social justice will always combine hope and realism, and must be renewed by every generati on. It involves diagnosing those situations that continue to alienate the world from God's creative love as well as presenting hopeful alternatives that arise from quest arises from faith and is living in a renewed creation. This sustained by hope as it seeks to speak to a br oken world of God's justice and loving kindness. 7. A Living Tradition 56. Our reflection on U.S. economic life today must be rooted in this biblical vision of the kingdom and discipleship, but it must also be shaped by the rich and complex tradition of Catholic life and thought. Throughout its history, the Chri stian community has liste ned to the words of daily life in very different historical and cultural Scripture and sought to enact them in the midst of contexts. 57. In the first centuries, when Christians were a minority in a hostile society, they cared for one another through generous almsgi ving. In the patristic er a, the church father s repeatedly stressed that the goods of the earth were created by God for the benefit of every person without exception, and that all have special duties toward those in need. The monasteries of the Middle Ages were centers of prayer, learning, and education. They contributed greatl y to the cultural and economic life 14

24 The Christian Vision of Economic Life . In the twelfth century the new mendicant orders of the towns and cities that sprang up around them dedicated themselves to following Christ in povert y and to the proclamation of the good news to the poor. 58. These same religious communities also nurture d some of the greatest theologians of the Church's tradition, thinkers who synthesized the ca ll of Christ with the philosophical learning of Greek, Roman, Jewish, and Arab worlds. Thomas Aquinas and the other scholastics devoted virtue and justice in society. rigorous intellectual energy to clar ifying the meaning of both personal In more recent centuries Christians began to bu ild a large network of hospitals, orphanages, and schools, to serve the poor and society at large. And beginning with Leo XIII's Rerum Novarum , down to the writings and speeches of John Paul II , the popes have more systematically addressed the rapid change of modern society in a series of social encyclicals. These teachings of modern popes and of the Second Vatican Council are especial rts to respond to the ly significant for effo problems facing society today.(17) 59. We also have much to learn from the st rong emphasis in Protestant traditions on the vocation of lay people in the world and from ecume nical efforts to develop an economic ethic that addresses newly emergent problems. And in a special way our fellow Catholics in developing countries have much to teach us about the Christia n response to an ever more interdependent world. 60. Christians today are called n through active love of neighbor, by God to carry on this traditio a love that responds to the special challenges of this moment in human history. The world is wounded by sin and injustice, in need of conversion and of the transfor mation that comes when persons enter more deeply into the mystery of the death and Resurrection of Christ. The concerns of this pastoral letter are not at al l peripheral to the central myster y at the heart of the Church.(18) They are integral to the procla mation of the Gospel and part of the vocation of every Christian today.(19) B. Ethical Norms for Economic Life ape the overall Christian perspective on economic 61. These biblical and theological themes sh ethics. This perspective is also subscribed to by many who do not share Christian religious convictions. Human understanding and religious belief are comple mentary, not contradictory. For dignity is manifest in human beings are created in God's image, and their the ability to reason and understand, in their freedom to shape their own live s and the life of their communities, and in the capacity for love and friendship. In proposing ethical norms, therefore, we app eal both to Christians and to all in our pluralist societ y to show that respect and reverence owed to the dignity of every person. Intelligent reflection on the social and economic realities of today is also indispensable in the effort to respond to economic circumstances neve r envisioned in biblical times. Therefore, we amework that can guide economic lif e today in ways that are both now want to propose an ethical fr faithful to the Gospel and shaped by human experience and reason. 62. First we outline the duties all people have to each other and to the whole community: love of neighbor, the basic requirements of justice and the special oblig ation to those who are poor or vulnerable. Corresponding to these duties are the of every person; the obligation to human rights protect the dignity of all demands respect for th ese rights. Finally these duties and rights entail several priorities that should guide the economic choices of individuals, communities, and the nation as a whole. 15

25 Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy s of Social Living 1. The Responsibilitie social teaching proposes several complementary 63. Human life is life in community. Catholic e economic sphere are rooted in perspectives that show how moral responsibilities and duties in th this call to community. a. Love and Solidarity ith all one's heart and to love one's neighbor as oneself 64. The commandments to love God w model of this all-inclusive are the heart and soul of Christian morality . Jesus offers himself as the love: ". . . love one another as I have loved you" (Jn 15:12). These comman ds point out the path toward true human fulfillment and happiness. They are not arbitrary restrictions on human freedom. ighbor makes the fullness of community happen. Christians look Only active love of God and ne with each other and w forward in hope to a true communion among all persons ith God. The Spirit of solidarity among all persons until that day on which Christ labors in history to build up the bonds of tion in the Kingdom of God.(20) Indeed Ch ristian theological their union is brought to perfec God as a trinitarian unity of persons—Father, Son, and Holy reflection on the very reality of on means being united to other persons in mutual love.(21) Spirit—shows that being a pers 65. What the Bible and Christ ian tradition teach, human wisdom confirms. Centuries before Christ, the Greeks and Romans spoke of the human person as a "social animal" made for friendship, community, and public life. These insights show that human beings achieve self-realization not in isolation, but in interaction with others.(22) are an expression of Christian love more crucial in today's 66. The virtues of citizenship ues grow out of a lively sense of one's dependence interdependent world than ever before. These virt vic commitment must also guide the economic on the commonweal and obligations to it. This ci institutions of society. In the absence of a vital sense of citizenship among the businesses, corporations, labor unions, and other groups that shape economic life, society as a whole is cial friendship and civic endangered. Solidarity is another name for this so commitment that make human moral and economic life possible. 67. The Christian tradition recognizes, of course , that the fullness of love and community will be achieved only when God's work in Christ co mes to completion in the kingdom of God. This kingdom has been inaugurated among us, but God' s redeeming and transforming work is not yet complete. Within history, knowledge of how to achieve the goal of social unity is limited. Human sin continues to wound the lives of both individuals and larger social bodies and places obstacles in the path toward greater social solidarity. If efforts to protect human dignity are to be effective, they must take these limits on knowledge and love in to account. Nevertheless, sober realism should not be confused with resigned or cynical pessimism. It is a challenge to develo p a courageous hope that can sustain efforts that will sometimes be arduous and protracted. b. Justice and Participation 68. Biblical justice is the goal we strive for. This rich biblical unders tanding portrays a just society as one marked by the fullness of love, compassion, holiness, and peace. On their path 16

26 The Christian Vision of Economic Life more specific guidance on how to move toward through history, however, sinful human beings need ce is contained in the norms of the realization of this great vi sion of God's Kingdom. This guidan levels of mutual care and respect that all minimum basic or minimal justice. These norms state the rld.(23) Catholic social teaching, like much persons owe to each other in an imperfect wo philosophical reflection, distinguis hes three dimensions of basic justice: commutative justice, distributive justice, a nd social justice.(24) 69. Commutative justice calls for fundamenta l fairness in all agreements and exchanges . It demands respect for the equal human dignity of all between individuals or private social groups persons in economic transactions, contracts, or promises. For example, workers owe their employers diligent work in exchange for their wages. Employers are obligated to treat their employees as persons, paying them fair wages in exchange for the work done and establishing conditions and patterns of work that are truly human.(25) 70. of income, wealth, and power in society be Distributive justice requires that the allocation . The Second evaluated in light of its effects on persons whose basic material needs are unmet to have a share of earthly goods sufficient for oneself and one's Vatican Council stated: "The right family belongs to everyone. The fathers and doctors of the Church held this view, teaching that we are obliged to come to the relief of the poor and to do so not merely out of our superfluous ces are an absolute necessity fo goods."(26) Minimum material resour r human life. If persons are to be recognized as members of the human communit y, then the community has an obligation to help fulfill these basic needs unless an absolute scarcity of resources makes this strictly impossible. No such scarcity exists in the United States today. 71. Justice also has implications for the wa y the larger social, economic, and political institutions of so ciety are organized. Social justice implies that pe rsons have an obligation to be active and productive participant s in the life of societ duty to enable them to y and that society has a . This form of justice can also be ca participate in this way lled "contributive," for it stresses the duty of all who are able to help cr eate the goods, services, and other nonmaterial or spiritual values necessary for the welfare of the whole community. In the words of Pius XI, "It is of the very individual all that is necessary for the common essence of social justice to demand from each good."(27) Productivity is essential if the community is to have th e resources to serve the well- cannot be measured solely by its output in goods and services. being of all. Productivity, however, light of their impact on the fulfillment of basic Patterns of production must also be measured in needs, employment levels, patterns of disc rimination, environmental quality, and sense of community. 72. The meaning of social justice also in cludes a duty to organize economic and social institutions so that people can contribute to so ciety in ways that respect their freedom and the rking person to become "more a human being," dignity of their labor. Work should enable the wo more capable of acting intelligently, freely, and in ways that lead to self-realization.(28) rs of able people unemployed, underemployed, 73. Economic conditions that leave large numbe or employed in dehumanizing conditions fail to m eet the converging demands of these three forms of basic justice. Work with adequate pay for a ll who seek it is the primary means for achieving basic justice in our society. Disc income levels on the basis of rimination in job opportunities or race, sex, or other arbitrary sta ndards can never be justified.(29 ) It is a scandal that such discrimination continues in the Unit ed States today. Where the effects of past discrimination persist, society has the obligation to take positive steps to overcome the legacy of injustice. Judiciously administered affirmative action programs in education and employment can be important 17

27 Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy expressions of the drive for solidarit e heart of true justice. Social y and participation that is at th harm calls for social relief. 74. Basic justice also calls for the establishment of a floor of material well-being on which all icular obligations for those with can stand. This is a duty of the whole of society and it creates part greater resources. This duty calls into question extreme inequalities of income and consumption when so many lack basic necessities. Catholic social teaching does not maintain that a flat, arithmetical equality of income and wealth is a demand of justice, but it does challenge economic arrangements that leave large numbers of people impoverished. Further, it sees extreme inequality unity, for great disparitie s lead to deep social as a threat to the solidarity of the human comm divisions and conflict.(30) 75. This means that all of us must examine our way of living in light of the needs of the poor. Christian faith and the norms of justice impose di stinct limits on what we consume and how we of the United States can easil view material goods. The great wealth y blind us to the poverty that exists in this nation and the destitution of hundreds of millions of people in other parts of the world. Americans are challenged today as never before to develop the inner fr eedom to resist the way will the nation avoid what Paul VI called "the temptation constantly to seek more. Only in this rdevelopment," namely greed.(31) most evident form of moral unde 76. These duties call not only for individual charit able giving but also for a more systematic approach by businesses, labor unions, and the many other groups that shape economic life—as well as government. The concentration of privilege that exists today results far more from institutional relationships that distribute power and wealth inequitably than from di fferences in talent or lack of desire to work. These institutional patterns must be examined and revised if we are to meet the demands of basic justice. For example, a syst em of taxation based on assessment according to the fulfillment of these social obligations. ability to pay(32) is a prime necessity for c. Overcoming Marginaliz ation and Powerlessness 77. These fundamental duties can be summarized this way: Basic justice demands the in the life of the human co mmunity for all persons. establishment of minimum levels of participation The ultimate injustice is for a person or group to be treated actively or abandoned passively as if people this way is effectively to say that they they were nonmembers of the human race. To treat simply do not count as human beings. This can take many forms, all of which can be described as varieties of marginalization, or exclusion from so cial life.(33) This exclusion can occur in the political sphere: restriction of free speech, concentration of power in the hands of a few, or outright repression by the state. It can also take economic forms that are equally harmful. Within the United States, individuals, families, and local communities fall victim to a downward cycle of poverty generated by economic forces they are powerless to influence. The poor, the disabled, and the pattern is even more severe beyond our borders unemployed too often are simply left behind. This in the least-developed countries om fully participating in the . Whole nations are prevented fr international economic order because they lack the power to cha nge their disadvantaged position. Many people within the less developed countries are excluded from sharing in the meager resources available in their homelands by unj ust elites and unjust governments. These patterns of exclusion are created by free human beings. In this sens e they can be called forms of social sin.(34) Acquiescence in them or failure to correct them when it is possible to do so is a sinful dereliction of Christian duty. 18

28 The Christian Vision of Economic Life 78. Recent Catholic social thought regards the ta sk of overcoming these patterns of exclusion and powerlessness as a most basic demand of justic e. Stated positively, justice demands that social institutions be ordered in a way ons the ability to participate actively in the that guarantees all pers economic, political, and cultural life of society.(35) The level of pa rticipation may legitimately be greater for some persons than for others, but ther e is a basic level of access that must be made available for all. Such participation is an essentia l expression of the social nature of human beings itarian vocation. and of their commun 2. Human Rights: The Minimum Co nditions for Life in Community 79. Catholic social teaching spells out the basi c demands of justice in greater detail in the ghts are prerequisites for a dignified life in human rights of every person. These fundamental ri ss of every person as a creature formed in the community. The Bible vigorously affirms the sacredne s on covenant and community also shows that image and likeness of God. The biblical emphasi others. In Catholic social human dignity can only be realized and protected in solidarity with thought, therefore, respect for human rights and a strong sense of both personal and community responsibility are linked, not oppos ed. Vatican II described the comm on good as "the sum of those llow social groups and their indivi dual members relatively thorough conditions of social life which a illment."(36) These conditions include the rights to fulfillment of and ready access to their own fulf s, and the protection of relationships that are material needs, a guarantee of fundamental freedom essential to participation in th are bestowed on human beings by e life of society.(37) These rights God and grounded in the nature and dignity of human persons. They are not created by society. Indeed society has a duty to secure and protect them.(38) 80. The full range of human rights has been systematically outlined by John XXIII in his Peace on Earth . His discussion echoes the United encyclical Nations Universal Declaration on accepted human rights standards are strongly Human Rights and implies that internationally supported by Catholic teaching. Thes e rights include the civil and political rights to freedom of speech, worship, and assembly. A number of human rights also concern huma n welfare and are of a among these are the righ specifically economic nature. First ts to life, food, clothing, shelter, rest, medical care, and basic education. protection of human dignity. In These are indispensable to the all persons have a right to earn order to ensure these necessities, a living, which for most people in our economy is through remunerative employment. All pe rsons also have a right to security in the event of sickness, unemployment, and old age. Part icipation in the life of the community calls for the protection of this same right to employment, as well as the right to he althful working conditions, to wages, and other benefits sufficient to provide individuals and their families with a standard of living in keeping with human dignity, and to the possibility of property ownership.(39) These fundamental personal rights—civil and political as well as social and economic—state the minimum at respect human dignity, social solidarity, and justice. They are conditions for social institutions th all essential to human dignity and to the integral development of both indi viduals and society, and are thus moral issues.(40) Any denial of these rights harms persons and wounds the human community. Their serious and sustained denial vi destroys solidarity among olates individuals and persons. 81. Social and economic rights call for a mode of implementation different from that required to secure civil and political rights. Freedom of worship and of speech imply immunity from interference on the part of both other persons and the government. The rights to education, 19

29 Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy employment, and social securit y, for example, are empowerments that call for positive action by individuals and society at large. social and political 82. However, both kinds of rights call for pos itive action to create Civil and political rights active members of society. institutions that enable all persons to become life of the community, fo r example, through free allow persons to participate freely in the public speech, assembly, and the vote. In democratic countries these rights have been secured through a tional government. In seeking to long and vigorous history of crea ting the institutions of constitu and economic rights today, a similar effort to shape new economic secure the full range of social arrangements will be necessary. 83. The first step in such an effort is the development of a new cultural consensus that the basic economic conditions of human welfare are essentia l to human dignity and are due persons by right. Second, the securing of these rights will make de mands on all members of society, on all private sector institutions, and on government in our society is needed to . A concerted effort on all levels Indeed political democracy and a commitment to meet these basic demands of justice and solidarity. secure economic rights are mutually reinforcing. 84. Securing economic rights for all will be an arduous task. There are a number of precedents in U.S. history, however, which show that the work has already begun.(41) The country needs a lic sector involvement that are serious dialogue about the appropriate levels of private and pub r diversity of opinion in the Church and in U.S. needed to move forward. There is certainly room fo society on how to protect the human dignity and econom ic rights of all our brothers and sisters.(42) In our view, however, there can be no legitim ate disagreement on the basic moral objectives. 3. Moral Priorities for the Nation 85. The common good demands justice for all, th e protection of the human rights of all .(43) Making cultural and economic inst itutions more supportive of the freedom, power, and security of -range objective for the nation. Every person has a individuals and families must be a central, long ll have a responsibility to develop their talents duty to contribute to building up the commonweal. A through education. Adults must contribute to societ y through their individual vocations and talents. e maturity of Christian adulthood and responsible Parents are called to guide their children to th citizenship. Everyone has special duties toward the poor and the marginalized. Living up to these responsibilities, however, is often made difficult by the social and economic patterns of society. Schools and educational policies both public and private often serve the privileged exceedingly well, while the children of the poor are effectively abandoned as second-class citizens. Great stresses are created in family life by the way work is organized and scheduled, and by the social and cultural values communicated on te e class are barely getting by levision. Many in the lower middl and fear becoming victims of economic forces over which they have no control. 86. The obligation to provide justice for all mean s that the poor have the single most urgent economic claim on the conscience of the nation . Poverty can take many forms, spiritual as well as material. All people face struggles of the spirit as they ask deep questions about their purpose in life. Many have serious problems in marriage and fam ily life at some time in their lives, and all of us face the certain reality of sickness and death. The Gospel of Christ proclaims that God's love is stronger than all these forms of diminishment. Ma terial deprivation, however, seriously compounds such sufferings of the spirit and heart. To s ee a loved one sick is bad enough, but to have no possibility of obtaining health care is worse. To face family problems, such as the death of a spouse 20

30 The Christian Vision of Economic Life to have these lead to the loss of one's home and end with living or a divorce, can be devastating, but as ours. In developing on the streets is something no one should have to endur e in a country as rich ly intensified by extreme material deprivation. countries these human problems are even more great This form of human suffering can be reduced if our own country, so rich in resources, chooses to increase its assistance. on, therefore, we are 87. As individuals and as a nati called to make a fundamental "option for aluate social and economic activ ity from the viewpoint of the the poor."(44) The obligation to ev poor and the powerless arises from the radical comma nd to love one's neighbor as one’s self. Those who are marginalized and whose rights are denied ha ve privileged claims if society is to provide all . This obligation is deeply rooted in Christian belie justice for f. As Paul VI stated: In teaching us charity, the Gospel instructs us in the preferential respect due the poor and the special should renounce some of their rights so as to place situation they have in society: the more fortunate their goods more generously at the service of others. (45) John Paul II has described this special obligation to the poor as "a call to have a special openness with the small and the weak, those that suffer an d weep, those that are humiliated and left on the margin of society, so as to help them win their dignity as human persons and children of God."(46) 88. The prime purpose of this special commitment to the poor is to enable them to become active participants in the life of society. It is to enable persons to share in and contribute to the all common good.(47) The "option for the poor," therefore, is not an adve rsarial slogan that pits one group or class against another. Ra ther it states that the depriva tion and powerlessness of the poor wounds the whole community. The extent of their su ffering is a measure of how far we are from being a true community of persons. These wounds will be healed only by greater solidarity with the poor and among the poor themselves. stice and human rights imply that personal 89. In summary, the norms of love, basic ju onomic institutions should be govern decisions, social policies, and ec ed by several key priorities. These priorities do not specify everything that mu st be considered in economic decision making. They do indicate the most funda mental and urgent objectives. The fulfillment of the basic needs of the poor is of the highest priority . Personal decisions, 90. a. s, and power relationships must all be evaluated by their effects policies of private and public bodie on those who lack the minimum necessities of nu trition, housing, education, and health care. In particular, this principle recogni zes that meeting fundamental human needs must come before the fulfillment of desires for luxury consumer goods , for profits not conducive to the common good, and for unnecessary military hardware. 91. b. Increasing active participation in economic life by those w ho are presently excluded or vulnerable is a high social priority . The human dignity of all is realized when people gain the power to work together to improve their lives, strengthen their families, and contribute to society. Basic justice calls for more than providing help to the poor and other vulnerable members of of policies and programs that support family life and enhance society. It recognizes the priority economic participation through employment and wi despread ownership of property. It challenges privileged economic power in favor of the well-bei ng of all. It points to the need to improve the present situation of those unjustly st. And it has very important discriminated against in the pa implications for both the domestic and the international distribution of power. 92. c. The investment of wealth, talent and human energy should be specially directed to benefit those who are poor or economically insecure . Achieving a more just ec onomy in the United States 21

31 Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy and the world depends in part on increasing econ uctivity. In addition, the omic resources and prod and managed must be scrutinized in light of their effects on non- ways these resources are invested monetary values. Investment and management decisi ons have crucial moral dimensions: they create jobs or eliminate them; they can push vulnerable fa milies over the edge into poverty or give them new hope for the future; they help or hinder the building of a more equitable society. Indeed they can have either positive or negative influence on the fairness of the global economy. Therefore, this priority presents a strong moral challenge to policie s that put large amounts of talent and capital into the production of luxury consumer goods and military technology while failing to invest sufficiently in education, health, the basic infrastructure of our society, and economic sectors that produce urgently needed jobs, goods, and services. 93. d. Economic and social policies as well as the organization of the work world should be of their impact on the strengt h and stability of family life continually evaluated in light . The long- range future of this nation is intimately linked wi th the well-being of families, for the family is the ency and competition in the marketplace must be most basic form of human community.(48) Effici hedules and compensation support or threaten the moderated by greater concern for the way work sc bonds between spouses and between parents and ch ildren. Health, educati on, and social service light of how well they ensure both individual dignity and family programs should be scrutinized in integrity. 94. These priorities are not policies. They are norms that should guide the economic choices of all and shape economic institutions. They can help the United States move forward to fulfill the duties of justice and protect econom ic rights. They were strongly affirmed as implications of Catholic social teaching by Pope John Paul II during his visit to Canada in 1984: 'The needs of the poor take priority over the desire s of the rich; the rights of worker s over the maximization of profits; lled industrial expansio the preservation of the environment over uncontro n; production to meet social needs over production for military purposes." (49) There will undoubtedly be disputes about the concrete applications of these priorities in our complex world. We do not seek to foreclose ffort to move in the dire ction they indicate is discussion about them. However, we believe that an e urgently needed. 95. The economic challenge of today has many parallels with the political challenge that confronted the founders of our nation. In order to create a new form of political democracy they were compelled to develop ways of thinking and political institutions that had never existed before. Their efforts were arduous and their goals imperfec tly realized, but they la unched an experiment in the protection of civil an d political rights that has prospered through the efforts of those who came after them. We believe the time has come for a similar experiment in securing economic rights: the antees the minimum c onditions of human dignity in the economic creation of an order that guar sphere for every person Catholic moral-religious tradition, we . By drawing on the resources of the hope to make a contribution through this letter to such a new "Ame rican experiment": a new venture to secure economic justice for all. e: Persons and Institutions C. Working for Greater Justic 96. The economy of this nation has been built by the labor of human hands and minds. Its future will be forged by the ways persons direct a ll this work toward greater justice. The economy is not a machine that operates according to its own inexorable laws, and persons are not mere objects tossed about by economic forces. Pope John Paul II has stated that "human work is a key, probably 22

32 The Christian Vision of Economic Life "(50) The Pope's understanding of work includes the essential key, to the whole social question. industry, the care of virtually all forms of productive human activity: agricultu re, entrepreneurship, search. Leisure, prayer, cal care, and scientific re children, the sustaining of family life, politics, medi tral to the realization of huma n dignity and to the development celebration, and the arts are also cen of a rich cultural life. It is in their daily work, however, that persons become the subjects and creators of the economic life of the nation.(51) Thus, it is primarily through their daily labor that people make their most important co ntributions to economic justice. t, it is a principal way that people exercise 97. All work has a threefold moral significance. Firs the distinctive human capacity for self-expression and self-realization. Se cond, it is the ordinary way for human beings to fulfill their material need s. Finally, work enables people to contribute to the well-being of the larger community. Work is not only for oneself. It is for one's family, for the nation, and indeed for the benefit of the entire human family.(52) 98. These three moral concerns shou ll, no matter what their role in ld be visible in the work of a the economy: blue collar workers, managers, home-makers, politicians, and others. They should also govern the activities of the many different, overlapping communities and institutions that make up society: families, neighborhoods, small businesses, giant corporations, trade unions, the various and a host of other human levels of government, international organizations, associations including communities of faith. 99. Catholic social teaching calls for respect fo r the full richness of social life. The need for vital contributions from different human associ ations—ranging in size from the family to government—has been classically expressed in Cat holic social teaching in the "principle of subsidiarity": Just as it is gravely wrong to take from individual s what they can accomplish by their own initiative and an injustice and at the same time a grave evil and industry and give it to the community, so also it is disturbance of right order to assign to a greater and higher association what lesser and subordinate organizations can do. For every social activity ought of its very nature to furnish help ( subsidium ) to the members of the body social, and never destroy and absorb them.(53) 100. This principle guarantees institutional pluralism. It provides space for freedom, initiative, many social agents. At the same time, it insists that all these agents and creativity on the part of should work in ways that help build up the social body. Therefore, in all thei r activities these groups should be working in ways that express their dist inctive capacities for acti on, that help meet human needs, and that make true contributions to th e common good of the human community. The task of creating a more just U.S. economy is the vocation of all and depends on strengthening the virtues of l life and on all levels of institutional life.(54) public service and responsible citizenship in persona 101. Without attempting to describe the tasks of all the different groups that make up society, rights and duties of some of th e persons and institutions whose we want to point to the specific work for justice will be particularly important to the future of the U.S. economy. These rights and duties are among the concrete implications of the pr inciple of subsidiarity. Further implications will be discussed in Chapter IV of this letter. 1. Working People and Labor Unions 102. Though John Paul II’s understanding of work is a very inclusive one , it fully applies to those customarily called "workers" or "labor" in the United States. Labor has great dignity, so great 23

33 Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy that all who are able to work work derives both from God's are obligated to do so. The duty to manity and to the common good.(55) The virtue command and from a responsibility to one's own hu of industriousness is also an expression of a pers on's dignity and solidarity with others. All working on good by seeking excellence in production and people are called to contribute to the comm service. 103. Because work is this important, people have a right to employment. In return for their labor, workers have a right to wage s and other benefits sufficient to sustain life in dignity. As Pope Leo XIII stated, every working person has "the right of securing things to sustain life."(56) The way quently gives employers greater bargaining power power is distributed in a free-market economy fre than employees in the negotiation of labor contracts. Such unequa l power may press workers into a choice between an inadequate wage and no wage at all. But justice, not charity, demands certain to support a family in minimum guarantees. The provision of wages and other benefits sufficient oitation of workers. The dignity of workers also dignity is a basic necessity to prevent this expl d age or disability, unemployment compensation, requires adequate health care, security for ol eekly rest, periodic holidays fo r recreation and leisure, and healthful working conditions, w reasonable security against arbitrary dismissal.(57) These provisions are all essential if workers are to be treated as persons rather than simply as a "factor of production." 104. The Church fully supports the right of worker s to form unions or other associations to secure their rights to fair wages and working conditi ons. This is a specific application of the more general right to associate. In the words of Pope John Paul II, "The experience of history teaches that organizations of this type are an indispensable element of social life, especially in modern industrialized societies."(58) Unions may also leg itimately resort to strikes where this is the only available means to the justice owed to workers.(5 9) No one may deny the ri ght to organize without firmly oppose organized efforts, such as those attacking human dignity itself. Therefore, we isting unions and prevent wo rkers from organizing. regrettably now seen in this country, to break ex Migrant agricultural workers today are particularly in need of protection, including the right to organize and bargain collectively. U. S. labor law reform is needed to meet these problems as well as e remedies for unfair labor practices. to provide more timely and effectiv 105. Denial of the right to orga nize has been pursued ruthlessly in many countries beyond our eedom to associate, wherever they occur, for borders. We vehemently oppose violations of the fr they are an intolerable at tack on social solidarity. 106. Along with the rights of workers and uni ons go a number of impor tant responsibilities. Individual workers have obligations to their employers, and trade unions also have duties to society as a whole. Union management in ibility for the good name of the particular carries a strong respons entire union movement. Workers must use their collective power to contribute to the well-being of the whole community and should avoid pressing demands whose fulfillment would damage the common good and the rights of more vulnerable members of society.(60) It should be noted, however, that wages paid to workers are but one of the factors affecting the competitiveness of industries. Thus, it is unfair to expect unions to ma ke concessions if manage rs and shareholders do not make at least equal sacrifices. 107. Many U.S. unions have exercised leadership in the struggle for justice for minorities and women. Racial and sexual disc rimination, however, has blotted the record of some unions. Organized labor has a responsibil ity to work positively toward eliminating the injustice this discrimination has caused. 24

34 The Christian Vision of Economic Life 108. Perhaps the greatest challenge facing U.S. workers and unions today is that of developing a new vision of their role in the U.S. economy of the future. The labor movement in the United d to their rapid growth in the States stands at a crucial moment. The dynamism of the unions that le middle decades of this century has been replaced by a decrease in the percentage of U.S. workers pressures today that threaten their jobs. The who are organized. American workers are under heavy restrictions on the right to organize in many countries abroad make labor costs lower there, threaten American workers and their jobs, and lead to the exploitation of work ers in these countries. In these lls for imaginative vision and difficult circumstances, guaranteeing the rights of U.S. workers ca creative new steps, not reactive or simply defensive strategies. Fo r example, organized labor can play a very important role in he lping to provide the education a nd training needed to help keep h their own members and workers in developing workers employable. Unions can also help bot ational efforts. A vital labor move countries by increasing their intern ment will be one that looks to nse of global interdependence. the future with a deepened se 109. There are many signs that these challenges are being discussed by creative labor leaders today. Deeper and broader discussions of this sort are needed. This does not mean that only organized labor faces these new problems. All othe r sectors and institutions in the U.S. economy need similar vision and imagination. Indeed ne w forms of cooperation among labor, management, government, and other social groups are essential and wi ll be discussed in Chap ter IV of th is letter. 2. Owners and Managers 110. The economy's success in fulfilling the de mands of justice will depend on how its vast resources and wealth are manage d. Property owners, managers, and investors of financial capital must all contribute to creating a more just society. Securing economic justice depends heavily on the leadership of men and women in business and on wise investment by private enterprises. Pope ll-being which society today enjoys would be John Paul II has pointed out, "The degree of we business person, whose function consists of unthinkable without the dynamic figure of the organizing human labor and the mean s of production so as to give rise to the goods and services necessary for the prosperity and progress of the community."(61) The freedo m of entrepreneurship, business and finance should be protected, but th e accountability of this freedom to the common good and the norms of justice must be assured. 111. Persons in management face many hard choi ces each day, choices on which the well-being of many others depends. Commitment to the public good and not simply the private good of their firms is at the heart of what it means to call th eir work a vocation and not simply a career or a job. We believe that the norms and priori ties discussed in this letter can be of help as they pursue their important tasks. The duties of individuals in th e business world, however, do not exhaust the ethical firm or bank is in many cases an indicator of dimensions of business and finance. The size of a relative power. Large corporations itutions have consider able power to help and large financial inst shape economic institutions within the United St ates and throughout the world. With this power goes responsibility and the need for those who mana ge it to be held to moral and institutional accountability. 112. Business and finance have the duty to be faithfu l trustees of the resources at their disposal. No one can ever own capital resources absolutely or control their use without regard for others and society as a whole.(62) This appl ies first of all to land and natural resources. Short-term profits 25

35 Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy reaped at the cost of depletion of natural resour environment violate this ces or the pollution of the trust. 113. Resources created by human i ndustry are also held in trust. Owners and managers have nefited from the work of many others and from not created this capital on their own. They have be the local communities that support their endeavors.( 63) They are accountable to these workers and communities when making decisions. For example, reinvestment in technological innovation is l resources solely in pursuit of often crucial for the long-term viabi lity of a firm. The use of financia needed goods and services; a broader vision of short-term profits can stunt the production of managerial responsibility is needed. 114. The Catholic tradition has long defended the right to private ownership of productive portant element in a just economic policy. It enlarg property.(64) This right is an im es our capacity for creativity and initiative.(65) Small and medium -sized farms, businesses, and entrepreneurial enterprises are among the most creative and efficient sectors of our economy. They should be highly valued by the people of the United Stat p and home ownership. es, as are land ownershi Widespread distribution of property can help avoid excessive concentration of economic and political power. For these reasons ownership shoul d be made possible for a broad sector of our population.(66) 115. The common good may sometimes demand that the right to own be limited by public involvement in the planning or ownership of cer tain sectors of the economy. Support of private ownership does not mean that anyone has the ri ght to unlimited accumulation of wealth. "Private property does not constitute for anyone an absolute or unconditioned right. No one is justified in keeping for his exclusive use what he does not nee d, when others lack necessities."(67) Pope John Paul II has referred to limits pl aced on ownership by the duty to serve the common good as a "social ese limits are the basis of society's exercise of mortgage" on private property.(68) For example, th for roads or other essential public goods. The eminent domain over privately owned land needed Church's teaching opposes collectivist and statist ec onomic approaches. But it also rejects the notion that a free market automatically produces justice. Therefore, as Pope John Paul II has argued, "One itions, of certain means of production."(69) The cannot exclude the socialization, in suitable cond determination of when such conditions exist must be made on a case-by-case basis in light of the demands of the common good. 116. United States business and fi nancial enterprises can also he lp determine the justice or injustice of the world economy. They are not all-pow erful, but their real power is unquestionable. Transnational corporations and financial inst itutions can make posit ive contributions to development and global solidarity. Pope John Paul II has pointed out, however, that the desire to maximize profits and reduce the cost of natural resources and labor has often tempted these transnational enterprises to behavior that increases inequality and decreases the stability of the international order.(70) By collaborating with th ose national governments that serve their citizens justly and with intergovernmental agencies, thes e corporations can contribute to overcoming the desperate plight of many persons throughout the world. 117. Business people, managers, investors, and financiers follow a vital Christian vocation when they act responsibly and seek the comm on good. We encourage and support a renewed sense of vocation in the business comm unity. We also recognize that the way business people serve society is governed and limited by the incentives wh ich flow from tax policies, the availability of credit, and other public policies. 26

36 The Christian Vision of Economic Life 118. Businesses have a right to an institutiona l framework that does not penalize enterprises that act responsibly. Governments must provide regulations and a system of taxation which ploy disadvantaged workers, and create jobs in encourage firms to preserve the environment, em depressed areas. Managers and stoc kholders should not be torn between their responsibilities to their organizations and their responsibilities toward society as a whole. 3. Citizens and Government specific roles in the economy, everyone has 119. In addition to rights and duties related to social community. By fulfilling these duties, we obligations based simply on membership in the create a true commonwealth. Volunt eering time, talent, and money to work for greater justice is a fundamental expression of Christian love and social solidarity. All who have more than they need must come to the aid of the poor. People with prof essional or technical skills needed to enhance the lives of others have a duty to sh obligations: to work together as are them. And the poor have similar individuals and families to build up their communities by acts of social solidarity and justice. These are part of the Christian vocation. voluntary efforts to overcome injustice 120. Every citizen also has the responsibility to work to secure ju stice and human rights through an organized social response. In the words of Pius XI, "Charity will never be true charity ount... Let no one attempt with sma ll gifts of charity to exempt unless it takes justice into acc 71) The guaranteeing of basic justice for all is himself from the great duties imposed by justice."( not an optional expression of largesse but an inescapable duty for the whole of society. 121. The traditional distinction between society and the state in Catholic social teaching provides the basic framework for su ch organized public efforts. Th e church opposes all statist and totalitarian approaches to socio economic questions. Social life is richer than governmental power can encompass. All groups that compose society ha ve responsibilities to respond to the demands of duties of labor unions and business and financial justice. We have just outlined some of the itiatives by local community groups, professional enterprises. These must be supplemented by in associations, educational institutions, churches, an d synagogues. All the groups that give life to this society have important roles to play in the pursuit of economic justice. 122. For this reason, it is all the more significant that the teachings of the Church insist that man rights and securing basic justice for all government has a moral function: protecting hu .(72) Society as a whole and in a members of the commonwealth ll its diversity is responsible for le to guarantee the minimum conditions that building up the common good. But it is government's ro make this rich social activity possible, namely, 73) This obligation also human rights and justice.( falls on individual citizens as they choose their representatives and partic ipate in shaping public opinion. 123. More specifically, it is the responsibility of a ll citizens, acting thr ough their government, to assist and empower the poor, the disadva ntaged, the handicapped, and the unemployed. Government should assume a positive role in gene rating employment and establishing fair labor practices, in guaranteeing the prov ision and maintenance of the economy's infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, harbors, public means of communi cation, and transport. It should regulate trade and commerce in the interest of fairness.(74) Govern ment may levy the taxes n ecessary to meet these responsibilities, and citizens ha ve a moral obligation to pay thos e taxes. The way society responds to the needs of the poor through its p ublic policies is the li tmus test of its just ice or injustice. The 27

37 Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy political debate about these policies is the indisp ensable forum for dealing with the conflicts and t in the pursuit of a more just economy. trade-offs that will always be presen and limits of governmental intervention is the 124. The primary norm for determining the scope order to protect basic justice, "principle of subsidiarity" cited above. This principle states that, in government should undertake only those initiatives which exceed the capacity of individuals or private groups acting independently. Govern ment should not replace or destroy smaller communities and individual initiative. Rather it should help them to contribute more effectively to social well-being and supplement their activity when the demands of justice ex ceed their capacities. at governs least governs This does not mean, however, that the government th best. Rather it defines good government intervention as that which truly "h elps" other social groups contribute to the straining, and regula common good by directing, urging, re ting economic activity as "the occasion requires and necessity demands."(75) This calls for cooperation and consensus building among the diverse agents in our economi c life, including government. The precise form of government involvement in this process cannot be determined depend on an assessment of in the abstract. It will specific needs and the most effective ways to address them. D. Christian Hope a nd the Courage to Act 125. The Christian vision is based on the conviction that God has destined the human race and all creation for "a kingdom of truth and life, of holiness and grace, of justi ce, love, and peace."(76) This conviction gives Christians strong hope as they face the economic struggles of the world today. This hope is not a naive optimism that imagines that simple formulas for creating a fully just society are ready at hand. The Church's experience thro ugh history and in nati ons throughout the world eologies that claim to have today has made it wary of all id the final answer to humanity's problems.(77) Christian hope has a much stronger foundation than su ch ideologies, for it rests on the knowledge that God is at work in the worl d, "preparing a new dwelling place and a new earth where justice will abide."(78) 126. This hope stimulates and strengthens Chris tian efforts to create a more just economic order in spite of difficulties and se tbacks.(79) Christian hope is strong and resilient, for it is rooted in a faith that knows that the fu llness of life comes to those who follow Christ in the way of the Cross. In pursuit of concrete so lutions, all members of the Christian community are called to an ever finer discernment of the hur ts and opportunities in the world around them, in order to respond to the most pressing needs and thus build up a mo re just society.(80) This is a communal task calling for dialogue, experimentation, and imaginati on. It also calls for deep faith and courageous love. 28

38 The Christian Vision of Economic Life FOOTNOTES Chapter II , 219-220. See Pastoral Constitution , 63. 1 Mater et Magistra Decree on Ecumenism 2 Vatican Council II, , 22-23. 3 C. Westermann, Creation (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1974); and B. Vawter, On Genesis: A New Reading , 34. (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1977). See also Pastoral Constitution 4 St. Cyprian, On Works and Almsgiving St. Cyprian: Treatises , 36 (New York: Fathers , 25, trans. R. J. Deferrari, On the Patristic teaching of the Church, 1958), 251. Original text in Migne, Patrologia Latina, vol. 4, 620. , see C. Avila, Ownership: Early Christian Teaching (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 1983). Collection of original texts and translations. 5 T. T. Ogletree, The Use of the Bible in Christian Ethics (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1983), 47-85. 6 Though scholars debate whether the Jubilee was a histor ical institution or an ideal, its images were continually evoked to stress God's sovereignty over the land and God's concern for the poor and the oppressed (e.g., Is. 61:1-2; Lk 4:16-19). See R. North, Jesus, Liberation Sociology of the Biblical Jubilee (Rome: Biblical Institute, 1954); S. Ringe, (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1985). and the Biblical Jubilee: Images for Ethics and Christology Perspectives on Justice," in Haughey, ed., The Faith That Does Justice 7 On justice, see J. R. Donahue, "Biblical ), 68-112; and S. C. Mott, Biblical Ethics and Social Change (New York: Oxford (New York: Paulist Press, 1977 University Press, 1982). 8 See Ex 22:20-26; Dt 15:1-11; Jb 29:12-17; Pss 69:34; 72:2, 4,12-24; 82:3-4; Prv 14:21, 31; Is 3:14-15, 10:2; Jer 22:16; Zec 7:9-10. Israel: Its Life and Culture , vol. I-II (London: Oxford University Press, 1926), 337-340. 9 J. Pedersen, Theology of Justice in the World 10 J. Alfaro, Justice and Peace, 1973), 40-41; (Rome: Pontifical Commission on E. McDonagh, The Making of Disciples (Wilmington, Del.: Michael Glazier, 1982), 119. 11 Pope John Paul II has drawn on this parable to exhort us to have a "compassionate heart" to those in need in his Apostolic Letter "On the Christian Meaning of Human Suffering" ( Salvifici Doloris ) (Washington, D.C.: United States Catholic Conference, 1984), 34-39. 12 Redeemer of Man , 21. Origins 10:9 (July 31, 1980), 139; and Address at Yankee Stadium, 13 Address to Workers at Sao Paulo, 8, Origins 9:19 (October 25, 1979), 311-312. 14 J. Dupont and A. George, eds., La pauvreté évangelique (Paris: Cerf, 1971); M. Hengel, Property and Riches in the (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1974); L. Johnson, Sharing Possessions: Mandate and Symbol of Faith Early Church (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1981); D. L. Mealand, (London: SPCK, 1980); Poverty and Expectation in the Gospels Good News to the Poor: Wea (Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1981); and W. W. Pilgrim, lth and Poverty in Luke-Acts The Gospel and the Poor Stegemann, (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1984). 15 See Am 4:1-3; Jb 20:19; Sir 13:4-7; Jas 2:6; 5:1-6; Rv 18:11-19. 16 See paras. 85-91. 17 See Selected Bibliography. 18 Extraordinary Synod of Bishops (1985), (Washington, D.C.: United States Catholic The Final Report, II, A Conference, 1986). On Evangelization in the Modern World , 31. 19 Pope Paul VI, 20 Ibid., 24. 21 , 32. Pastoral Constitution 22 Ibid., 25. 23 See para. 39. 24 Josef Pieper, The Four Cardinal Virtues (Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 1966), 43-116; David Hollenbach, "Modern Catholic Teachings Con The Faith That Does cerning Justice," in John C. Haughey ed., Justice (New York: Paulist Press, 1977), 207-231. 25 Jon P. Gunnemann, "Capitalism and Commutative Justi ce," presented at the 1985 meeting of the Society of Christian Ethics, published in The Annual of the Society of Christian Ethics . 26 Pastoral Constitution , 69. 29

39 Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy Divini Redemptoris , 51. See John A. Ryan, Distributive Justice, third edition (New York: 27 Pope Pius XI, ed in several different but related ways in the Catholic Macmillan, 1942), 188. The term "social justice" has been us , vol. 72 (Washington, D.C.: ethical tradition. See William Ferree, "The Act of Social Justice," Philosophical Studies of America Press, 1943). The Catholic University 28 , 6, 9. On Human Work 29 Pastoral Constitution , 29. 30 Ibid. See below, paras. 180-182. On the Development of Peoples (1967), 19. 31 Pope Paul VI, , 132. Mater et Magistra 32 Octogesima Adveniens , 15. 33 Justice in the World, 10, 16; and 34 , 25; Justice in the World , 51; Pope John Paul II, The Gift of the Redemption, Apostolic Pastoral Constitution (Washington, D.C.: United States Catholic Conference, 1984), 16; Exhortation on Reconciliation and Penance Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Instruction on Christian Freedom and Liberation , 42, 74. 35 In the words of the 1971 Synod of Bishops: "Participation constitutes a right which is to be applied in the , 18. economic and in the social and political field," Justice in the World , 26. Pastoral Constitution 36 37 Pope John Paul II, Address at the General Assembly of the United Nations (October 2, 1979), 13, 14. 38 See Pope Pius XII, 1941 Pentecost Address, in V. Yzermans, The Major Addresses of Pope Pius XII, vol. I (St. Paul: North Central, 1961), 32-33. Peace on Earth 39 On Human Work , 18-19. Peace on Earth and other modern papal statements refer , 8-27. See explicitly to the "right to wo l economic rights. Because of the ambiguous meaning of the rk" as one of the fundamenta our society is through paid phrase in the United States, and also because the ordinary way people earn their living in employment, the NCCB has affirmed previously that the protection of human dignity demands that the right to useful employment be secured for all who are able and willing to work. See NCCB, The Economy: Human Dimensions (November 20, 1975), 5, in NCCB, Justice in the Marketplace, 470. See also Cong regation for the Doct rine of the Faith, Instruction on Christian Freedom and Liberation , 85. 40 The Development of Peoples , 14. 41 Martha H. Good, "Freedom From Want: The Failure of United States Courts to Protect Subsistence Rights," Human Rights Quarterly 6 (1984): 335-365. 42 , 43. Pastoral Constitution 43 Mater et Magistra , 65. 44 On the recent use of this term see: Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Instruction on Christian , 46-50, and 66-68; Evangelization in Latin America's Present and Future, Final Document of Freedom and Liberation (Puebla, Mexico, January 27-February 13, 1979), esp. the Third General Conference of the Latin American Episcopate Puebla and Beyond part VI, ch. 1, "A Preferential Option for the Poor," in J. Eagleson and P. Scharper, eds., (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 1979), 264-267; Donal Dorr, Option for the Poor: A Hundred Years of Vatican Social Teaching (Dublin: Gill and Macmillan/Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 1983). 45 , 23. Octogesima Adveniens 46 Address to Bishops of Brazil, 6.9, Origins 10:9 (July 31, 1980): 135. 47 Pope John Paul II, Address to Workers at Sao Paulo, 4, Origins (July 31, 1980): 138; Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Instruction on Christian Freedom and Liberation , 66-68. Pastoral Constitution 48 , 47. 49 Address on Christian Unity in a Technological Age (Toronto, September 14, 1984) in Origins 14:16 (October 4, 1984): 248. 50 On Human Work , 3. 51 Ibid., 5, 6. 52 Ibid., 6, 10. 54 , 79. The meaning of this principle is not always accurately understood. For studies of its Quadragesimo Anno interpretation in Catholic teaching see: Calvez and Perrin, Catholic Social Principles , (Milkwaukee: Bruce, 1950), 328- 342; Johannes Messner, "Freedom as a Principle of Social Order: An Essay in the Substance of Subsidiary Function," Modern Schoolman 28 (1951): 97-110; Richard E. Mulcahy, "Subsidiarity," New Catholic Encyclopedia vol. 13 (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1966), 762; Franz H. Mueller, "The Principle of Subsidiarity in Christian Tradition,'' American 30

40 The Christian Vision of Economic Life 4 (October, 1943): 144-157; Oswald von Nell-Breuning, "Zur Sozialreform, Erwagungen Catholic Sociological Review 157, Bd. 81 (1955-56): 1-11; id., "Subsidiarity," Sacramentum Mundi zum Subsidiaritatsprinzip," Stimmen der Zeit Formen und Grenzen des (New York: Herder and Herder, 1970), 6, 114-116; Arthur Fridolin Utz, Subsidiaritatsprinzips "The Principle of Subsidiarity and Contemporary (Heidelberg: F. H. Kerle Verlag, 1956); id., Natural Law," Natural Law Forum 3 (1958): 170-183; id., Grundsatze der Sozialpolitik: Solidaritat und Subsidiaritat in der Alterversicherung (Stuttgart: Sewald Verlag, 1969). , 31. 54 Pastoral Constitution , 16. 55 On Human Work Rerum Novarum 56 , 62; see also 9. 57 On Human Work , 19. 58 Ibid., 20. 59 Ibid. 60 Ibid. L'Osservatore 61 Pope John Paul II, Address to Business Men and Economic Managers (Milan, May 22, 1983) in , weekly edition in English (June 20, 1983): 9:1. Romano Summa Theologiae , IIa, IIae, q. 66. 62 Thomas Aquinas, 63 As Pope John Paul II has stated: "This gigantic and powerful instrument—the whole collection of the means of production that in a sense are considered synonymous with 'capital'—is the result of work and bears the signs of human labor." On Human Work , 12. Rerum Novarum 64 , 10, 15, and 36. 65 , 109. Mater et Magistra Rerum Novarum , 65, 66; 66 , 115. Mater et Magistra 67 On the Development of Peoples , 23. (Puebla, Mexico, January 28, 1979) in John 68 Pope John Paul II, Opening Address at the Puebla Conference Eagleson and Philip Scharper, eds. Peubla and Beyond , 67. On Human Work 69 , 14. 70 Ibid., 17. 71 Divini Redemptoris , 49. 72 Peace on Earth , 60-62. 73 Vatican Council II, Declaration on Religious Freedom ( Dignitatis Humanae ), 6. See John Courtney Murray, The Problem of Religious Freedom , Woodstock Papers, no. 7 (Westminster, Md.: Newman Press, 1965). Peace on Earth , 63-64; Quadragesimo Anno 74 Rerum Novarum Pope Leo XIII set down the basic norm , 80. In which determines when government intervention is called for: "I f, therefore, any injury has been done to or threatens either the common good or the interests of individual groups, which injury cannot in any other way be repaired or prevented, it is necessary for public authority to intervene" Rerum Novarum , 52. Pope John XXIII synthesized the tervention this way: 'The State, whose purpose is the Church's understanding of the function of governmental in realization of the common good in the temporal order, can by no means disregard the economic activity of its citizens. Indeed it should be present to promote in suitable manner the production of a sufficient supply of material goods,... of workers,... see to it that contribute actively to the betterment of the living conditions labor agreements are entered into according to the norms of justice and equity, and that in the environment of work the dignity of the human being is not violated either in body or spirit," Mater et Magistra , 20-21. 75 Quadragesimo Anno , 80. The Sacramentary of the Roman Missal . 76 Preface for the Feast of Christ the King, 77 Octogesima Adveniens , 26-35. 78 Pastoral Constitution , 39. 79 Ibid. 80 Octogesima Adveniens , 42. 31

41 Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy CHAPTER III SELECTED ECONOMIC POLICY ISSUES to all who seek to be faithful to the Gospel 127. We have outlined this moral vision as a guide in their daily economic decisions and as a challenge to transform the economic arrangements that nts embody and communicate social values, and shape our lives and our world. These arrangeme and in their effects. Ch ristians, like all people, therefore have moral significance both in themselves activity serve human must be concerned about how the concrete out comes of their economic d practices of the economy support or dignity; they must assess the extent to which the structures an undermine their moral vision. 128. Such an assessment of economic practices, structures, and outcomes leads to a variety of conclusions. Some people argue th at an unfettered free-market economy, where owners, workers, and consumers pursue their enlightened self-interest, possible liberty, material provides the greatest welfare, and equity. The policy imp rvene in the economy as little as lication of this view is to inte any attempt to improve it possible because it is such a delicate mechanism that is likely to have the opposite effect. Others argue that the capitalist sy stem is inherently inequitable and therefore contradictory to the demands of Christian moral ity, for it is based on acquisitiveness, competition, and self-centered individualism. They assert that capitalism is fatally flawed and must be replaced private property, the pr by a radically different system that abolishes ofit motive, and the free market. 129. Catholic social teaching has traditionally rej ected these ideological extremes because they are likely to produce results contrary to human dignity and economic justi ce.(1) Starting with the assumption that the economy has been created by human beings and can be changed by them, the Church works for improvement in a variety of ec onomic and political contexts; but it is not the Church's role to create or promote a specific new economic system. Rather, the Church must encourage all reforms that hold out hope of tr ansforming our economic arrangements into a fuller systemic realization of the Christian moral vision . The Church must also stand ready to challenge practices and institutions that impede or carry us farther aw ay from realizing this vision. 130. In short, the Church is not bound to any pa rticular economic, political, or social system; it al organization and will continue to do so, has lived with many forms of economic and soci evaluating each according to moral and ethical prin ciples: What is the impact of the system on people? Does it support or threaten human dignity? 131. In this document we offer reflections on the pa rticular reality that is the U.S. economy. In doing so we are aware of the need to address not only indi vidual issues within the economy but also the larger question of the economic system itself. Our approach in analyzing the U.S. economy is pragmatic and evolutionary in na ture. We live in a "mixed" economic system which is the product of a long history of reform and adjustment. It is in the spirit of this American pragmatic tradition of reform that we seek to continue the search for a more just economy. Our nation has many assets to employ in this quest—vast economic, technologic al, and human resources, and a system of representative government th rough which we can all help shape economic decisions. 132. Although we have chosen in this chapter to focus primarily on some aspects of the economy where we think reforms are realistically possible, we also emphasize that Catholic social teaching bears directly on larger questions conc erning the economic system itself and the values it 32

42 Selected Economic Policy Issues expresses—questions that vision of economic justice.(2) For cannot be ignored in the Catholic emphasis on maximizing profits than on meeting example, does our economic system place more e its benefits equitably or human needs and fostering human dignity? Does our economy distribut hands of a few? Does it promote excessive does it concentrate power and resources in the materialism and individualism? Does it adequately protect the environment and the nation's natural resources? Does it direct too many scarce resources to military purposes? These and other basic l norms we have outlined. questions about the economy need to be scrutinize d in light of the ethica We urge continuing exploration of these systemic questions in a more comprehensive way than this document permits. 133. We have selected the following subjects to address here: 1) employment, 2) poverty, 3) e global economy. These topi cs were chosen because food and agriculture, and 4) the U.S. role in th of their relevance to both the ec onomic "signs of the times" and the ethical norms of our tradition. Each exemplifies U.S. policies that are basic to the establishment of economic justice in the nation and the world, and each illustrates r action from Catholic social key moral principles and norms fo teaching. Our treatment of these issues does not c onstitute a comprehensive analysis of the U.S. economy. We emphasize that these are il lustrative topics intended to exemplify the interaction of to encompass all such values and issues. This moral values and economic issues in our day, not reform. Rather, it is an attempt to foster a document is not a technical blueprint for economic serious moral analysis leadi ng to a more just economy. 134. In focusing on some of the central economic issues and choices in American life in the light of moral principles, we are aware that the movement from principle to policy is complex and difficult and that although moral va lues are essential in determining public po licies, they do not dictate specific solutions. They must interact wi th empirical data, with historical, social, and nds on limited resources. The soundness of our political realities, and with competing dema ce of our principles, but also on the accuracy prudential judgments depends not only on the moral for of our information and the validity of our assumptions. 135. Our judgments and recommendations on speci fic economic issues, therefore, do not carry statements of universal moral the same moral authority as our principles and formal church teaching; the former are related to circumstances which can change or which can be interpreted differently by people of good will. We expect and welcome debate on our specific policy recommendations. Nevertheless, we want our statements on these matters to be given serious consideration by Catholics as they determine wh ether their own moral judgments are consistent with the Gospel and with Catholic social t eaching. We believe that differences on complex economic questions should be expressed in a sp irit of mutual respect and open dialogue.(3) A. Employment 136. Full employment is the foundation of a ju st economy. The most urgent priority for domestic economic policy is the creation of new jobs with adequate pay and decent working conditions. We must make it possible as a natio n for everyone who is seeking a job to find employment within a reasonable amount of time. Our emphasis on this goal is based on the conviction that human work has a special dignity and is a key to achieving justice in society.(4) 137. Employment is a basic right, a right which protects the freedom of all to participate in the economic life of society. It is a right which flows from the principles of justice which we have outlined above. Corresponding to this right is the duty on the part of society to ensure that the right 33

43 Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy is protected. The importance of this at for most people employment is right is evident in the fact th illment of material needs. Since so few in our crucial to self-realization and essential to the fulf economy own productive property, employment also forms the first lin e of defense against poverty. contribute to the common enable more people to Jobs benefit society as well as workers, for they good and to the productivity required for a healthy economy. 1. The Scope and Effects of Unemployment and deep-seated problem in our nation. There 138. Joblessness is becoming a more widespread are about 8 million people in the United States looking for a job who cannot find one. They of the labor force.(5) The official rate of unemployment does not include represent about 7 percent those who have given up looking for work or thos e who are working part-time, but want to work e added, it becomes clear that about one-eighth of the workforce full-time. When these categories ar is directly affected by unemployment.(6) Th e severity of the unemployment problem is compounded by the fact that almost three-fourths of those who are unemployed receive no unemployment insurance benefits.(7) 139. In recent years there has been a steady tr end toward higher and higher levels of unemployment, even in good times. Between 1950 and 1980 the annual unemployment rate exceeded current levels only during the recessi on years of 1975 and 1976. Periods of economic recovery during these three decades brought unemp loyment rates down to 3 and 4 percent. Since 1979, however, the rate has genera lly been above 7 percent. 140. Who are the unemployed? Blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, young adults, female heads of households, and those who are inad equately educated are represen ted disproportionately among the ranks of the unemployed. The unemployment rate am ong minorities is almost twice as high as the rate among whites. For female heads of househol ds the unemployment rate is over 10 percent. Among black teenagers, unemployment reaches the sca ndalous rate of more than one in three.(8) 141. The severe human costs of high unemploym ent levels become vividly clear when we examine the impact of joblessness on human lives and human dignity. It is a deep conviction of American culture that work is central to the freedom and well-being of people. The unemployed a productive role in so ciety. Each day they are often come to feel they are worthless and without your talent. We don't need your initiative. We unemployed our society tells them: We don't need don't need you. Unemployment takes a terrible toll on the health and stabili ty of both individuals and families. It gives rise to family quarrels, greater consumption of alcohol, child abuse, spouse abuse, divorce, and higher rates of infant mortality.(9) People w ho are unemployed often feel that society blames them for being unemployed. Very few people survive long periods of unemployment without some psychological damage even if they have sufficient funds to meet their needs.(10) At the extreme, the strains of job loss ma y drive individuals to suicide.(11) 142. In addition to the terrible waste of indi vidual talent and creativity, unemployment also people pay little or no taxes, thus lowering the revenues for city, harms society at large. Jobless state and the federal governments. At the same time, rising unemployment requires greater expenditures for unemployment compensation, food st amps, welfare, and other assistance. It is estimated that in 1986, for every on e percentage point increase in the rate of unemployment, there will be roughly a $40 billion increase in the federal deficit.(12) The costs to society are also evident in the rise in crime associated with joblessness. The Federal Bureau of Prisons reports that increases in unemployment have been followed by increases in the prison population. Other studies have 34

44 Selected Economic Policy Issues shown links between the rate of homicides, robberies, larcenies, joblessness and the frequency of narcotics arrests, and youth crimes.(13) 143. Our own experiences with the individuals, families, and communities that suffer the mply cannot afford to on that as a nation we si burdens of unemployment compel us to the convicti employed. We cannot afford the economic costs, have millions of able-bodied men and women un the social dislocation, and the enormous human tragedies caused by unemployment. In the end, however, what we can least afford is the assault on human dignity that occurs when millions are left without adequate employment. Therefore, we cannot but conclude that current levels of a moral obligation to work for policies that unemployment are intolerable, and they impose on us will reduce joblessness. 2. Unemployment in a Changing Economy 144. The structure of the U.S. economy is under going a transformation that affects both the quantity and the quality of jobs in our nation. The size and makeup of the work force, for example, er of reasons, there are now more people in the have changed markedly in recent years. For a numb y. Population growth has pushed up the supply of labor market than ever before in our histor potential workers. In addition, larg e numbers of women have entered the labor force in order to put their talents and educatio n to greater use and out of economi c necessity. Many families need two salaries if they are to live in a decently human fashion. Female-headed households often depend heavily on the mother's income to stay off the welf are rolls. Immigrants seeking a better existence in the United States have also added to the size of the labor force. These demographic changes, however, cannot fully explain the hi gher levels of unemployment. 145. Technological changes are also having drama tic impacts on the employment picture in the United States. Advancing technology brings many benefits, but it can also bring social and economic costs, including the downgrading and displacement of workers. High technology and our nation's industries and occupations. In the advanced automation are changing the very face of bs were in service occupations . By 1990, servic e industries are 1970s, about 90 percent of all new jo expected to employ 72 percent of th e labor force. Much of the job growth in the 1980s is expected ng, high-turnover jobs such as sales, clerical, janitorial, and food to be in traditionally low-payi eer ladders leading to hi gher skilled, higher paying service.(14) Too often these jobs do not have car jobs. Thus the changing industrial and occupational mix in the U.S. economy could result in a shift toward lower paying and lower skilled jobs. 146. Increased competition in world markets is another factor influencing the rate of joblessness in our nation. Many other exporting nations have ac quired and developed up-to-the- minute technology, enabling them to increase produc ined with very low tivity dramatically. Comb wages in many nations, this has allowed them to gain a larger share of the U.S. market to cut into U.S. export markets. At the same time many corporat ions have closed plants in the United States and moved their capital, technology, and jobs to foreign affiliates. 147. Discrimination in employment is one of th e causes for high rates of joblessness and low pay among racial minorities and women. Beyond the normal problems of locating a job, blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, immigrants, and other minorities bear this added burden of discrimination. Discrimination against women is compounded by the lack of adequate child care services and by the unwillingness of many employers to provide flexible employment or extend fringe benefits to part-time employees. 35

45 Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy an effect on the number of jobs in our economy. 148. High levels of defense spending also have The Challenge of Peace , we noted the serious ec In our pastoral letter, onomic distortions caused by care for the poor and the has on society's ability to the arms race and the disastrous effects that it terconnection is very ev ident. The hundreds of needy. Employment is one area in which this in billions of dollars spent by our nation each year on the arms race create a massive drain on the U.S. economy as well as a very serious "brain drain." Such spending on the arms race means a net loss in defense industries are less labor-intensive than the number of jobs created in the economy, because other major sectors of the economy.(15) Moreover, nearly half of the American scientific and engineering force works in defens e-related programs, and over 60 percent of the entire federal ilitary.(16) We must ask whether our nation will research and development budget goes to the m ever be able to modernize our economy and achie ve full employment if we continue to devote so ources to defense-related activities. much of our financial and human res 149. These are some of the factors that have driven up the rate of unemployment in recent years. Although our economy has created more than 20 million new jobs since 1970,(17) there continues to be a chronic and gr owing job shortage. In the face of this challenge, our nation's ly and rapidly enough. For example, failure to economic institutions have failed to adapt adequate ons, inadequate educat ion and training for new invest sufficiently in certain industries and regi workers, and insufficient mechanisms to assist workers displaced by new technology have added to the unemployment problem. 150. Generating an adequate number of jobs in our economy is a complex task in view of the changing and diverse nature of the problem. It involves numerous trade-offs and substantial costs. Nevertheless, it is not an impossible task. Achiev ing the goal of full employment may require major adjustments and creative strategies that go beyond the limits of existing policies and institutions, but it is a task we must undertake. 3. Guidelines for Action 151. We recommend that the nation make a major new commitment to achieve full employment. At present there is nominal endors ement of the full employment ideal, but no firm were now being made to commitment to bringing it about. If every effort create the jobs required, one might argue that the situation today is the best we can do. But su ch is not the case. The country is doing far less than it might to generate employment. 152. Over the last decade, economists, policy makers, and the general public have shown greater willingness to tolerate unemployment levels of 6 to 7 percent or even more.(18) Although we recognize the complexities and trade-offs invol ved in reducing unemployment, we believe that 6 to 7 percent unemployment is neither inevitable nor acceptable. While a zero unemployment rate is clearly impossible in an economy wh ere people are constantly entering the job market and others are changing jobs, appropriate policies and conc erted private and public action can improve the situation considerably, if we have the will to do so. No economy can be considered truly healthy when so many millions of people ar e denied jobs by forces outside their control. The acceptance of present unemployment rates would have been unthi nkable twenty years ago. It should be regarded as intolerable today. 153. We must first establish a consensus that everyone has a right to employment. Then the burden of securing full employment falls on all of us—policy makers, business, labor, and the general public—to create and implement the mechanis ms to protect that right. We must work for 36

46 Selected Economic Policy Issues the formation of a new national consensus and mob will at all levels to ilize the necessary political make the goal of full employment a reality. 154. Expanding employment in our nation will requi re significant steps in both the private and ative and entrepreneurship are t action between them. Private initi public sectors, as well as join ivate sector accounts for about 80 pe rcent of the jobs in the United essential to this task, for the pr viable strategy for employment States, and most new jobs are be ing created there.(19) Thus a with private firms and small generation must assume that a la rge part of the solution will be businesses. At the same time, it must be r ecognized that government has a prominent and indispensable role to play in addressing the pr oblem of unemployment. The market alone will not sure that this goal automatically produce full employment. Therefore, the government must act to en licies, by job creation programs and by other is achieved by coordinating general economic po appropriate policy measures. require a careful mix of general economic 155. Effective action against unemployment will policies and targeted employment programs. Take n together, these polic ies and programs should have full employment as their No. 1 goal. a. General Econ omic Policies 156. The general or macroeconomic policies of th e federal government are essential tools for encouraging the steady economic growth that pro duces more and better jobs in the economy. We recommend that the fiscal and monetary policies of the nation—such as fe deral spending, tax and interest-rate policies—should be coordinated so as to achiev e the goal of full employment. 157. General economic policies that attempt to expand employment must also deal with the ry pressures resulting from such expansionary problem of inflation.(20) The risk of inflationa however, must not be to abandon the goal of full policies is very real. Our response to this risk, employment, but to develop effective polic ies that keep inflation under control. 158. While economic growth is an important and necessary condition for the reduction of In order to work for full unemployment, it is not sufficient in and of itself. employment and restrain inflation, it is also necessary to adopt more specific programs and polic ies targeted toward particular aspects of the unemployment problem.(21) b. Targeted Employment Programs 159. (1) We recommend expansion of j ob-training and apprenticeship programs in the private sector administered and supported jointly by business, labor unions, and government. Any comprehensive employment strategy must include sy loping the technical and stematic means of deve professional skills needed for a dynamic and produc tive economy. Investment in a skilled work force is a prerequisite both for sustaining econo mic growth and achieving greater justice in the United States. The obligation to c ontribute to this investment fa lls on both the private and public sectors. Today business, labor, and government n eed to coordinate their efforts and pool their resources to promote a substantia l increase in the number of appr enticeship programs and to expand on-the-job training programs. We recommend a national commitment to eradicate illiteracy and to provide people with skills necessary to adapt to the changing demands of employment. 37

47 Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy nge, continuing education and training are even 160. With the rapid pace of technological cha have a stake in providing it, for skilled workers more important today than in the past. Businesses are essential to increased productivity. Labor unions should support it, for their members are ue to develop their skills and increasingly vulnerable to displacem ent and job loss unless they contin their flexibility on the job. Local communities have a stake as well, for their economic well-being will suffer serious harm if local industries fail to develop and are forced to shut down. t closings is prevention. Prevention depends not 161. The best medicine for the disease of plan only on sustained capital investment to enhance pr oductivity through advanced technology, but also on the training and retraining of workers within th e private sector. In circ umstances where plants are forced to shut down, manage ment, labor unions, and local communities must see to it that ms will be even more urgently needed in these workers are not simply cast aside. Retraining progra circumstances. 162. (2) job creation programs targeted on the We recommend increased support for direct . Such programs can take the form of direct long-term unemployed and those with special needs ies for employment in the private sector. Both public service employment and also of public subsid approaches would provide jobs for those with lo w skills less expensively and with less inflation of the economy.(22) The cost of providing jobs must also be than would general stimulation balanced against the savings realized by the government through decreased welfare and unemployment insurance expenditures and increased revenues from the taxes paid by the newly employed. 163. Government funds, if used effectively, can al so stimulate private sector jobs for the long- term unemployed and for groups particularly hard to employ. Experiments need to be conducted on the precise ways such subsidies would most succe ssfully attract business participation and ensure the generation of permanent jobs. 164. These job generation efforts should aim specifically at bringing marginalized persons into in the number of jobs rather than displacing the the labor force. They should produce a net increase another. They should also be aimed at long- burden of unemployment from one group of persons to term jobs and should include the necessary supportiv e services to assist th e unemployed in finding and keeping jobs. 165. Jobs that are created should produce goods and services needed and valued by society. It is both good common sense and sound economics to create jobs directly for the purpose of meeting society's unmet needs. Across the nation, in every state and locality, there is ample evidence of social needs that are going unmet. Many of our parks and recreation facilities are in need of maintenance and repair. Many of the nation's bridge s and highways are in disrepair. We have a desperate need for more low-income housing. Our e care services, senior ducational systems, day- citizen services and other community programs need to be expanded. These and many other elements of our national life are areas of unmet need. At the same time, there are more than 8 million Americans looking for productive and useful work. Surely we have the capacity to match these needs by giving Americans who are anxious to work a chance for productive employment in jobs that are waiting to be done. The overriding moral value of enabli ng jobless persons to achieve a new sense of dignity and personal worth through employment also strongly recommends these programs. 166. These job creation efforts w ill require increased collaborati on and fresh alliances between the private and public sectors at all levels. Ther e are already a number of examples of how such 38

48 Selected Economic Policy Issues efforts can be successful.(23) We believe that the potential of these kinds of partnerships has only begun to be tapped. c. Examining New Strategies we believe there is also a need for careful 167. In addition to the actions suggested above, ith alternative approaches that might improve both the quantity examination and experimentation w and quality of jobs. More extens ive use of job sharing, flex time, and a reduced work week are among the topics that should continue to be on the agenda of public discussion. Consideration should also be given to the possibility of lim iting or abolishing compulsory overtime work. Similarly, methods might be examined to discoura ge the overuse of part-time workers, who do not receive fringe benefits.(24) New strategies also ne ed to be explored in the area of education and training for the hard-to-employ, displaced workers, the handicapped, and others with special needs. equity between men and women, as well as upgrading Particular attention is needed to achieve pay nation should renew its the pay scale and working conditions of traditionally low-paying jobs. The ies that assist those who have been excluded by efforts to develop effective affirmative action polic the past. New strategies for im proving job placement services at racial or sexual discrimination in the national and local levels are also needed. Improving occupationa l safety is another important increased attention. concern that deserves 168. Much greater attention also needs to be de voted to the long-term ta sk of converting some of the nation's military producti on to more peaceful and social ly productive purposes. The nation needs to seek more effective ways to retool i ndustries, to retrain workers, and to provide the necessary adjustment assistance for communities affected by this kind of economic conversion. 169. These are among the avenues that need to be for just employment explored in the search an work and in the right policies. A belief in the inherent dignity of hum to employment should motivate people in all sectors of society to ca rry on that search in new and creative ways. B. Poverty 170. More than 33 million Americans—about one in every seven people in our nation—are poor by the government's official definition. The norms of human dign ity and the preferential option for the poor compel us to confront this issue with a sense of urgency. Deal ing with poverty is not a luxury to which our nation can atte nd when it finds the time and res ources. Rather, it is a moral imperative of the highest priority. 171. Of particular concern is the fact that pove rty has increased dramatically during the last decade. Since 1973 the poverty rate has increased by nearly a third. Although the recent recovery has brought a slight decline in the rate, it remains at a level that is higher th an at almost any other time during the last two decades.(25) 172. As pastors we have seen firsthand the f aces of poverty in our midst. Homeless people roam city streets in tattered clot hing and sleep in doorways or on s ubway grates at night. Many of these are former mental patients released from state hospitals. Thousands stand in line at soup kitchens because they have no other way of feedi ng themselves. Millions of children are so poorly nourished that their physical and me ntal development are seriously harmed.(26) We have also seen the growing economic hardship and insecurity ex perienced by moderate-income Americans when 39

49 Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy they lose their jobs and their income due to fo rces beyond their control. These are alarming signs moral and human challenge: to fashion a society and trends. They pose for our nation an urgent where no one goes without the basic material nece ssities required for human dignity and growth. different ways. It can 173. Poverty can be described and defined in many include spiritual as well as material poverty. Likewise, its meaning changes depending on the hi storical, social, and economic setting. Poverty in our time is different fr om the more severe deprivation experienced in today. Our discussion of poverty in ates or in Third World nations earlier centuries in the United St this chapter is set with in the context of present-day American society. By poverty, we are referring s required for a decent life. here to the lack of sufficient material resource We use the government's official definition of poverty, alt hough we recognize its limits.(27) 1. Characteristics of Poverty 174. Poverty is not an isolated problem exis ting solely among a small number of anonymous people in our central cities. Nor is it limited to a dependent underclass or to specific groups in the xperienced at some time by many people in different walks of life United States. It is a condition e and in different circumstances. Many poor people are working, but at wages insufficient to lift them out of poverty.(28) Others are unable to work and therefore dependent on outside sources of support. Still others are on the e dge of poverty; although not officially defined as poor, they are economically insecure and at risk of falling into poverty. 175. While many of the poor manage to escape fr om beneath the official poverty line, others remain poor for extended periods of time. Long-term poverty is concentrated among racial minorities and families headed by women. It is also more likely to be found in rural areas and in the st are either working at wages South.(29) Of the long-term poor, mo too low to bring them above the poverty line or are retired, disabled or parents of preschool childre n. Generally they are not in a position to work more hour s than they do now.(30) a. Children in Poverty 176. Poverty strikes some groups more severely than others. Perhaps most distressing is the growing number of children who are poor. Today one in every f our American children under the age of six and one in every tw o black children under six are p oor. The number of children in poverty rose by four million ove r the decade between 1973 and 1983, w ith the result that there are now more poor children in the United States than at any time since 1965.(31) The problem is particularly severe among female-headed families, where more than half of all children are poor. Two-thirds of black children and nearly three-qu arters of Hispanic children in such families are poor. 177. Very many poor families with children receive no government assistance, have no health insurance, and cannot pay medical bills. Less than half are immunized against preventable diseases such as diphtheria and polio.(32) Poor children are disadvantaged even before birth; their mothers' lack of access to high quality prenatal care leaves th em at much greater risk of premature birth, low birth weight, physical and ment al impairment, and death be fore their first birthday. 40

50 Selected Economic Policy Issues b. Women and Poverty 178. The past twenty years have witnessed a dramatic increase in the number of women in poverty.(33) This includes women raising children alone as well as women with inadequate income an one-third of all female-headed families are following divorce, widowhood, or retirement. More th poor. Among minority families headed by women the poverty rate is over 50 percent.(34) 179. Wage discrimination against women is a majo r factor behind these high rates of poverty. Many women are employed but remain poor becaus e their wages are too low. Women who work of what men earn. Thus, being outside their homes full-time a nd year-round earn only 61 percent employed full time is not by itself a remedy fo r poverty among women. Hundreds of thousands of women hold full-time jobs but are still poor. Sixty percent of all women work in only ten areas with low pay and limited chances of occupations, and most new jobs for women are in ges, salaries, job clas advancement. Many women suffer discrimination in wa sifications, promotions, in jobs that have lo and other areas.(35) As a result, they find themselves w status, little security, weak unionization, and few fringe benefits. Such discrimination is immoral and efforts must be made to overcome the effects of sexism in our society. 180. Women's responsibilities for child rearing are another important factor to be considered. e in recent decades, women continue to have Despite the many changes in marriage and family lif primary responsibility in this area. When marriag es break up, mothers typica lly take custody of the children and bear the major fina ncial responsibility for supporti ng them. Women of ten anticipate that they will leave the labor for ce to have and raise children, and often make job and career choices accordingly. In other cases they are not hired or promoted to higher paying jobs because of their ies. In addition, most divorced or childrearing responsibilit separated mothers do not get child support payments. In 1983, less than half of women raising children alone had been awarded child support, and of those only half received the full amount to which they were entitled. Even fewer women (14 percent) are awarded alimony, and many older women are left in poverty after a lifetime of homemaking and childrearing.(36) Such women have great difficulty finding jobs and securing health insurance. c. Racial Minorities and Poverty 181. Most poor people in our nati on are white, but the rates of poverty in our nation are highest among those who have borne the brunt of racial pr ejudice and discrimination. For example, blacks are about three times more likely to be poor th an whites. While one out of every nine white Americans is poor, one of every three blacks and Native Americans and more than one of every four Hispanics are poor.(37) While some memb ers of minority communities have successfully indicates that black fa mily income is only 55 moved up the economic ladder, the overall picture percent of white family income, reflecting an income gap that is wider now than at any time in the last fifteen years.(38) 182. Despite the gains which have been made toward racial equality, prejudice and discrimination in our own time as well as the eff ects of past discriminatio n continue to exclude many members of racial minorities from the mainstream of American life. Discrimination practices in labor markets, in educational systems, and in electoral politics create major obstacles for blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, and other racial minor ities in their struggle to improve their economic status.(39) Such discrimination is evidence of the continuing presence of racism in our midst. In our 41

51 Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy pastoral letter , we have described this racism as a sin—"a sin that divides Brothers and Sisters to Us the human family, blots out the image of God among specific members of that family, and violates the fundamental human dignity of those called to be children of th e same Father."(40) 2. Economic Inequality erica is an understanding of the degree of 183. Important to our discussion of poverty in Am economic inequality in our nation. Our economy is marked by a very uneven distribution of wealth and income. For example, it is estimated that 28 per cent of the total net wealth is held by the richest 2 percent of families in the United States. The top ten percent holds 57 percent of the net estate are excluded, th e concentration of owne rship of "financial wealth.(41) If homes and other real wealth" is even more glaring. In 1983, 54 percent of the total net financial assets were held by 2 come is over $125,000. Eighty-six percent of these percent of all families, those whose annual in assets were held by the top 10 percent of all families.(42) 184. Although disparities in the dist treme, they are still striking. ribution of income are less ex In 1984 the bottom 20 percent of Amer ican families received only 4.7 pe rcent of the total income in percent, the lowest shar e on record in U.S. the nation, and the bottom 40 percent received only 15.7 ifth received 42.9 percent of the total income, the highest share history. In contrast, the top one-f since 1948.(43) These figures are only partial and very imperfect meas ures of the inequality in our society.(44) However, they do suggest that the degree of inequality is quite large. In comparison with other industrialized nations, the United States is among the more unequal in terms of income distribution.(45) Moreover, the gap between rich and poor in our nation has increased during the last decade.(46) These inequities are of par ticular concern because they reflect the uneven y. They suggest that the level of distribution of power in our societ participation in the political and social spheres is also very uneven. 185. Catholic social teaching does not require absolute equality in the distribution of income and wealth. Some degree of inequality is not only acceptable, but may be considered desirable for r incentives and the provis economic and social reasons, such as the need fo ion of greater rewards for greater risks. However, unequal distribution should be evaluated in terms of several moral principles we have enunciated: the priority of meeting the basic needs of the poor and the importance of increasing the level of participation by all members of society in the economic life of the nation. These norms establish a strong presump tion against extreme inequality of income and wealth as long as there are poor, hungry, and homeless people in our mi dst. They also suggest that extreme inequalities are detrimental to the developm ent of social solidarity and community. In view ies of income and wealth in the United States to be unacceptable. of these norms we find the disparit Justice requires that all members political, and social reforms that of our society work for economic, will decrease these inequities. 3. Guidelines for Action 186. Our recommendations for dealing with pove rty in the United States build upon several moral principles that were explor ed in chapter two of this letter . The themes of human dignity and the preferential option for the poor are at the heart of our approach; they compel us to confront the issue of poverty with a real sense of urgency. 42

52 Selected Economic Policy Issues that alleviating poverty will require fundamental 187. The principle of social solidarity suggests etuate glaring inequalities and cut off millions of changes in social and economic structures that perp citizens from full participation in the economic and social life of the nation. The process of change onomic status, into one community. all citizens, whatever their ec should be one that draws together 188. The principle of participation leads us to the conviction that the most appropriate and fundamental solutions to poverty will be those that enable people to take control of their own lives. tails a more profound kind For poverty is not merely the lack of adequate financial resources. It en and political life of society and rticipation in the economic, social, of deprivation, a denial of full pa an inability to influence decisions that affect one's life. It mean s being powerless in a way that assaults not only one's pocketbook but also one's fundamental human dignity. Therefore, we should e poor to help themselves thr seek solutions that enable th ough such means as employment. Paternalistic programs which do too much for and are to be avoided. too little with the poor 189. The responsibility for allevi lls upon all members of society. ating the plight of the poor fa As individuals, all citizens have a duty to assist the poor through acts of charity and personal commitment. But private charity and voluntary action are not sufficient. We also carry out our and empower the poor by working collectively through government to moral responsibility to assist establish just and effective public policies. 190. Although the task of alleviating povert y is complex and demanding, we should be encouraged by examples of our nation's past succe sses in this area. Our hi story shows that we can reduce poverty. During the 1960s and ear ly 1970s, the official poverty rate was cut in half, due not only to a healthy economy, but also to public po licy decisions that impr oved the nation's income transfer programs. It is estimated, for example, that in the late 1970s federal benefit programs were lifting out of poverty about 70 pe ve otherwise been poor.(47) rcent of those who would ha 191. During the last twenty-five years, the Soci al Security Program has dramatically reduced poverty among the elderly.(48) In addition, in 19 83 it lifted out of poverty almost 1.5 million children of retired, deceased, and disabled worker s.(49) Medicare has enhan ced the life expectancy and Medicaid has reduced infant mortality and and health status of elderly and disabled people, greatly improved access to health care for the poor.(50) 192. These and other successful social welf are programs are evidence of our nation's commitment to social justice a nd a decent life for everyone. They also indicate that we have the capacity to design programs that are effective a nd provide necessary assist ance to the needy in a way that respects their dignity. Yet it is evident that not all social welfare programs have been successful. Some have been ill-de signed, ineffective, and wasteful. No one has been more aware of d the con-sequences. Where programs have failed, this than the poor themselves, who have suffere we should discard them, learn from our mistakes, and fashion a better alternative. Where programs nd build on those successes. In every instance, have succeeded, we should acknowledge that fact a we must summon a new creativity and commitment to eradicate poverty in our midst and to guarantee all Americans thei r right to share in th e blessings of our land. 193. Before discussing directions for reform in public policy, we must speak frankly about misunderstandings and stereotypes of the poor. For example, a common misconception is that most of the poor are racial minorities. In fact, about two-thirds of the poor ar e white.(51) It is also frequently suggested that people stay on welfare for many years, do not work, could work if they wanted to, and have children who will be on welfare. In fact, reliable data shows that these are not accurate descriptions of most people who are poor and on welfare. Over a decade people move on 43

53 Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy and off welfare, and less than 1 percent obtain these 2) Nor is it true that benefits for all 10 years.(5 the rolls of Aid to Families with Dependent Children are filled with able-bodied adults who could but will not work. The majority of AFDC recipien ts are young children and their mothers who must remain at home.(53) These mothers are also accused of having more children so that they can raise 70 percent of AFDC families ha their allowances. The truth is that ve only one or two children and that there is little financial advantage in having anot her. In a given year, almost half of all families who receive AFDC include an adult who has worked full or part time.(54) Research has consistently demonstrated that people who are poor have the same strong desire to work that characterizes the rest of the population.(55) 194. We ask everyone to refrain from actions, words or attitudes that stigmatize the poor, that exaggerate the benefits received by the poor, and that inflate the amount of fraud in welfare payments.(56) These are symptoms of a punitive att itude towards the poor. The belief persists in this country that the poor are poor by choice or through laziness, that anyone can escape poverty by r for people to avoid work. Thus, public attitudes hard work, and that welfare programs make it easie toward programs for the poor tend to differ sh arply from attitudes about other benefits and for individuals and corp orations are taken for programs. Some of the most generous subsidies contrast programs for the poor are granted and are not even called be nefits but entitlements.(57) In called handouts and receive a great ttention even though they account for less than deal of critical a 10 percent of the federal budget.(58) which we believe are necessary for a national 195. We now wish to propose several elements strategy to deal with poverty. We offer this not as a comprehensiv e list but as an invitation for others to join the discussion and take up the task of fighting poverty. 196. a. The first line of attack against poverty must be to build and sustain a healthy economy that provides employment opportunities at ju st wages for all adults who are able to work . Poverty is intimately linked to the issu e of employment. Millions are poor because they have lost their jobs or gh levels of unemployment during the last decade because their wages are too low. The persistent hi ecent years.(59) Expanded employment especially are a major reason why poverty has increased in r in the private sector would promote human dignit y, increase social solid arity, and promote self- reliance of the poor. It should also reduce the need for welfare pr ograms and generate the income nd cannot work: elderly, disabled, and chronically necessary to support those who remain in need a d also be recognized th ill people, and single parents of young children. It shoul at the persistence of ssed purchasing power of the poor contributes to poverty harms the larger society because the depre stagnation in the economy. the periodic cycles of 197. In recent years the minimum wage has not b een adjusted to keep pace with inflation. Its real value has declined by 24 percent since 1981. We believe Congress sh ould raise the minimum wage in order to restore some of the pur chasing power it has lost due to inflation. 198. While job creation and just wages are ma jor elements of a national strategy against poverty, they are clearly not enough. Other more specific policies are necessary to remedy the institutional causes of poverty and to provide for those who cannot work. 199. b. Vigorous action should be undert aken to remove barriers to full and equal employment for women and minorities cked into jobs with low pay, poor . Too many women and minorities are lo working conditions and little opportun ity for career advancement. So long as we tolerate a situation in which people can work full time and still be below the poverty line— a situation common among those earning the minimum wage—too many will continue to be counted among the "working 44

54 Selected Economic Policy Issues poor." Concerted efforts must be made through jo b training, affirmative action, and other means to lucrative jobs. Action should also be taken to assist those now prevented from obtaining more upgrade poorer paying jobs and to correct wage di fferentials that discriminate unjustly against women. Self-help efforts among the poor should be 200. c. fostered by programs and policies in both the private and public sectors . We believe that an effective way to attack poverty is through programs that are small in scale, locally based, a nd oriented toward empowering the poor to become self-sufficient. Corporations, pr ivate organizations, and the public sector can provide seed money, and organizational support for self-h elp projects in a wide variety training and technical assistance, of areas such as low-income housing, credit uni ons, worker cooperatives, legal assistance, and that enable the poor to neighborhood and community organizations. Efforts participate in the ownership and control of economic re sources are especially important. 201. Poor people must be empowered to take charge of their own futures and become rsonal motivation and init iative, combined with responsible for their own economic advancement. Pe social reform, are necessary elements to assist individuals in escaping poverty. By taking advantage of opportunities for education, employment, and tr aining, and by working together for change, the in our economic, social, and political life. poor can help themselves to be full participants The tax system should be continually eval uated in terms of its impact on the poor . This 202. d. evaluation should be guided by three principles. First, the tax system should raise adequate revenues to pay for the public needs of society, especially to meet the basic needs of the poor. Secondly, the tax system should be structured according to the principle of progressivity, so that those with relatively greater financial resource s pay a higher rate of taxation. Th e inclusion of such a principle in tax policies is an important means of reducing the severe inequalities of income and wealth in the e fact that most sales taxes and payroll taxes nation. Action should be taken to reduce or offset th place a disproportionate burden on those with lower incomes. Thirdly, families below the official poverty line should not be required to pay income taxes. Such families are, by definition, without e basic necessities of life. They should not be forced to bear the sufficient resources to purchase th additional burden of paying income taxes.(60) All of society should make a much str 203. e. education for the poor . Any onger commitment to long-term solution to poverty in this country must education, public and pay serious attention to private, in school and out of school. Lack of adequa te education, especially in the inner-city setting, prevents many poor people from escaping poverty. In addition, illiteracy, a probl em that affects tens of millions of Americans, condemns many to jobl essness or chronically low wages. Moreover, it litical and spiritual life excludes them in many ways from sharing in the po of the community.(61) rlessness and marginali zation, the importance of Since poverty is fundamentally a problem of powe ing it cannot be overemphasized. education as a means of overcom 204. Working to improve education in our society is an investment in the future, an investment that should include both the public and private sc hool systems. Our Catholic schools have the well- merited reputation of providing excellent educati on, especially for the poor. Catholic inner-city schools provide an otherwise unavailable educati onal alternative for many poor families. They provide one effective vehicle fo r disadvantaged students to lift themselves out of poverty. We commend the work of all those who make great sacrif ices to maintain these inner-city schools. We pledge ourselves to continue the effort to make Catholic schools models of education for the poor. 45

55 Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy 205. We also wish to affirm our strong support for the public school system in the United public schools, for th at is where the large States. There can be no substitute for quality education in lic social teaching, basic majority of all students, including Catholic studen ts, are educated. In Catho our society a strong publ ic school system is education is a fundamental human right.(62) In essential if we are to protect that right and allow everyone to develop to their maximum ability. Therefore, we strongly endorse the recent cal ls for improvements in and support for public the rewards for the teaching lity of teaching and enhancing education, including improving the qua profession.(63) At all levels of education we need to improve the ability of our institutions to provide the personal and technical skills that are n ecessary for participation not only in today's labor market but in contemporary society. Policies and programs at all levels should support the strength and stability of families, 206. f. affected by the economy especially those adversely . As a nation, we need to examine all aspects of Employment practices, hea economic life and assess their effects on families. lth insurance policies, income-security programs, tax policy and service programs can either support or undermine the abilities of families to fulfill their roles in nur turing children and caring for infirm and dependent family members. 207. We affirm the principle enunciated by John Pa ul II that society's in stitutions and policies should be structured so that mothers of young ch ildren are not forced by economic necessity to leave their children for jobs outside the home.(6 4) The nation's social welfare and tax policies should support parents' decisions to care for th eir own children and should recognize the work of parents in the home because of its value for the family and for society. 208. For those children whose parents do work outs ide the home, there is a serious shortage of affordable, quality day care. Employers, governments, and private agencies need to improve both the availability and the quality of child care services. Likewise, families could be assisted by the e policies that would assure job security for new parents. establishment of parental leav 209. The high rate of divorce and the alarming ex tent of teen age pregnancies in our nation are distressing signs of the breakdown of traditional family values. These destructive trends are present in all sectors of society: rich and poor; white, black, and brown; urban and rural. However, for the poor they tend to be more visible and to ha ve more damaging economic consequences. These ered by a revived sense of persona destructive trends must be count l responsibility and commitment to family values. 210. g. A thorough reform of the nation's welfa re and income-support programs should be undertaken. For millions of poor Americans the only economic safety net is the public welfare system. The programs that make up this system s hould serve the needs of the poor in a manner that respects their dignity and provide s adequate support. In our judgment the present welfare system does not adequately meet these criteria.(65) We believe that several improvements can and should e programs. However, in the long run, more far- be made within the framework of existing welfar reaching reforms that go beyond the present sy stem will be necessar y. Among the immediate improvements that could be made are the following: 211. (1) Public assistance programs should be designe d to assist recipients, wherever possible, to become self-sufficient through gainful employment . Individuals should not be worse off economically when they get jobs than when they rely only on public assistan ce. Under current rules, people who give up welfare benefits to work in low-paying jobs soon lose their Medicaid benefits. To help recipients become self -sufficient and reduce dependency on welfare, public assistance 46

56 Selected Economic Policy Issues programs should work in tandem with job creatio n programs that include provisions for training, ecipients of public assistance should be fairly counseling, placement, and child care. Jobs for r ciated with gainful compensated so that workers receive the full be nefits and status asso employment. Welfare programs should provide recipients with adequate levels of support 212. (2) . This support should cover basic needs in food, clothing, shelter, health care, and other essentials. At present only 4 percent of poor fa e benefits to lift milies with children receive enough cash welfar AFDC and food stamps typically come to less them out of poverty.(66) The combined benefits of than three-fourths of the official poverty level.(67) Those receiving publi c assistance should not e end of the month, homelessness, sending children to school in face the prospect of hunger at th ragged clothing, or inadequate medical care. 213. (3) onal minimum benefit level for public National eligibility standards and a nati . Currently welfare eligibility and benefits vary greatly assistance programs should be established earnings had a maximum AFDC benefit of $96 a among states. In 1985 a family of three with no month in Mississippi and $558 a month in Vermont.( 68) To remedy these great disparities, which st of living, and to assure a floor of benefits for are far larger than the regional differences in the co all needy people, our nation should establish and fund national minimum benefit levels and eligibility standards in cash assistance programs.(69) The benefits s hould also be indexed to reflect changes in the cost of living. These changes refl ect standards that our na tion has already put in place for aged and disabled people and veterans. Is it not possible to do the same for the children and their mothers who re ceive public assistance? 214. (4) Welfare programs should be available to tw . o-parent as well as single-parent families to families headed by single parents, usually Most states now limit participation in AFDC extended to two-parent families so that fathers women.(70) The coverage of this program should be who are unemployed or poorly paid do not have to leave home in orde r for their children to receive toward strengthening two-parent families who are help. Such a change would be a significant step poor. Conclusion 215. The search for a more human and effective way to deal with povert y should not be limited to short-term reform measures. The agenda for pub lic debate should also in clude serious discussion of more fundamental alternatives urge that proposals for a family to the existing welfare system. We allowance or a children's allowance be carefully examined as a possible vehicle for ensuring a floor of income support for all children and their families .(71) Special attention is needed to develop new efforts that are targeted on long-term poverty, whic h has proven to be least responsive to traditional social welfare programs. The "negative income tax" is another major policy proposal that deserves continued discussion.(72) These a nd other proposals should be part of a creative and ongoing effort to fashion a system of income support for the poor that protects their basi c dignity and provides the necessary assistance in a just and effective manner. 47

57 Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy C. Food and Agriculture 216. The fundamental test of an economy is its ab ility to meet the essential human needs of this generation and future generations in an equitabl e fashion. Food, water, and energy are essential to life; their abundance in the United States has tend ed to make us complacent. But these goods—the foundation of God's gift of life—are too crucial to be taken for gran ted. God reminded the people of Israel that "the land is mine; for you are st rangers and guests with me" (Lv 25:23, RSV). Our Christian faith calls us to contemplate God's creative and sustaining action and to measure our own et human needs. While Catholic using the earth's resources to me collaboration with the Creator in social teaching on the care of the environment and the management of natural resources is still in the process of development, a Chri stian moral perspective clearly gives weight and urgency to their use in meeting human needs. essing than the nation's food system. We are 217. No aspect of this concern is more pr concerned that this food system numbers of farm bankruptcies and may be in jeopardy as increasing of land ownership.(73) We foreclosures result in increased concentration are likewise concerned about the increasing damage to na tural resources resulting from ma ny modern agricultural practices: opsoil, and the pollution of the over-consumption of water, the depletion of t land and water. Finally, we are concerned about the stark reality of wo rld hunger in spite of food surpluses. Our food production system is clearly in need of evaluation and reform. 1. U.S. Agriculture—Past and Present 218. The current crisis has to be assessed in the context of the vast dive rsity of U.S. crops and climates. For example, subsistence farming in Appalachia, where so much of the land is absentee- owned and where coal mining and timber production ar e the major economic interests, has little in oduction in the central Midwest or common with family farm grain pr ranching in the Great Plains. Likewise, large-scale irrigated fruit, vegetable, and cotton pr oduction in the central valley of dairy farming in Wisconsin or tobacco and peanut production in California is very different from the Southeast. 219. Two aspects of the complex history of U.S. land and food policy are particularly relevant. First, the United States entered this centur y with the ownership of productive land widely distributed. The Pre-emption Acts of the early 19th century and the Homestead Act of 1862 were an important part of that history. Wide distributi on of ownership was reflected in the number and decentralization of farms in the United States, a eak in the 1930s. The U.S. trend that reached its p farm system included nearly 7 million owner-operators in 1935.(74) By 1983 the number of U.S. farms had declined to 2.4 million, and only about 3 percent of the population was engaged in producing food.(75) Second, U.S. food policy has had a parallel goal of keeping the consumer cost of food low. As a result, Americans today spend le ss of their disposable income on food than people in any other industrialized country.(76) 220. These outcomes require scrutiny. First of al l, the loss of farms and the exodus of farmers from the land have led to the loss of a valued way of life, the decline of many rural communities, and the increased concentration of land owne rship. Second, while low food prices benefit consumers, who are left with additional income to spend on other goods, these pricing policies put pressure on farmers to increase output and hold down costs. This has led them to replace human labor with cheaper energy, expand farm size to employ new technologies favoring larger scale 48

58 Selected Economic Policy Issues operations, neglect soil and wa ter conservation, underpay farm workers, and oppose farmworker unionization.(77) 221. Today nearly half of U.S. food production comes from the 4 percent of farms with over onger operated by families, but by these largest farms are no l $200,000 in gross sales.(78) Many of s of all farms, accounti ng for only 13 percent of managers hired by owners.(79) Nearly three-quarter total farm sales, are comparativel y small. They are often run by pa rt-time farmers who derive most of their income from off-farm employment. The remaining 39 percent of sales comes from the 24 percent of farms grossing between $40,000 and $200,000. It is this group of farmers, located throughout the country and caught up in the long-term trend toward fewer and larger farms, who are at the center of the present farm crisis. 222. During the 1970s new markets for farm expo rts created additional opportunities for profit and accelerated the industria already stimulated by new petroleum- lization of agriculture, a process based, large-scale technologies that allowed farm ers to cultivate many more acres. Federal tax policies and farm programs fostered this tendency by encouraging too much capital investment in agriculture and overemphasizing large scale technologies.(80) The re ter production, sults were grea increases in the value of farmland and heavy bor rowing to finance expansion. In the 1980s, with export markets shrinking and commodity prices and land values declining, many farmers cannot repay their loans. 223. Their situation has been aggr ors: persistent high interest avated by certain "external" fact rates that make it difficult to re pay or refinance loans, the hea vy debt burden of food-deficient countries, the high value of the dollar, dramatically higher U.S. budget and trade deficits, and generally reduced international trade following the worldwide recession of the early 1980s. The United States is unlikely to recapture its former sh are of the world food and fi ber trade, and it is not necessarily an appropriate goal to attempt to do so. Exports are not the solution to U.S. farm problems. Past emphasis on production for overseas markets has contributed to the strain on our natural resource base and has al so undermined the efforts of many less developed countries in attaining self-reliance in feeding their own people. In attempting to correct these abuses, however, we must not reduce our capability to help meet emergency food needs. 224. Some farmers face financial insolvency beca use of their own eagerness to take advantage opportunities. This was partly in response to the of what appeared to be favorable investment incentives and the advice of economists and financiers. encouragement of public policy Nevertheless, farmers should share some responsibility for th eir current plight. 225. Four other aspects of the current situation concern us: fi rst, land ownership is becoming further concentrated as units now facing bankruptcy are added to existing farms and non-farm corporations. Diversity of ownership and widespread participation are declining in this sector of the economy as they have in others. and the investment of family Since differing scales of operation labor have been important for American farm productivity, the increas ing concentration of ownership in almost all sectors of agriculture points to an important change in that system.(81) Of particular concern is the grow ing phenomenon of "vertical integration" whereby companies gain control of two or three of the links in the food chain: as supp liers of farm inputs, landowners, and food processors. This increased concentrati on could also adversel y affect food prices. 226. Second, diversity and richness in American society are lost as farm people leave the land and rural communities decay. It is not just a quest ion of coping with additional unemployment and a 49

59 Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy need for retraining and relocation. ing opportunities for employment It is also a matter of maintain economic sectors and cultural contexts. and human development in a variety of world standard for food production, it has not 227. Third, although the United States has set a one-quarter of our most productive ral resource base.(82) On nearly done so without cost to our natu cropland, topsoil erosion currently exceeds the rate at which it can be replaced by natural processes. Similarly, underground water supp lies are being depleted in areas where food production depends , considered now almost on irrigation. Furthermore, chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides essential to today's agriculture, pollute the air, water, and soil, and pose countless health hazards. Finally, where the expansion of re sidential, industrial, and recreat ional areas makes it rewarding to do so, vast acreages of prime farmland, three mi llion acres per year by some estimates, are converted to non-farm use. The continuation of these practices, reflecting short-term investment nd other landowners, constitu interests or immediate income needs of farmers a tes a danger to future food production because these practices are not sustainable. 228. Farm owners and farmworkers are the im mediate stewards of the natural resources required to produce the food that is necessary to su stain life. These resources must be understood as gifts of a generous God. When they are seen in that light and when the human race is perceived as a single moral community, we gain a sense of the subs tantial responsibility we bear as a nation for the world food system. Meeting human needs today and in the future demands an increased sense of stewardship and conservation from owners, managers , and regulators of all resources, especially those required for the production of food. 229. Fourth, the situation of raci al minorities in the U.S. food system is a matter of special pastoral concern. They are largely excluded from significant part icipation in the farm economy. Despite the agrarian heritage of so many Hisp anics, for example, they operate only a minute fraction of America's farms.(83) Black-owned farm s, at one time a significant resource for black at a dramatic rate in re participation in the economy, have been disappearing cent years,(84) a trend that the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has warned "can only serve to further diminish the stake of blacks in the social order and reinforce their skepticism regarding the concept of equality under the law."(85) 230. It is largely as hired farm laborers rather than farm owners that minorities participate in the farm economy. Along with many white farm work ers, they are by and large the poorest paid and least benefited of any laboring group in the country. Moreover, they are not as well protected by law and public policy as other groups of workers; and th eir efforts to organize and bargain collectively have been systematically and vehemently resiste d, usually by farmers themselves. Migratory field workers are particularly susceptible to exploi tation. This is reflected not only in their characteristically low wages but in the low standards of housing, h ealth care, and education made available to these workers and their families.(86) 2. Guidelines for Action 231. We are convinced that current trends in the food sector are not in the best in terests of the United States or of the global community. The dec line in the number of moderate-sized farms, increased concentration of land ownership, and the mounting evidence of poor resource conservation raise serious questions of morality and public policy. As pastors, we cannot remain silent while thousands of farm families caught in the present crisis lose their homes, their land, and their way of life. We approach this situation, how ever, aware that it reflect s longer-term conditions 50

60 Selected Economic Policy Issues that carry consequences for the food system as a whole and for the resources essential for food production. 232. While much of the change needed must co me from the cooperative efforts of farmers public policy in the protection of there is an important role for themselves, we strongly believe that in the preservation of natural resources. We dispersed ownership through family farms, as well as suggest three guidelines for both pub lic policy and private efforts ai med at shaping the future of American agriculture. 233. First, moderate-sized farms operated by fa milies on a full-time basis should be preserved . Similarly, small farms and part -time farming, particularly in and their economic viability protected areas close to cities, should be encouraged. As we have noted elsewhere in th is pastoral letter,(87) there is genuine social and economic value in main taining a wide distribution in the ownership of productive property. The democratization of decisi on making and control of the land resulting from wide distribution of farm ownership are prot ation of power and a ections against concentr iveness to public need in this consequent possible loss of respons crucial sector of the economy.(88) Moreover, when those who work in an enterprise also share in its ownership, their active commitment to the purpose of the endeavor and th eir participation in it are enhanced. Ownership provides incentives for diligence and is a source of an increased sense that the work being done is gnificant in a sector as vital to one's own. This is particularly si human well-being as agriculture. 234. Furthermore, diversity in farm owners hip tends to prevent excessive consumer dependence on business decisions that seek maxi mum return on invested capital, thereby making the food system overly susceptible to fluctuations in the capital markets. This is particularly relevant in the case of non-farm corporations that enter agriculture in search of high profits. If the return drops substantially or if it appe ars that better profits can be ob tained by investing elsewhere, the rations without regard to the impact on the corporation may cut back or even close down ope community or on the food system in general. In similar circumstances full-time farmers, with a heavy personal investment in their farms and strong ties to the community, are likely to persevere in the hope of better times. Family farms also make significant economic and so cial contributions to suppliers and other local merchants, and their the life of rural communities.(89) They support farm farms support the tax base needed to pay fo r roads, schools, and other vital services. 235. This rural interdependence has value beyond the rural comm unity itself. Both Catholic have emphasized the import ance of maintaining the social teaching and the traditions of our country rich plurality of social institutions that enhan ces personal freedom and increases the opportunity for participation in community life. Movement toward a smaller number of very large farms employing wage workers would be a movement away from this By contributing to the institutional pluralism. vitality of rural communities, full-time residential fa rmers enrich the social and political life of the nation as a whole. Cities, too, benefit soundly a nd economically from a vibrant rural economy based on family farms. Because of out-migration of farm and rural people, too much of this enriching diversity has been lost already. 236. Second, the opportunity to engage in farming should be protected as a valuable form of work y is already too high, any unnecessary increase in . At a time when unemployment in the countr the number of unemployed people, however small, should be avoided. Farm unemployment leads to further rural unemployment as rural businesses lo se their customers and close down. The loss of people from the land also entails the loss of expertise in farm and land management and creates a need for retraining and relocating an other group of displaced workers. 51

61 Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy rm and having to leave the land can be tragic. 237. Losing any job is painful, but losing one's fa and a way of life. Once farmers sell their land and It often means the sacrifice of a family heritage their equipment, their move is practically irrevers ible. The costs of returning are so great that few who leave ever come back. Even the small current agriculture attracted by influx of people into lower land values will not balan ce this loss. Society should help those who would and could continue effectively in farming. our natural resources should be 238. Third, effective stewardship of a central consideration in any . Such stewardship is a contri bution to the common good that is measures regarding U.S. agriculture difficult to assess in purely economic terms, because it involves the care of resources entrusted to us by our Creator for the benefit of all. Responsibilit y for the stewardship of these resources rests on s make their living from the use of this endowment, however, they society as a whole. Since farmer of soil and water. They fulfill this obligation by bear a particular obligation to be caring stewards onservation programs, using farm pr participating in soil and water c actices that enhance the quality of all resources and maintaining prime farm la nd in food production rather than letting it be converted to non-farm uses. 3. Policies and Actions 239. The human suffering involved in the present situation and the long-term structural changes occurring in this sector call for responsible actio lf-century of federal n by the whole society. A ha farm-price supports, subsidized credit, production-or iented research and ex tension services, and special tax policies for farmers have made the fede ral government a central factor in almost every aspect of American agriculture.(90) No redirecti on of current trends can occur without giving close attention to these programs. 240. A prime consideration in al nd food-assistance policies should be the l agricultural trade a security. This means continuing and increasing contribution our nation can make to global food or using food as a weapon in international food aid without depressing Third World markets politics. It also means not subsidizing exports in ways that lead to trade wars and instability in international food markets. 241. We offer the following suggestions for govern mental action with regard to the farm and food sector of the economy. 242. a. The current crisis calls for special measures to assist otherwise viable family farms that are threatened with bankruptcy or foreclosure. Operators of such farm s should have access to emergency credit, reduced rates of interest a nd programs of debt restructuring. Rural lending institutions facing problems because of nonpaymen t or slow payment of large farm loans should also have access to temporary assistance. Farmer s, their families, and their communities will gain ures aimed at keeping these people on the land. immediately from these and other short-term meas 243. b. Established federal farm programs, whos roportionately to the e benefits now go disp largest farmers,(91) should be reassessed for their long-term effects on the st ructure of agriculture. Income-support programs that help farmers accordi ng to the amount of food they produce or the number of acres they farm should be subject to limits that ensure a fair income to all farm families and should restrict participation to producers who genuinely need such in come assistance. There should also be a strict ceiling on price-support payments which assi st farmers in times of falling prices so that benefits go to farms of moderate or small size. To succeed in redirecting the benefits 52

62 Selected Economic Policy Issues of these programs while holding down costs to the public, consideration should be given to a production control programs.(92) broader application of mandatory w encourage the growth of large farms, attract 244. c. We favor reform of tax policies which no nd inequitably benefit large and investments into agriculture by non farmers seeking tax shelters, a well-financed farming operations.(93) Offsetti ng non farm income with farm "losses" has encouraged high-income investors to acquire farm assets with no intention of depending on them faster than its actual for a living as family farmers must. The ability to de preciate capital equipment r tax rates on capital gains have ealthy investors and farmers. Lowe decline in value has benefited w stimulated farm expansion and larger investment s in energy-intensive equipment and technologies as substitutes for labor. Changes in estate tax laws have consistently favored the largest estates. All ated that reassessment of thes of these results have demonstr e and similar tax provisions is needed.(94) We continue, moreover, to suppor t a progressive land tax on farm acreage to discourage the accumulation of excessively large holdings.(95) grow in size in order to make the most 245. d. Although it is often assumed that farms must efficient and productive use of s ophisticated and costly technologi es, numerous studies have shown of the technical cost e fficiencies available in that medium-sized commercial farms achieve most research and extension re sources of the federal agriculture today. We therefore recommend that the government and the nation's land-grant colleges and universities be redirected toward improving the productivity of small and medium-sized farms.(96) 246. e. Since soil and water conservation, like ot her efforts to protect the environment, are contributions to the good of the w hole society, it is appropriate for th e public to bear a share of the cost of these practices and to set standards for environmenta l protection. Government should, ving practices and distribute the costs of this therefore, encourage farmers to adopt more conser conservation more broadly. 247. f. Justice demands that worker guarantees and protections such as minimum wages and benefits and unemployment compensation be extende d to hired farmworkers on the same basis as for additional farmworker housing, health care, and all other workers. There is also an urgent need educational assistance. 4. Solidarity in the Farm Community 248. While there is much that government can and should do to change the direction of farm and food policy in this country, that change in direction also depends upon the cooperation and good will of farmers. The incentives in our farm syst em to take risks, to expand farm size, and to speculate in farmland values are great. Hence, farmers and ranchers must weigh these incentives against the values of family, ru ral community, care of the soil, and a food system responsive to e nation and the world. The ever-present temptation long-term as well as short-term food needs of th to individualism and greed must be countered by a determined movement toward solidarity in the farm community. Farmers should approach farmi ng in a cooperative way, working with other farmers in the purchase of supplies and equipmen t and in the marketing of produce. It is not necessary for every farmer to be in competition ag ainst every other farmer. Such cooperation can be extended to the role farmers play through their various general and community organizations in shaping and implementing governmental farm and food policies.(97) Likewise, it is possible to seek out and adopt technologies that reduce costs and enhance productiv ity without demanding increases in farm size. New technologies are not forced on farmers; they are chosen by farmers themselves. 53

63 Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy 249. Fanners also must end their opposition to farmworker unionization efforts. Farmworkers r choice and to bargain collectively for just wages have a legitimate right to belong to unions of thei value of labor in agriculture, a and working conditions. In pursuing th at right they are protecting the vote their own labor to their farm operations. protection that also applies to farmers who de 5. Conclusion the larger economy of the nation and the world. 250. The U.S. food system is an integral part of rural and urban intere sts in resolving the As such this integral role nece ssitates the cooperation of challenges and problems facing agriculture. The very nature of agricultural enterprise and the pt it a highly competitive sector with a widely family farm traditions of this country have ke dispersed ownership of the most fundamental input to production, the land. That competitive, diverse structure, proven to be a dependable source of nutritious and affordable food for this e world, is now threatened. The food necessary for country and millions of people in other parts of th ce that food, and the way of life of the people who life, the land and water resources needed to produ make the land productive are at risk. Catholic social and ethical trad itions attribute moral esent situation should refl ect a sensitivity to that significance to each of these. Our response to the pr ates will play its appr opriate role in meeting moral significance, a determination that the United St global food needs, and a commitment to bequeath to future generations an enhanced natural environment and the same ready access to the necessi ties of life that most of us enjoy today. To farmers and farm workers who are suffering because of the farm crisis, we promise our solidarity, prayers, counseling, and the other spiritu al resources of our Catholic faith. D. The U.S. Economy and the De veloping Nations: Complexity, Challenge, and Choices 1. The Complexity of Economic Rela tions in an Interdependent World 251. The global economy is made up of national economies of industrialized countries of the North and the developing countries of the South, together with the network of economic relations framework in which the solidarity we seek on a national level finds that link them. It constitutes the its international expression. Traditional Cathol ic teaching on this global interdependence emphasizes the dignity of the human person, the unity of the human family, the universally beneficial purpose of the goods of the earth, the need to pursue the inte rnational common good, as well as the common good of each na tion, and the imperative of dist ributive justice. The United States plays a leading role in the international economic system, and we are concerned that U.S. relations with all nations—Canada, Japan, European countries and our other trading partners, as ng and be marked by fairness and mutual respect. well as the socialist countries—reflect this teachi 252. Nevertheless, without in the least discounting the importance of these linkages, our emphasis on the preferential option for the poor moves us to focus our attention mainly on U.S. relations with the Third World. Unless conscious steps are taken toward protecting human dignity and fostering human solidarity in these relationshi ps, we can look forward to increased conflict and inequity, threatening the fragile nations far more than our own economies of these relatively poor relatively strong one. Moreover, equity requires, even as the fact of interd ependence becomes more apparent, that the quality of interdependence be improved, in or der to eliminate "the scandal of the 54

64 Selected Economic Policy Issues shocking inequality between the d divided ever more sharply rich and the poor"(98) in a worl between them. dependent on the 253. Developing countries, moreover, of ten perceive themselves more as ational system itself, as well the United States, because the intern industrialized countries, especially s them. The prices at which they must sell their as the way the United States acts in it, subordinate commodity exports and purchase their food and manufactured imports, the rates of interest they ndards of economic behavior of must pay and the terms they must meet to borrow money, the sta rnal aid, etc., are essentially determined by the foreign investors, the amounts and conditions of exte industrialized world. Moreover, their traditional cultures are increasingly susceptible to the aggressive cultural penetration of Northern (especially U.S.) a dvertising and media programming. junior partners at best. The developing countries are 254. The basic tenets of church teaching take on a new moral urgency as we deepen our ntaged large numbers of people and na understanding of how disadva tions are in this interdependent world. Half the world's people, nearly 2.5 billio n, live in countries wher e the annual per capita income is $400 or less.(99) At least 800 million pe ople in those countries live in absolute poverty, y."(100) Nearly half a "beneath any rational definition of human decenc billion are chronically hungry, despite abundant harvests worldwide.(101) Fifteen out of every 100 children born in those countries die before the age of 5, and millions of the survivors are physically or mentally stunted. No aggregate of individual examples could portray adequately the appalling inequities within those desperately poor countries and between them and our own. And their misery is not the inevitable result of the march of history or of the intrinsic na ture of particular cultures, but of human decisions and human institutions. sets of actors warrant particular attention: 255. On the international economic scene three main individual nations, which retain great influenc e; multilateral institutions, which channel money, power, ideas, and influence; transnational corpora tions and banks, which have grown dramatically able ways trade unions, in number, size, scope and strength since World War II.(102) In less identifi agencies and regional groupings of nations also popular movements, private relief and development affect the global economy. The inte rplay among all of them sets the context for policy choices that determine whether genuine interdependence is prom oted or the dependence of the disadvantaged is deepened. 256. In this arena, where fact a nd ethical challenges intersect, th e moral task is to devise rules for the major actors that will move them toward a ju st international order. One of the most vexing problems is that of reconciling the transnationa l corporations' profit orie ntation with the common good that they, along with governments and their multilateral agencies, are supposed to serve. 257. The notion of interdependence erases the fading line between domestic and foreign policy. Many foreign policy decisions (for example, on trade, investment, and immigra tion) have direct and substantial impact on domestic constituencies in the United States. Similarly, many decisions terest rates, the federa l budget, or the deficit) thought of as domestic (for example, on farm policy, in have important consequences for other countries. This increasingly recognized link of domestic and foreign issues poses new empirical a nd moral questions for national policy. 55

65 Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy 2. The Challenge of Cath olic Social Teaching 258. Catholic teaching on the international econo mic order recognizes this complexity, but does l considerations are taken into , we seek to ensure that mora not provide specific solutions. Rather ective we have outlined above have important account. All of the elements of the moral persp implications for international re lationships. (1) The demands of and human solidarity Christian love challenge all economic actors to choose commun ity over chaos. They require a definition of licies that rec ognize the moral yond national sovereignty to po political community that goes be bonds among all people. (2) Basic justice implies that all peoples are entitled to participate in the increasingly interdependent globa l economy in a way that ensures their freedom and dignity. When whole communities are effectively left out or excluded from equitable participation in the want a world that works fairly for all. (3) international order, basic justice is violated. We Respect , both political and economic, implies that for human rights international decisions, institutions, and policies must be shaped by values that are more than economic. Th e creation of a global order in which these rights are secure for all must be a prime objective for all relevant actors on the The special place of the poor in this moral perspective means that meeting international stage. (4) the basic needs of the millions of deprived and hungry people in the world must be the number one objective of international policy. 259. These perspectives constitu in the international economic te a call for fundamental reform order. Whether the problem is preventing war and building peace or addressing the needs of the poor, Catholic teaching emphasizes not only the individual conscience, but also the political, legal, and economic structures through wh ich policy is determined and i ssues are adjudicated.(103) We do not seek here to evaluate the various proposals for international economic reform or deal here with economic relations between the United States and othe countries. We urge, as a basic r industrialized both empirical and moral eviden and overriding consideration, that ce, especially the precarious situation of the developing countries, calls for the renewal of the dialogue between the industrialized countries of the North and the deve loping countries of the South, with the aim of relations to establish greater equity and help meet the basic reorganizing international economic human needs of the poor majority.(104) Here, as elsewhere, the prefer ential option for the poor is th e central priori ty for policy 260. choice . It offers a unique perspective on foreign policy in whose light U.S. relationships, especially with developing countries, can be reassessed. Standard forei gn policy analysis deals with calculations of power and definitions of nationa l interest; but the poor are, by definition, not iate weight to their concerns, thei powerful. If we are to give appropr r needs, and their interests, we have to go beyond economic gain or national security as a starting point for the policy dialogue. We want to stand with the poor ever ons between the United States and ywhere, and we believe that relati developing nations should be determined in the first place by a concern for basic human needs and respect for cultural traditions. 3. The Role of the United States in the Global Economy: Constructive Choices 261. As we noted in The Challenge of Peace , recent popes have strongly supported the United Nations as a crucial step forward in the develo pment and organization of the human community; we share their regret that no intern ational political entity now exists with the responsibility and power 56

66 Selected Economic Policy Issues to promote the global common good, and we urge th e United States to support UN efforts to move der in the absence of such an authority demands in that direction. Building a just world economic or crease the ability of poor nations and that national governments promote public policies that in global economy. Because no other nation's economic marginalized people to participate in the power yet matches ours, we believe that this responsibility pertains especially to the United States; but it must be carried out in cooperation with othe r industrialized countries as in the case of halting of the fact of interdepen dence. Joint action toward the rise of the dollar. This is ye t another evidence these goals not only promotes justice and reduces misery in the Third World, but also is in the interest of the United States and other industrialized nations. 262. Yet in recent years U.S. policy toward development in the Third World has become increasingly one of selective assistance based on an East-Wes t assessment of North-South and economic development. Such a view makes problems, at the expense of basic human needs icy principle.(105) Developing c national security the central pol ountries have become largely ruggle; they seem to have meani testing grounds in the East-West st ng or value mainly in terms of this larger geopolitical calculus. The result is that issues of hu man need and economic development take second place to the politic al-strategic argument. This tendency must be resisted. 263. Moreover, U.S. performance in North-South negotiations often casts us in the role of oposals without advanci resisting developing-country pr ng realistic ones of our own.(106) North- d, and filled with symbo lic and often unrealistic South dialogue is bound to be complex, protracte reached the point where the rest of the world expects the United demands; but the situation has now States to assume a reluctant, adversarial posture in such discussions. The U.S. approach to the developing countries needs urgently to be changed; a country as large, rich, and powerful as ours has a moral obligation to lead in help ing to reduce poverty in the Third World. 264. We believe that U.S. policy toward the reflect our traditional developing world should regard for human rights and our concern for social progress. In economic policy, as we noted in our pastoral letter on nuclear war, the major internati onal economic relationships of aid, trade, finance, and investment are interdependent among themselves and illustrate the range of interdependence ee of the major economic actors are ac tive in all these relationships. issues facing U.S. policy. All thr substantial, positive movement toward increasing Each relationship offers us the possibility of ettably, we fall short. It is urgent that immediate social justice in the developing world; in each, regr steps be taken to correct these deficiencies. 265. a. : The official development assistance that the i ndustrialized and Development Assistance the oil-producing countries provide the Third Worl d in the form of grants, low-interest/long-term loans, commodities, and technical assistance is a significant contribution to their development. Although the annual share of U.S. gross national product (GNP) devoted to foreign aid is now less than one-tenth of that of the Marshall Plan, which helped rebuild devastated but advanced European economies, we remain the largest donor country. We still play a central role in these resource an example for other donors. We lag proportionately behind most transfers, but we no longer set other industrial nations in providi ng resources and seem to care less than before about development in the Third World. Our bilateral aid has become increasingly militarized and security-related and our contributions to multilateral ag cent years.(107) Not all of these encies have been reduced in re changes are justifiable. The projects of the Inte rnational Development Agency, for example, seem to be worthy of support. 266. This is a grave distortion of the priority that development assi stance should command. We are dismayed that the United States, once the pi oneer in foreign aid, is almost last among the 57

67 Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy seventeen industrialized nations mic Cooperation and Development in the Organization for Econo (OECD) in percentage of GNP devoted to aid. Reduction of the U.S. contribution to multilateral development institutions is particularly regrettable, because these in stitutions are often better able than the bilateral agencies to focus on the poor and reduce dependency in developing countries.(108) This is also an area in which, in the past, our leadership and example have had great influence. A more affirmative U.S. role in thes e institutions, which we took the lead in creating, could improve their performance, send an encouragi ng signal of U.S. intenti ons and help reopen the dialogue on the growing poverty and dependency of the Third World. : Trade continues to be a cen tral component of interna tional economic relations. It Trade 267. b. contributed in a major way to the rapid economic growth of many developing countries in the 1960s at a slower rate. The preferential option for and 1970s and will probably continue to do so, though the poor does not, by itself, yield a trade policy; but it does provide a frame of reference. In lp the poor should allocate its benefits fairly and particular, an equitable trading system that will he oping countries receive fair pri ces reached by agreement among all ensure that exports from devel trading partners. Developing nations have a right to receive a fair price for their raw materials that allows for a reasonable degree of profit. 268. Trade policy illustrates the conflicting pressu res that interdependence can generate: claims et access are countered by claims of injustice in of injustice from developing countries denied mark the domestic economies of industrialized countries when jobs are threatened and incomes fall. Agricultural trade and a few i ndustrial sectors present particularly acute examples of this. 269. We believe the ethical norms we have applied to domestic economic questions are equally valid here.(109) As in other economic matters, the basic questions are: Who benefits from the particular policy measure? How can any benefit or adverse impact be equitably shared? We need to examine, for example, the extent to which the su ccess in the U.S. market of certain imports is e exporting country, conditions that in some cases derived from exploitative labor conditions in th e first place. The United States s hould do all it can to ensure that have attracted the investment in th the trading system treats the poorest segments of developing countries' societ ies fairly and does not lead to human rights violations. In particular the United States should seek effective special measures under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)(110) to benefit the poorest countries. 270. At the same time, U.S. workers and their families hurt by the operation of the trading system must be helped through training and other measures to adjust to changes that advance development and decrease poverty in the Third Wo rld. This is a very serious, immediate, and intensifying problem. In our judgment, adjustment assistance programs in the United States have been poorly designed and administered and inadequa tely funded. A society and an economy such as ours can better adjust to trade dislocations than can poverty-ridde n developing countries. 271. c. Finance : Aid and trade policies alone, however enlightened, do not constitute a sufficient approach to the developi ng countries; they must also be looked at in conjunction with international finance and investment. The debto r-creditor relationship we ll exemplifies both the interdependence of the interna tional economic order and its asy mmetrical character, i.e., the dependence of the developing countries. The aggregate external debt of the developing countries now approaches $1 trillion,(111) more than one-th ird of their combined GNP; this total doubled between 1979 and 1984, and continues to rise. On av erage, the first 20 percent of export earnings goes to service that debt without significantly reducing the principal; in some countries debt service 58

68 Selected Economic Policy Issues is nearly 100 percent of such earnings, leaving scant resources available for the countries' development programs. Historically , the 272. The roots of this very complex debt crisis are both historic and systemic. e responsibility for the present difficulty because of decisions three major economic actors share th made and actions taken during the 1970s and 1980s. In 1972 the Soviet Union purchased the entire U.S. grain surplus, and grain prices trebled. Between 1973 and 1979, the Organization of Petroleum deposited most of the profits in Exporting Countries raised the pri ce of oil eightfold and thereafter ate spread on these deposits, the der to profit from the interest-r commercial banks in the North. In or banks pushed larger and larger loans on eager Th ird World borrowers needing funds to purchase more and more expensive oil. A second doubling of oil prices in 1979 forced many of these money at escalating in countries to refinance their loans and borrow more terest rates. A global recession beginning in 1979 caused the prices of Third World export commodities to fall and thus e increasingly burdensome debt payments out of export earnings. reduced their ability to meet th 273. The global system of finance, development, and trade established by the Bretton Woods Conference in 1944—the World Ba nk, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the GATT— the economic problems that were perceived to was created by the North to prevent a recurrence of system seems incapable, without basic changes, of have led to World War II. Forty years later that helping the debtor countries—which had no part in its creation—manage their increasingly untenable debt situation effectiv ely and equitably. The World Bank, largest of these institutions, has been engaged primarily in lending for specific proj ects rather than for gene ral economic health. The IMF was intended to be a short-term lender that would help out with temporary balance of payments, or cash-flow problems; but in the current situation it has come to the fore as a monitor of r of debtors' creditworth iness—and therefore the commercial financial transactions and an evaluato key institution for resolving these problems. Th e GATT, which is not an institution, had been largely supplanted as trade monitor for the de veloping countries by UNCTAD,(112) in which the latter have more confidence. 274. This crisis, however, goes beyond the system ; it affects people. It afflicts and oppresses large numbers of people who are al at is the scandal: It is the ready severely disadvantaged. Th poorest people who suffer most from the austerity measures required when a country seeks the IMF "seal of approval" which establishes its creditworthiness for a commercial loan (or perhaps an external aid program). It is these same people who suffer most when commodity prices fall, when food cannot be imported or they cannot buy it, and when natural disasters occur. Our commitment to the preferential option for the poor does not permit us to remain silent in these circumstances. Ways must be found to meet the immediate em ergency—moratorium on payments, conversion of some dollar-denominated debt into local-currency debt, creditors' accepting a share of the burden by loans, capitalizing interest, or perhaps outright cancellation. partially writing down selected sub-Saharan Africa which are least developed, 275. The poorest countries, especially those in most afflicted by hunger and malnutrition, and most vulnerable to commodity price declines, are in extremely perilous circumstances.(113) Although their aggregate debt of more than $100 billion (much of it owed to multilateral institutions), is about one-quarter that of Latin America, their collateral (oil, minerals, manufactur es, grain, etc.) is much less adequate, their ability to service external debt much weaker and th e possibility of their rescheduling it very small. For low-income countries like these, the most us eful immediate remedies are longe r payment periods, lower interest rates, and modification of IMF adjustment requi rements that exacerbate the already straitened 59

69 Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy circumstances of the poor.(114) Especially he lpful for some African countries would be ep already taken by some creditor nations. cancellation of debts owed to governments, a st bts without penalizing the 276. Better off debtor countries also need to be able to adjust their de ion of adjustment costs belong to the sions about the allocat poor. Although the final policy deci should be taken into account in determining the debtor government, internal equity considerations conditions of debt rescheduling and additional lend ing; for example, wage reductions should not be mandated, basic public services to the poor should not be cut, and measures should be required to reduce the flight of capital. Since this debt prob lem, like most others, is systemic, a case-by-case erations are not only economic policies and exchange-rate consid approach is not sufficient: lending questions, but are thoroughl y and intensely political. 277. Beyond all this, the growing external debt that has become th e overarching economic ic change to provide immediate relief and to problem of the Third World also requires system ons do not adequately prevent recurrence. The Bretton Woods instituti represent Third World ely with problems affecting those nations. These debtors, and their policies are not dealing effectiv d their policies reviewed at the same time that the institutions need to be substantially reformed an immediate problem of Third World debt is being dealt with. The United States should promote, support, and participate fully in such reforms and re views. Such a role is not only morally right, but than a third of this debt is owed to U.S. banks. is in the economic interest of the United States; more l banking system (and of those U.S. The viability of the internationa banks) depends in part on the s. Stubborn insistence on full repayment could force ability of debtor countries to manage those debt them to default—which would lead to economic lo In this connection, we sses in the United States. should not overlook the impact of U.S. budget and trade deficits on interest rates. These high interest rates exacerbate the already difficult debt situation. They also attract capital away from investment in economic development in Third World countries. 278. d. : Although direct private inve stment in the developing Foreign Private Investment nal corporations has declined in still amounts to countries by U.S.-based transnatio recent years, it about $60 billion and accounts for sizable annual transf ers. Such investment in developing countries should be increased, consistent with the host c ountry's development goals and with benefits efforts should be made to encour age investments by medium-sized equitably distributed. Particular and small companies, as well as to joint ventures , which may be more appropriate to the developing wever, private investment will probably not meet country's situation. For the foreseeable future, ho the infrastructural needs of the poorest c ountries—roads, transpor tation, communications, education, health, etc.— since th ese do not generally show profits and therefore do not attract private capital. Yet without this infrastructure , no real economic growth can take place. 279. Direct foreign investment , risky though it may be for both the investing corporation and the developing country, can provide needed capital, technology, and managerial expertise. Care must be taken lest such investment create or perpetuate dependency, harming especially those at the bottom of the economic ladder. Investments that sustain or worsen inequities in a developing oppressive elites in power, or that increase food dependency by country, that help to maintain encouraging cash cropping for export at the expense of local needs, should be discouraged. Foreign investors, attracted by low wage ra tes in less developed countries, should consider both the potential loss of jobs in the home country and the potential in the host country.(115) exploitation of workers Both the products and the technologies of the investing firm s should be appropriate to the developing country, neither cate ring just to a small number of high-income consumers, nor establishing capital-intensive processes that di splace labor, especially in the agricultural sector.(116) 60

70 Selected Economic Policy Issues t necessary consequen ces of transnational 280. Such inequitable results, however, are no to development by attracting and training high- corporate activity. Corporations can contribute caliber managers and other personnel, by helpin g organize effective marketing systems, by ial accountability, and by sharing introducing or reinforcing financ generating additional capital, by development activities. Although the ability of the knowledge gained from their own research and the corporations to plan, operate, and communi cate across national borders without concern for domestic considerations makes it harder for gove rnments to direct their activities toward the common good, the effort should be made; the Christian ethic is incompatible with a primary or exclusive focus on maximization of profit. We st rongly urge U.S. and international support of efforts to develop a code of conduct for foreign corporations that rec ognizes their quasi-public character and encourages both de velopment and the equitable di stribution of th eir benefits. such a code and to c Transnational corporations should be required to adopt onform their behavior to its provisions. The World Food Problem—A Special Urgency transfer channels— 281. e. : These four resource aid, trade, finance, and investme nt—intersect and overlap in all economic areas, but in none more clearly than in the inte rnational food system. The largest singl e segment of development assistance ood aid for short-term emergencies and vulnerable support goes to the agricultural sector and to f most critical trade sectors; developing c ountries have borrowed groups; food constitutes one of the extensively in the intern ational capital markets to finance f ood imports; and a substantial portion of direct private investment flows into the agricultural sector. 282. The development of U.S. agriculture has moved the United States into a dominant position in the international food system. The best way to meet the re sponsibilities this dominance entails is to design and implement a U.S. food and agriculture policy that contribu tes to increased food diet. A world with nearly half a billion hungry security—that is, access by everyone to an adequate een achieved. The problem of hunger has a special people is not one in which food security has b significance for those who read the Scriptures an d profess the Christian faith. From the Lord's command to feed the hungry, to the Eucharist we celeb rate as the Bread of Life, the fabric of our faith demands that we be creatively engaged in shar ing the food that sustains life. There is no more new urgency in a world of abundant harvests basic human need. The gospel imperative takes on e face starvation. Relief and prevention of their hunger cannot where hundreds of millions of peopl be left to the arithmetic of the marketplace.(117) 283. The chronic hunger of those who live literally from day to day is one symptom of the underlying problem of poverty; relieving and preventing hunger is part of a larger coordinated strategy to attack poverty itself. People must be en abled either to grow or to buy the food they need without depending on an indefinite dole; there is no substitute for long-term agricultural and food- system development in the nations now caught in the grip of hunger and star vation. Most authorities all farmers, most of whom are prevented from agree that the key to this development is the sm participating in the food system by resulting from the poverty of the the lack of a market incentive bulk of the populations and by the lack of access to produc tive agricultural inputs, especially land, resulting mainly from their own poverty. In these poor, food-deficit countries, no less than in our own, the small family farm deserves support and protection. 284. But recognizing the long-term problem does not dissolve the short-term obligation of the world's major food-exporting nation to provide food ai d sufficient to meet the nutritional needs of poor people and to provide it not simply to dis pose of surpluses but in a way that does not discourage local food production. There can be no successful solution to the problem of hunger in 61

71 Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy the world without U.S. participation in a cooperati ve effort that simultaneously increases food aid lop food self-reliance in food-deficit developing and launches a long-term program to help deve countries. 285. Hunger is often seen as being linked with growth, as effect to the problem of population cause. While this relationship is sometimes presen ted in oversimplified fashion, we cannot fail to recognize that the earth's resource s are finite and that population te nds to grow rapidly. Whether the world can provide a truly human life for twice as many people or more as now live in it (many of cannot be ignored.(118) r of urgent concern that whose lives are sadly deficient today) is a matte 286. Although we do not believe that people are poor and hungry primarily because they have large families, the Church fully supports the need for all to exercise responsible parenthood. Family ls of economic development, size is heavily dependent on leve education, respect for women, availability of health care, and the cultural tradit ions of communities. Therefore, in dealing with address these social and economic concerns. population growth we strongly favor efforts to 287. Population policies must be designed as part of an overall strategy of integral human development. They must respect the freedom of parents and avoid coercion. As Pope Paul VI has said concerning population policies: an accelerated demographic increase adds its own difficulties to the It is true that too frequently ion increases more rapidly than available problems of development: the size of the populat resources, and things are found to have reached apparently an impasse. From that moment the temptation is great to check the demographic incr ease by means of radical measures. It is certain that public authorities can intervene, within the limit of their competence, by favoring the availability of appropriate information and by adopting suitable measures, provided that these be in conformity with the moral law and that they resp ect the rightful freedom of married couples. Where the inalienable right to marriage and procreation is lacking, human digni ty has ceased to exist. (119) 4. U.S. Responsibility for Reform in the International Economic System 288. The United States cannot be the sole savior of the developing worl d, nor are Third World lly helpless to achieve their own countries entirely innocent with respect to their own failures or tota will need to initia te positive steps to promote and sustain destinies. Many of these countries development and economic growth—streamline bureaucr acies, account for funds, plan reasonable programs, and take further steps toward empower ing their people. Progress toward development will surely require them to take some tough remedial measures as well: prevent the flight of capital, reduce borrowing, modify price discri mination against rural areas, eliminate corrup tion in the use of funds and other resources, and curtail spending on ses. The pervasive U.S. inefficient public enterpri presence in many parts of our interdependent worl d, however, also creates a responsibility for us to increase the use of U.S. economic power—not just aid—in the service of human dignity and human rights, both political and economic. 289. In particular, as we not ed in our earlier letter, The Challenge of Peace , the contrast between expenditures on armaments and on developmen t reflects a shift in priorities from meeting human needs to promoting "national security" an d represents a massive distortion of resource allocations. In 1982, for example, the military expe nditures of the industria lized countries were seventeen times larger than their foreign assist ance; in 1985 the United States alone budgeted more 62

72 Selected Economic Policy Issues than twenty times as much for defense as for forei o-thirds of the latter gn assistance, and nearly tw ized arms sales) or went to countries because took the form of military assistance (including subsid Rather than promoting U.S. arms sales, of their perceived strategic va lue to the United States.(120) that cannot afford them, we should be campaigning for an international especially to countries agreement to reduce this lethal trade. 290. In short, the international economic order, like many aspects of our own economy, is in nd poor people within countries is crisis; the gap between rich and poor countries and between rich a in the international widening. The United States represents the most powerful single factor economic equation. But even as we speak of crisis, we see an opportunity fo r the United States to launch a worldwide campaign for ju stice and economic rights to match the still incomplete, but d in the United States with so much pain and encouraging, political democracy we have achieve sacrifice. tional order along lines of greate r equity and participation and 291. To restructure the interna ational economic activity w apply the preferential option for the poor to intern ill require sacrifices of at least the scope of those we have made over the years in building our own nation. We need to call and vision that have marked our history when crucial choices again upon the qualities of leadership were demanded. As Pope John Paul II said during his 1979 visit to the United States, "America, which in the past decades has demonstrated goodness and generosity in providing food for the hungry of the world, will, I am sure, be able to ma tch this generosity with an equally convincing contribution to the establishing of a world order that will create the necessary economic and trade conditions for a more just relationship be tween all the nations of the world."(121) 292. We share his conviction that most of the policy issues generally called economic are, at root, moral and therefore require th e application of moral principles derived from the Scriptures and and other traditions.(122) We also recognize that from the evolving social teaching of the Church ss national boundaries. Nevertheless, we are dealing here with sensitiv e international issues that cro we call for a U.S. international economic in order to pursue justice and peace on a global scale, enable them to continue to develop a sense of policy designed to empower people everywhere and their own worth, improve the quality of their lives, and ensure that the benefits of economic growth are shared equitably. E. Conclusion 293. None of the issues we have addressed in th is chapter can be dealt with in isolation. They lution requires difficult trade-offs among competing interests and are interconnected, and their reso values. The changing international economy, for exampl e, greatly influences efforts to achieve full employment in the United States and to maintain a healthy farm sector. Similarly, as we have noted, policies and programs to reduce unemployment and pove rty must not ignore a potential inflationary impact. These complexities and trade-offs are real and must be confronted, but they are not an excuse for inaction. They should not paralyze us in our search for a more just economy. 294. Many of the reforms we have suggested in this chapter would be expensive. At a time when the United States has large annual deficits some might consider thes e costs too high. But this discussion must be set in the c allocated and the immense human ontext of how our resources are and social costs of failure to act on these pres sing problems. We believe that the question of providing adequate revenues to meet the need s of our nation must be faced squarely and realistically. Reforms in the tax code which close loopholes and genera te new revenues, for 63

73 Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy ed in order to develop a federal budget that is example, are among the steps that need to be examin both fiscally sound and socially responsible. The cost of meeting our social needs must also be weighed against the $300 billion a year alloca ted for military purposes. Although some of these expenditures are necessary for the defense of th e nation, some elements of the military budget are both wasteful and dangerous for world peace.(123) Careful reductions should be made in these areas in order to free up funds for social and eco nomic reforms. In the end, the question is not whether the United States can provide the necessary funds to meet our social needs, but whether we have the political will to do so 64

74 Selected Economic Policy Issues FOOTNOTES Chapter III 1 On Human Work , 7, 13. Octogesima Adveniens , 26-41; and , 33-40. Program of Social Reconstruction 2 The Challenge of Peace: God’s Promise and Our Response , 9-10. 3 See 4 On Human Work , 3. The Employment Situation: April 1986 (May 1986). 5 U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment in America: Illusory Recovery in a Decade of Decline 6 Full Employment Action Council, (Washington, D.C., February 1985), 19. Calculations based on data from the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics. 7 U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics; The Employment Situation: August 1985 and U.S. Unemployment Insurance Claims . Reference week of Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, June 22, 1985. 8 . The Employment Situation: August 1985 9 Brenner, "Fetal, Infant and Maternal Mo International Journal of rtality during Periods of Economic Instability," Health Services (Summer, 1973); P.H. Ellison, "Neurology of Hard Times," Clinical Pediatrics (March 1977); S. V. Kasl and S. Cobb, "Some Mental Health Consequences of Plant Closings and Job Loss," in L. Ferman and J. P. Gordus, Mental Health and the Economy (Kalamazoo, Mich.: W. E. Upjohn Ins titute for Employment Research, 1979), eds., Mental Health 255-300; L. E. Kopolow and F. M. Ochberg, "Spinoff from a Downward Swing," 59 (Summer 1975); D. Today's Health (March 1978). Shaw, "Unemployment Hurts More Than the Pocketbook," The Consequences of Unemployment on Evaluation of Self , Doctoral dissertation, 10 Richard M. Cohn, Department of Psychology (University of Michigan, 1977); John A. Garraty, Unemployment in History: Economic Thought and Public Policy (New York: Harper and Row, 1978); Harry Maurer, Not Working: An Oral History of the (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1979). Unemployed Estimating the Social Cost of National Economic Policy (U.S. Congress, Joint Economic 11 M. Harvey Brenner, Mental Illness and the Economy Committee, 1976); see Brenner, (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press, 1973). 12 Congressional Budget Office, Economic and Budget Outlook. FY 1986-FY 1990 (Washington, D.C.: February 1985), 75. 13 Correlation of Unemployment and Federal Prison Population (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Bureau of Prisons, Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology March 1975); M. Yeager, "Unemployment and Imprisonment," 70:4 (1979); e (U.S. Congress, House Hearings Testimony of M. H. Brenner in Unemployment and Crim , 1977), 25. 14 Committee on the Evolution of Work, AFL-CIO, The Future of Work (Washington, D.C.: AFL-CIO, 1983), 11. 15 Congressional Budget Office, Defense Spending and the Economy (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1983). See also Michael Edelstein, (New York: Council on The Economic Impact of Military Spending Military Expansion, Economic Decline (New York: Council on Economic Priorities, 1977) and Robert de Grasse Jr., Bureau of Labor Statistics Report, "Structure of the U. Economic Priorities, 1983). See also U.S. Department of Labor, S. Economy in 1980 and 1985," (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1975) and Marion Anderson, The Empty Pork Barrel (Lansing, Mich.: Employment Research Associates, 1982). 16 U.S. Office of Management and Budget, Historical Tables, Budget of the United States Government Fiscal Year 1986 ). Table 10.2, 10.2(3). See also, National Science (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1985 Foundation Report, "Characteristics of Experienced Scientists and Engineers," (1978), Detailed Statistical Tables (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1978). 17 “Statistical Supplement to International Comparison of Unemployment,” Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 1984): 7. Unpublished. 65

75 Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy e prevailing view among economists this way: "High 18 Isabel V. Sawhill and Charles F. Stone state th employment is usually defined as the rate of unemployment consistent with no additional inflation, a rate currently believed by many, but not all, economists to be in the neighborhood of 6 percent." "The Economy: The Key to he Reagan Record: An Assessment of America's Changing Success," in John L. Palmer an d Isabel V. Sawhill, eds., T (Cambridge, Mass.: Bollinger, 1984), 72. See also Stanley Fischer and Rudiger Dornbusch, Domestic Priorities Economics ill, 1983), 731-743. (New York: McGraw-H 19 W.L. Birch, "Who Creates Jobs?" The Public Interest 65 (Fall): 3-14. , third edition 20 Martin Neil Baily and Arthur M. Okun, eds., The Battle Against Unemployment and Inflation Market Performance, Competition and Inflation," in Baily, (New York: Norton, 1982); and Martin Neil Baily, "Labor ed., Workers, Jobs and Inflation (Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution, 1982). See also, Lawrence Klein, "Reducing Unemployment Without Inflation"; and James Tobin, "Unemployment, Poverty, and Economic Policy," testimony before the Subcommittee on Economic Stabilization, U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs (March 19, 1985), serial no. 99-5, (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1985), 15-18 and 31-33. 21 Tobin, “Unemployment, Poverty, and Economic Policy”; and Klein, “Reducing Unemployment Without Inflation.” Social Policy 11:1 22 Robert H. Haveman, "Toward Efficiency and Equity through Direct Job Creation," (May/June 1980): 48. 23 William H. McCarthy, Reducing Urban Unemployment: What Works at the Local Level (Washington, D.C.: National League of Cities, October 1985); William Schweke, "States that Take the Lead on a New Industrial Policy," in Economic Dislocation and Job Loss Betty G. Lall, ed., (New York: Cornell University, New York State School of Training and Jobs Programs in Action: Case Studies in Industrial and Labor Relations, 1985), 97-106; David Robinson, Private Sector Initiatives for the Hard to Employ c Development, 1978). See also (New York: Committee for Economi ch. IV of this pastoral letter. 24 Rudy Oswald, "The Economy and Workers' Jobs, The Living Wage and a Voice," in John W. Houck and Oliver F. Williams, eds., Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy: Working Papers for a Bishops' Pastoral (Washington, D.C.: University Press of America, 1984), 77-89. On the subject of shortening the work week, Oswald points out that in the first 40 years of this century, the average workweek fell from 60 hours to 40 hours. However, the standard workweek has been unchanged now for almost 50 years. 25 U.S. Bureau of the Census, Current Population Reports, Series P-60, No. 149, Money Income and Poverty Status of Families in the United States: 1984 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1985). 26 Massachusetts Department of Public Health, (Boston, Mass.: 1983). Massachusetts Nutrition Survey 27 There is considerable debate about the most suitable definition of poverty. Some argue that the government's at a more adequate definition would indicate that as many official definition understates the number of the poor, and th ample, they note that the poverty line as 50 million Americans are poor. For ex has sharply declined as a percent of t in 1983. Others argue that the official indicators should median family income—from 48 percent in 1959 to 35 percen e poor, such as food stamps . By some calculations that be reduced by the amount of in-kind benefits received by th would reduce the number counted as poor to about 12 million. We conclude that for present purposes the official government definition provides a suitable middle ground. That definition is based on a calculation that multiplies the cost of USDA's lowest-cos t food plan times three. The definition is adjusted for inflation each year. Among other reasons for using one to compare poverty figures over time. the official definition is that it allows What Money Buys: Inequality and the Social Meanings of For additional readings on this topic see: L. Rainwater, Income Persistent and Transitory Poverty: A New Look (Cambridge, Mass.: Joint (New York: Basic Books, 1975), id., Center for Urban Studies, 1980); M. Orshansky, "How Poverty Is Measured," Monthly Labor Review 92 (1969): 37-41; M. Anderson, Welfare (Stanford, Calif.: Hoover In stitution Press, 1978); and Michael Harrington, The New American Poverty (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1984), 81-82. 28 Of those in poverty, 3 million work year-round and ar e still poor. Of the 22.2 million poor who are 15 years or older, more than 9 million work sometime during the year. Since 1979, the largest increases of poverty in absolute terms have been among those who work and are still poor. U.S. Bureau of the Census, Money, Income and Poverty . 66

76 Selected Economic Policy Issues Current Population Reports , series P-60, no. 149, 19. Blacks make up about 12 29 U.S. Bureau of the Census, percent of the entire population but 62 percent of the long-term poor. Only 19 percent of the overall population live in families headed by women, but they make up 61 percent of the long-term poor. Twenty-eight percent of the nation's percent of the nation's poor live in these areas. total population resides in non-metropolitan areas, but 34 g Economic Fortunes of American Workers 30 G. J. Duncan et al., Years of Poverty, Years of Plenty: The Changin (Ann Arbor, Mich.: Institute for Social Research, and Their Families University of Michigan, 1984). This book is based on the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, a survey of 5, 000 American families conducted annually by the Survey Five Thousand American Research Center of the University of Mich igan. See G. J. Duncan and J. N. Morgan, (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 1975). Families—Patterns of Economic Progress vol. III 31 Congressional Research Servi ce and Congressional Budget Office, Children in Poverty (Washington, D.C.: so indicates that children are now the la rgest age group in poverty. We are the May 22, 1985), 57. This recent study al first industrialized nation in the world in which children are the poorest age group. See Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Family and Nation (New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1986), 112. 32 Children's Defense Fund, (Washington, D.C. 1984). American Children in Poverty 33 This trend has been commonly referred to as the “feminization of poverty.” This term was coined by Dr. Diana Pierce in the 1980 Report to the President of the National Advisory Council on Economic Opportunity to describe the dramatic increase in the proportion of the poor living in female-headed households. 34 U.S. Bureau of the Census, Technical Paper 55, Estimates of Poverty Including the Value of Non-Cash Benefits: 1984 (Washington, D.C., August 1985), 5, 23. 35 Barbara Raskin and Heidi Hartmann, Women's Work, Men's Work, Sex Segregation on the Job , National Academy of Sciences (Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 1986). 36 U.S. Bureau of the Census, series P-23, no. 124, Special Study Child Support and Alimony: 1981 Current Population Report (Washington, D.C. 1981). 37 U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Oversight and Public Assistance and Unemployment Background Material on Poverty , Washington, D.C., October, 1983. Compensation, Committee on Ways and Means, Children in Poverty , 3. See also Committee on Ways and Mean s, U.S. House of Representatives, The Status of Black America 1984 (New York, January 1984). 38 The National Urban League, 39 Ibid. Brothers 40 NCCB, Letter on Racism in Our Day (Washington, D.C.: United States and Sisters to Us Pastoral Catholic Conference, 1979). 41 Federal Reserve Board, "Survey of Consumer Finances, 1983: A Second Report," reprint from the Federal Reserve Bulletin 4), 857-868. This survey defines net worth as the difference (Washington, D.C.: December 198 between gross assets and gross liabilities. The survey's estimates include all financial assets, equity in homes and other real property, as well as all financial liabilities such as consumer credit and other debts. 42 Ibid., 863-864. 43 U.S. Bureau of the Census, series P-60, no. 149, 11. 44 Income-distribution figures give only a static pictur not reflect the significant e of income shares. They do Years of Poverty, movement of families into and out of different income categories over an extended period of time. See Years of Plenty , 13. It should also be noted that these figures refl ect pretax incomes. However, since the national tax structure is proportional for a large segment of the population, it does not have a significant impact on the distribution of income. See Joseph Pechman, Who Paid Taxes, 1966-85? (Washington, D.C.: The Bro okings Institution, 1985), 51. 45 Lars Osberg, Economic Inequality in the United States (New York: M. E. Sharpe Inc., 1984), 24-28. 46 U.S. Bureau of the Census, series P-60. no. 149, 11. 47 "Poverty in the United Stat es: Where Do We Stand Now?" Focus (University of Wisconsin: Institute for Research on Poverty, Winter 1984)/ See also Danzinger and Gottschalk, "The Poverty of Losing Ground," Challenge 67

77 Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy 28:2 (May/June 1985). As these studies indicate, the slowing of the economy after 1969 tended to push more people into poverty, a trend that was offset to a great extent by the broadening of federal benefit programs. Likewise, the cutbacks in federal programs fo r the poor in recent years have contributed to the increase in poverty. For other analyses (New York: of the causes and cures of poverty see Charles Murray, Losing Ground: American Social Policy 1950-1980 The Good News Is the Bad News Is Wrong (New York: Simon and Basic Books Inc., 1984); Ben J. Wattenberg, Shuster, 1984); and Michael Harrington, The New American Poverty (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1984). Family and Nation , 111-113. 48 Children in Poverty 49 Committee on Ways and Means, . Calculation based on Tables 6-1 and 6-2, 180-181; and nce transfers on 221-222. estimates of social insura The Social Transformation of American Medicine (New York: Basic Books Inc., 1982), 373. 50 Paul Starr, 51 U.S. Bureau of the Census, series P-60, no. 149, 11. 52 Years of Poverty, Years of Plenty , 13 Beyond the Myths: The Families Helped by the AFDC Program 53 Center on Social Welfare Policy and Law, (New York 1985). 54 Ibid. This booklet cites Census Bureau data showing that in 1980 about 45 percent of those families who e average number of weeks worked during the year received AFDC also had earned income duri ng that year, and that th was 32.1. 55 Leonard Goodwin, Causes and Cures of Welfare (Lexington, Mass.: Lexington Books, 1983), ch. 1. See also Public Welfare 39 (Fall 1981): 19-25. Leonard Goodwin, "Can Workfare Work?," Beyond the Myths 56 this booklet notes that erroneous payments in . With respect to error and fraud rates in AFDC, for less than 10 percent of the benefits paid. No more than 8.1 percent of the families on the AFDC program account AFDC received overpayments as a result of client error. In less than 4.5 percent of all AFDC cases nationally are questions of fraud raised. Moreover, in over 40 percent of these cases, a review of the facts indicated that there was insufficient evidence to supp ort an allegation of fraud. 57 P.G. Peterson, "No More Free Lunch for the Middle Class," New York Times Magazine (January 17, 1982). 58 Interfaith Action for Economic Justice, End Results: The Impact of Federal Policies Since 1980 on Low-Income (Washington, D.C.) 2. Americans 59 ”The Poverty of Losing Ground,” 32-38. achieve this goal. It removed from the federal income tax 60 The tax reform legislation of 1986 did a great deal to rolls virtually all families below the official poverty line. 61 Jonathan Kozol, Illiterate America (New York: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1985). Peace on Earth , 13. 62 63 These reports and studies include: E. Boyer, High School: A Report on Secondary Education in America on for the Advancem ent of Teaching, (Princeton: Carnegie Foundati The American High School and 1983); P. Cusick, the Egalitarian Ideal (New York: Longman, 1983); J. I. Goodlad, A Place Called School: Prospects for the Future (New York: McGraw-H ill, 1983); the National Commission on Excellence in Education, A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Education, 1983); D. Ravitch, “The American Education Horace's Troubled Crusade: , 1945-1980” (New York: Basic Books, 1983); T.R. Sizer, Compromise: The Dilemma of the American High School (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1984); Task Force on Education for Economic Growth, (Denver: Action for Excellence: A Comprehensive Plan to Improve our Nation's Schools Education Commission of the States, 1983 ); and The Twentieth Century Fund Ta sk Force on Federal Elementary and Secondary Education Policy, Making the Grade (New York: Twentieth Century Fund, 1983). For a discussion of the issues raised in these reports see 54:1 (February 1984): 1-31. Harvard Educational Review 64 The Vatican, Charter of the Rights of the Family (Washington, D.C.: United States Catholic Conference, 1983) Art. 10a. See also On Human Work , 19; Familiaris Consortio, 23, 81; and "Christian Solidarity Leads to Action," Address to Austrian workers (Vienna, September 1983) in Origins 13:16 (September 29, 1983): 275. 68

78 Selected Economic Policy Issues The Cost of Human Neglect: America's Welfare (Armonk, N.Y.: W. E. Sharpe, Inc., 1982); 65 H. R. Rodgers Jr., The Stigma of Poverty , second edition (New York: Pergamon Pre C. T. Waxman, ss, 1983), especially ch. 5; and S. A. Promise of Opportunity in America Beyond the Safety Net: Reviving the Levitan and C. M. Johnson, (Cambridge, Mass.: Ballinger, 1984). 66 Children in Poverty , p. 214. Background Materials and Data on Programs 67 U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means, Within the Jurisdiction of the Committee on Ways and Means (Washington, D.C., February 22, 1985), 345-346. 68 Ibid., 347-348. 69 In 1982 similar recommendations were made by eigh t former secretaries of Hea lth, Education, and Welfare (now Health and Human Services). In a report called "Welfare Policy in the United States," they suggested a number of ways in which national minimal standards might be set and strongly urged the establishment of a floor for all states and territories. Background Materials and Data on Programs 70 Committee on Ways and Means, 71 France adopted a "family" or "ch ildren's" allowance in 1932, followed by Italy in 1936, The Netherlands in 1939, the United Kingdom in 1945 and Sweden in 1947. Arnold Heidenheimer, Hugh Heclo and Carolyn Teich Adams, Comparative Public Policy: The Politics of Social Choice in Europe and America (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1975), 189, 199. See also Robert Kuttner, The Economic Illusion (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1984), 243-246, and Joseph Help for Families on the Front Lines: The Theory and Practice of Family Allowances (Washington, D.C.: The Piccione, ucation Foundation, 1983). Free Congress Research and Ed Capitalism and Freedom (University of Chicago Press, 1962), 190-195. 72 Milton Friedman; Ag. Info. Bulletin no. 490 (Washington, D.C.: 73 The Current Financial Condition of Farmers and Farm Lenders, U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service, March, 1985), viii-x. 74 Data on farms and farm population are drawn from Agricultural Statistics , annual reports of the U. S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. Rural Development, Poverty, and Natural Resources (Washington, D.C.: 75 Irma T. Elo and Calvin L. Beale, Resources for the Future National Center for Food and Agricultural Policy, , 1985). 76 National Food Review, USDA, no. 29 (Winter/Spring 1985). In 1984 Americans were spending 15.1 percent of their disposable income on food. This is an average figure. Many low-income people spent a good deal more and others much less. 77 Luther Tweeten, Causes and Consequences of Structural Change in the Farming Industry (Washington, D.C.: National Planning Association, 1984), 7. 78 (Washington, Economic Indicators of the Farm Sector: Income and Balance Sheet Statistics, 1983, ECIFS 3-3 D.C.: U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service, September 1984). 79 Marion Clawson, America: Implications for Distribution of Ownership Patterns of Natural Resources in Wealth and Income (Washington, D.C.: Resources for the Future, Summer 1983). 80 Causes and Consequences , 7; and A Time to Choose: Summary Report on the Structure of Agriculture (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Agriculture, January 1981). 81 The nature of this transformation and its implications have been addressed previously by the USCC Committee on Social Development and World P eace in a February 1979 statement The Family Farm and again in May 1980 by the bishops of the Midwest in a joint pastoral letter Strangers and Guests: Toward Community in the Heartland . 82 Soil Conservation in America: What Do We Have To Lose? (Washington, D.C.: American Farmland Trust, 1984); E. Philiop LeVeen, “Domestic Food Security and Increasing Competition for Water,” in Lawrence Busch and William B. Lacey, eds., Food Security in the United States (Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1984), 52. See also America’s Soil and Water: Conditions and Trends (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Agriculture Soil Conservation Service, 1981). 83 1982 Census of Agriculture. 69

79 Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy The Decline of Black Farming in America (Washington, D.C.: U.S. 84 U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Commission on Civil Rights, February 1982), esp. 65-69 regarding their property. 85 Ibid., 8. Hearings Concerning Proposed Full Sanitation Standards , document no. H-308 86 U.S. Department of Labor, (Washington, D.C., 1984). 87 Ch. II, para. 112. A Time to Choose , 148. 88 Science , vol. 219 (March 4, 1983): 1041. 89 Luther Tweeten, "The Economics of Small Farms," History of Agricultural Price-Support and Adjustment Programs, 1933-84 , 90 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Ag. Info. Bulletin no. 485 (Washington, D. C.: U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service, December 1984). The Distribution of Benefits from the 1982 Federal Crop Programs (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Senate Committee 91 on the Budget, November 1984). m Policy Perspectives: Setting the Stage for 1985 92 "The Great Debate on Mandatory Production Controls" in Far . (Washington, D.C.: Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, April 1984). Agricultural Legislation A Time to Choose , 91. 93 94 Richard Dunford, The Effects of Federal Income Tax Policy on U.S. Agriculture . (Washington, D.C.: Subcommittee on Agriculture and Transportation of the Joint Economic Committee of the Congress of the United States, December 21, 1984). rward thirteen years ago in Where Shall the People Live? A Special Message of the 95 This proposal was put fo United States Catholic Bishops (Washington, D.C.: USCC Office for Publishing and Promotion Services, 1972). 96 Thomas E. Miller, et al., Economies of Size in U.S. Field Crop Farming (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Res earch Service, July 1981). 97 See ch. IV. Instruction on Certain Aspects of the Theology of Liberation , 1:6. See also Earth, 130-131; and On 98 Peace on , 11. Human Work 99 Overseas Development Council, U.S. Policy and the Third World: Agenda 1985-86. 100 Robert S. McNamara, (Washington, D.C.: World Bank, Address to the Board of Governors of the World Bank September 30, 1980). 101 U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, Dimensions of Need, E 9 (Rome, 1982). The UN World Food Council uses this figure consistently, most recently at its 1lth annual meeting in Paris. 102 Joseph Greenwald and Kenneth Flamm, The Global Factory (Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution, 1985); see also Ronald Muller and Richard Barnet, Global Reach (New York: Simon an d Schuster, 1974); Raymond Vernon, The Economic and Political Consequences of Multinational Enterprise (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University rporations maintains current data on these institutions. Press, 1972); the United Nations Center on Transnational Co 103 Peace on Earth , 56-63. 104 On the Development of Peoples , 44 and 58-63; quoted also by Pope John Paul II, Origins 14:16 (October 4, 1984): 247. d Economic Assistance (Carlucci Commission), A Report to the 105 President's Commission on Security an Secretary of State (Washington, D.C., November 1983). 106 For example: After a dozen years of negotiations, during which nearly all of the issues were resolved to U.S. satisfaction, the United States refused to sign the Law of the Seas treaty; only the United States failed to support the U.N. infant formula resolution; the United States has not ratified the two UN Covenants of Human Rights, etc. 70

80 Selected Economic Policy Issues Congressional Presentation, Fiscal Year 1986, Main Volume 107 U.S. Agency for International Development, (Washington, D.C., 1985). tion, the "soft loan window" of the World Bank, are the 108 The clients of the International Development Associa tained—a 25 percent reduction in IDA's current (seventh) poorest countries. The United States insisted upon—and ob replenishment. Taking inflation into account, this meant a 40 percent drop in real terms at exactly the moment when developing-country debt levels are punishingly high and th e prices of their export commodities are almost at rock bottom. 109 See ch. II. 110 The GATT—third of the Bretton Woods "institutions" (with the World Bank and the IMF) —is in fact a treaty, monitored and supported by a se cretariat located in Geneva, Switzerland . Periodic “rounds” of negotiations among its several-score members, North and South, modify and extend its provisions and regulations. 111 Debt figures have been compiled from data published by the World Bank, the IMF; and the Bank for International Settlements. 112 The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) originated in Geneva in 1964 at a meeting convened by the UN to discuss trade, development and related problems of low-income countries. It established a quadrennial meeting and created permanent machinery in the UN to deal with these problems. A Trade and Development Board (TDB), with standing committees, me ets every two years; and ther e is a small secretariat to staff it. UNCTAD is viewed as representing the developing countries' continuing effort to have a larger voice in international decisions affecting trade and developmen t and to secure more favorable terms of trade. 113 U.S. Policy and the Third World , Table B-5. 114 When the IMF helps a country adjust to balance-of-payments problems (e.g., by assisting in the rescheduling of its external debt), it negotiates certain conditions with the debtor country in order to improve its immediate financial position. In general these require the borrowing country to earn and save more. The adjustments, usually referred to as "conditionally," tend to fall most heavily on the poor through reduction of government spending on consumer subsidies and public services, and often of wages. 115 North American Coalition for Human Rights in Korea, Testimony before the U.S. Trade Representative , June 24, 1985. Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered 116 E.F. Schumacher, (New York: Harper and Row, 1973). 117 On the Development of Peoples , 44, 58-63. 118 Ibid., 37; Pastoral Constitution , 87. 119 On the Development of Peoples , 37. World Military and Social Expenditures 1983 (Washington, D.C.: Wo rld Priorities, 1983), 120 Ruth Leger Sivard, 23. 121 Pontifical Commission Justitia et Pax, The Social Teaching of John Paul II , 6 (October 6, 1979). 122 On the Development of Peoples , 44, 58-63. 123 See "Testimony on U.S. Arms Control Policy," Origins 14:10 (August 9, 1984): 154ff. . 71

81 Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy CHAPTER IV NT: PARTNERSHIP FOR THE A NEW AMERICAN EXPERIME PUBLIC GOOD 295. For over two hundred years the United States has been engaged in a bold experiment in democracy. The founders of the nati on set out to establish justice, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty for themselves a nd their posterity. Those who live in this land today t venture. Our review of some of the most pressing problems in are the beneficiaries of this grea economic life today shows, however, that this un dertaking is not yet co mplete. Justice for all remains an aspiration; a fair share in the genera l welfare is denied to many. In addition to the made above, a long-term and more fundamental response is particular policy recommendations of the future that can help shape economic needed. This will call for an imaginative vision to propose some elements of such a vision and arrangements in creative new ways. We now want structures that can contribute to making this vision a reality. several innovations in economic 296. Completing the unfinished business of the Am erican experiment will call for new forms of work is the source of the prosperity and cooperation and partnership among those whose daily f on both its competitive sense of initiative and its justice of the nation. The United States prides itsel spirit of teamwork. Today a greater spirit of pa rtnership and teamwork is needed; competition alone will not do the job. It has too many negative consequences for family life, the economically vulnerable, and the environment. Only a renewe d commitment by all to the common good can deal creatively with the realities of international interdependence and economic dislocations in the domestic economy. The virtues of good citizenship require a lively sense of participation in the commonwealth and of having obligat ions as well as rights within it.(1) The nation's economic among all its people and on the development of health depends on strengthening these virtues upportive of these virtues.(2) institutional arrangements s 297. The nation's founders took daring steps to create structures of participation, mutual d power to ensure the political rights and freedoms of all. We accountability, and widely distribute xpand economic participation, broaden the sharing of believe that similar steps are needed today to e economic power, and make economic decisions mo re accountable to the common good. As noted above, the principle of subsidiarity states that the pursuit of economic justice must occur on all levels of society. It makes demands on communities as small as the family, as large as the global society, and on all levels in be tween. There are a number of wa ys to enhance the cooperative participation of these many groups in the task of creating this future. Since there is no single problems, we recommend careful experimentation with several innovation that will solve all possibilities that hold consider rship and strengthening mutual able hope for increasing partne responsibility for economic justice. A. Cooperation within Firms and Industries 298. A new experiment in bringing democratic ideals to economic lif e calls for serious exploration of ways to develop new patterns of partnership among t hose working in individual firms and industries.(3) Every business, from the smallest to the largest, includ ing farms and ranches, depends on many different persons and groups for its success: workers, managers, owners or 72

82 A New American Experiment: Partnership For The Public Good shareholders, suppliers, customers, creditors, th e local community, and the wider society. Each s a stake in its growth or decline. Present makes a contribution to the enterprise, and each ha ontributions or protect these structures of accountability, howev er, do not acknowledge all these c e development of new institutional mechanisms stakes. A major challenge in today's economy is th for accountability that also preserve the flexibilit y needed to respond quickly to a rapidly changing business environment.(4) s and managers are one means for developing 299. New forms of partnership between worker greater participation and accountability within firms.(5) Recent experience has shown that both labor and management suffer when the adversarial relationship between them becomes extreme. As Pope Leo XIII stated, "Each needs the other completely: Capital ca nnot do without labor nor labor without capital."(6) The organization of firms should reflect and enha nce this mutual partnership. In men and women that are mo re supportive of family particular, the development of work patterns for life will benefit both employees and the enterprises they work for. in need of stronger institutional protection, 300. Workers in firms and on farms are especially ood are particularly vulnerable to the d for their jobs and livelih ecisions of others in today's highly competitive labor market. Several arrangements are gaining increasing support in the United States: profit sharing by the workers in a firm; enabli ng employees to become company stockholders; ipation in determining the conditions of work; cooperative granting employees greater partic ownership of the firm by all who work within it; and programs for enabling a much larger number of Americans, regardless of th eir employment status, to become shareholders in successful corporations. Initiatives of this sort can enhance productivity, increa se the profitability of firms, provide greater job security and work satisfaction for empl oyees, and reduce adversarial relations.(7) In our 1919 Program of Social Reconstruction we obser ved "the full possibilities of increased production will not be r ealized so long as the majority of workers remain mere wage rs, at least in part, of the instruments of earners. The majority must somehow become owne nt remains generally valid today. production."(8) We believe this judgme 301. None of these approaches provides a panacea, and all have certain drawbacks. Nevertheless we believe that con tinued research and experimentation with these approaches will be ndorsed on many occasions innovative methods for of benefit. Catholic social teaching has e The appropriateness of these methods will depend increasing worker participation within firms.(9) on the circumstances of the company or industry in question and on their eff ectiveness in actually increasing a genuinely cooperative approach to shaping decisions . The most highly publicized examples of such efforts have been in large fi rms facing serious financial crises. If increased participation and collaboration can help a firm a void collapse, why should it not give added strength to healthy businesses? Cooperative ownership is particularly worthy of consideration in new entrepreneurial enterprises.(10) 302. Partnerships between labor and management are possibl e only when both groups possess ce decisions. This means that unions ought to continue to play an real freedom and power to influen important role in moving toward greater economic participation within firms and industries. Workers rightly reject calls for less adversarial relations when they are a smoke screen for demands that labor make all the concessions . For partnership to be genuine it must be a two-way street, with creative initiative and a willingne ss to cooperate on all sides. 303. When companies are considering plant closures or the movement of cap ital, it is patently unjust to deny workers any role in shaping the ou tcome of these difficult c hoices.(11) In the heavy manufacturing sector today, techno logical change and international competition can be the occasion 73

83 Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy of painful decisions leading to tions. While such decisions may the loss of jobs or wage reduc lly accountable model of industrial organization sometimes be necessary, a collaborative and mutua would mean that workers not be expected to ca rry all the burdens of an economy in transition. are of sacrifices, especially when management Management and investors must also accept their sh is thinking of closing a plant or transferring capital to a seemingly more lucrative or competitive of management is in part the product of the labor of those who activity. The capital at the disposal have toiled in the company over the years, in cluding currently employed workers.(12) As a decisions are under minimum, workers have a right to be informed in advance when such consideration, a right to negotiate with management about possibl e alternatives, and a right to fair compensation and assistance with retraining and relocation expenses should these be necessary. ized without collectiv e negotiation, industrial Since even these minimal rights are jeopard cooperation requires a strong role for la bor unions in our changing economy. 304. Labor unions themselves are challenged by the present economic environment to seek new ways of doing business. The purpose of unions is not simply to defend the existing wages and prerogatives of the fraction of wo rkers who belong to them, but also to enable workers to make positive and creative contributions to the firm, the community, and the larger society in an Such contributions call for experiments with new directions in organized and cooperative way.(13) the U.S. labor movement. 305. The parts played by managers and shareholde rs in U.S. corporations also need careful examination. In U.S. law, the primary responsibility of managers is to exercise prudent business judgment in the interest of a profitable return to i nvestors. But morally this legal responsibility may be exercised only within the bounds of justice to employees, customers, suppliers, and the local community. Corporate mergers and hostile takeovers may bring greater benefits to shareholders, but they often lead to decreased concern for the well-being of local communities and make towns and cities more vulnerable to decisions made from afar. ercise relatively little power in corporate governance.(14) 306. Most shareholders today ex ate directors and on Although shareholders can and should vote on the selection of corpor investment questions and other po licy matters, it appears that return on investment is the governing criterion in the relation between them and management. We do not believe this is an adequate The question of how to relate th e rights and responsibilities of rationale for shareholder decisions. shareholders to those of the other people and communities affected by corporate decisions is complex and insufficiently unders tood. We, therefore, urge seri ous, long-term research and experimentation in this area. More effective ways of dealing with these questions are essential to enable firms to serve the common good. B. Local and Regional Cooperation 307. The context within which U.S. firms do busin ess has direct influenc e on their ability to contribute to the common good. Companies and ind not sole masters of eed whole industries are their own fate. Increased cooperativ e efforts are needed to make local, regional, national, and international conditions more supportive of the pursuit of economic justice. 308. In the principle of subsidia rity, Catholic social teaching has long stressed the importance of small and intermediate-sized communities or institutions in exercising moral responsibility. These mediating structures link the individual to society as a whole in a way that gives people greater freedom and power to act.(15) Such groups include families, neighborhoods, church 74

84 A New American Experiment: Partnership For The Public Good congregations, community organi ciations, public interest and zations, civic and business asso ions and many other bodies. All these groups advocacy groups, community development corporat e pursuit of the public good on the can play a crucial role in gene rating creative partnerships for th local and regional level. 309. The value of partnership is illustrated jobs are created. The by considering how new development of new businesses to se rve the local community is key to revitalizing areas hit hard by unemployment.(16) The cities and regions in greate st need of these new jobs face serious obstacles ack of financial resources, limited entrepreneurial in attracting enterprises that can provide them. L skill, blighted and unsafe environments, and a deterior ating infrastructure create a vicious cycle that makes new investment in these areas more risky and therefore less likely. 310. Breaking out of this cycle will require a cooperative approach that draws on all the resources of the community.(17) Community devel opment corporations can keep efforts focused on assisting those most in need. Existing business, labor, financial, and academic institutions can provide expertise in partnership wi cooperative structures of local th innovative entrepreneurs. New ownership will give the community or region an added stake in busin esses and even more important give these businesses a greater stake in the comm unity.(18) Government on the local, state, and national levels must play a significant role, espe cially through tax structures that encourage investment in hard hit areas and through funding aimed at conservation and basic infrastructure needs. Initiatives like these can contribute to a multilevel response to the needs of the community. 311. The Church itself can work as an effectiv e partner on the local a nd regional level. First- hand knowledge of community needs and commitment to the protection of th e dignity of all should put Church leaders in the forefront of efforts to encourage a community-w ide cooperative strategy. rent parts of the community, they can often Because churches include members from many diffe ise regard each other with suspicion. We urge serve as mediator between groups who might otherw local church groups to work creatively and in pa rtnership with other private and public groups in responding to local and regional problems. C. Partnership in the Development of National Policies 312. The causes of our national economic problems and their possi ble solutions are the subject of vigorous debate today. The di scussion often turns on the role the national government has played in creating these problems and could play in remedying them. We want to point to several considerations that could help build new forms of effective citizenship a nd cooperation in shaping the economic life of our country. initiative are deservedly esteemed in our 313. First, while economic freedom and personal society, we have increasingly come to recognize the inescapably social and political nature of the economy. The market is always embedded in a specifi c social and political context. The tax system affects consumption, saving and investment. Na tional monetary policy, domestic and defense programs, protection of the environment and worker safety, and regulation of international trade all shape the economy as a whole. These policies influence domestic investment, unemployment rates, foreign exchange, and the health of the entire world economy. 314. The principle of subsidiarity calls for govern ment intervention when small or intermediate groups in society are unable or unw illing to take the steps needed to promote basic justice. Pope John XXIII observed that the growth of more comp lex relations of interdependence among citizens 75

85 Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy has led to an increased role for government in in modern societies.(19) This role is to work the many other groups in society, helping them fulfill their tasks and partnership with em. The challenge of today is to responsibilities more eff ectively, not replacing or destroying th or less government intervention is needed, to move beyond abstract disputes about whether more consideration of creative ways of enabling government and priv ate groups to work together effectively. 315. It is in this light that we understand Pope John Paul II’s recommendation that "society mic domain.(20) Planning must occur on various make provision for overall planning" in the econo levels, with the government ensuring that basic justice is protected and also protecting the rights and freedoms of all other agents . In the Pope's words: the shoulders of the state, but it cannot mean one- In the final analysis this overall concern weighs on ead what is in question is a just and rational sided centralization by the public authorities. Inst itiative of individuals, free groups, and local work coordination within the framework of which the in centers and complexes must be safeguarded. (21) 316. We are well aware that the mere mention of economic planning is likely to produce a strong negative reaction in U.S. society. It conjures up images of centralized planning boards, ment paperwork. It is also command economies, inefficient bureaucracies, and mountains of govern interpretations and takes very clear that the meaning of "planning" is open to a wide variety of different forms in various nations.(22) The Pope's words should not be construed as an endorsement of a highly centralized form of economic planning, mu ch less a totalitarian one. His call for a "just and rational coordination" of the endeavors of the many economic act ors is a call to seek creative new partnership and forms of particip ation in shaping national policies. 317. There are already many forms of economic planning going on within the U.S. economy today. Individuals and families plan for their economic future. Management and labor unions regularly develop both long- and sh ort-term plans. Towns, cities, and regions frequently have planning agencies concerned with their social and economic future. When state legislatures and the U.S. Congress vote on budgets or on almost any othe r bill that comes before them, they are engaged in a form of public planning. Catholic social te aching does not propose a single model for political stitutionally related to each and economic life by which these levels are to be in other. It does insist that reasonable coordination among the different parts of the body po litic is an essential condition of good citizenship that a pplies to both individual for achieving justice. This is a moral precondition nce no political structure can guara ntee justice in society or the and institutional actors. In its abse economy. Effective decisions in these matters wi ll demand greater cooperation among all citizens. To encourage our fellow citizens to consider more carefully the appropriate balance of private and local initiative with national economic policy, we make several recommendations. First, in an advanced industrial economy like ours, all parts of society, including 318. government, must cooperate in forming national economic policies . Taxation, monetary policy, high levels of government spending, and many other form s of governmental regulation are here to stay. A modern economy without governmental interventi ons of the sort we have alluded to is inconceivable. These interventions, however, should help, not replace, the contributions of other economic actors and institutions and should direct them to the common good. The development of effective new forms of partnership between priv ate and public agencies will be difficult in a situation as immensely complex as that of the Unit ed States in which various aspects of national policy seem to contradict one anot her.(23) On the theoretical leve l, achieving greater coordination will make demands on those with the technical competence to analyze the relationship among 76

86 A New American Experiment: Partnership For The Public Good different parts of the economy. More practically, it will require the vari ous subgroups within our n for the common good and moderate their efforts to protect their society to sharpen their concer own short-term interests. ies on the poor and the vulnerable is the 319. Second, the impact of national economic polic . Throughout this letter we have stressed the special primary criterion for judging their moral value place of the poor and the vulnerable in any ethical analysis of the U.S. economy. National economic reflect this by standing firmly for policies that contribute to building a true commonwealth should the poor, the unemployed, the rough the cracks of our economy: the rights of those who fall th homeless, the displaced. Being a ci tizen of this land means sharing in the responsibil ity for shaping and implementing such policies. Third, the serious distortion of national economic priorities 320. produced by massive national spending on defense must be remedied the role of government shows . Clear-sighted consideration of ely intertwined through military research and that government and the economy are already clos up a major part of the U.S. economy and have defense contracts. Defense-related industries make intimate links with both the military and civilian government; they often depart from the competitive model of free-market capitalism. Moreove r, the dedication of so much of the national for the poor and vulnerable members of our own budget to military purposes has been disastrous and other nations. The nation's spendi in the interests of both justice ng priorities need to be revised and peace.(24) 321. We recognize that these proposals do not provi de a detailed agenda. We are also aware that there is a tension between se tting the goals for coherent policie s and actually arriving at them by democratic means. But if we can increase th e level of commitment to the common good and the virtues of citizenship in our nation, the ability to achieve these goals wi ll greatly increase. It is these ops to join the debate on national priorities. fundamental moral concerns that lead us as bish D. Cooperation at the International Level 322. If our country is to guide its international economic relati onships by policies that serve human dignity and justice, we must expand our understanding of the moral responsibility of citizens ration is not limited to the local, regional, or to serve the common good of the entire planet. Coope ed by national goals alone. The fact that the national level. Economic policy can no longer be govern "social question has become worldw ide"(25) challenges us to broa den our horizons and enhance our collaboration and sense of solidar ity on the global level. The cause of democracy is closely tied to the cause of economic justice. The unfinished bu siness of the American experiment includes the formation of new international partnerships, espe cially with the developing countries, based on mutual respect, cooperation, and a de dication to fundamental justice. 323. The principle of subsidiari ty calls for government to intervene in the economy when basic justice requires greater social coordination and regulation of ec onomic actors and institutions. In global economic relations, however, no international institution provi des this sort of coordination and regulation. The UN system, including the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, does no t possess the requisite authority. Pope John XXIII called this institutional weakness a "structural def ect" in the organization of the human community. The structures of world order, including ec onomic ones, "no longer correspond to the objective requirements of the universal common good."(26) 77

87 Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy terial resources and a growing array of common 324. Locked together in a world of limited ma omic policies we choose. problems, we help or hurt one another by the econ All the economic agents in our society, therefore, must consciously and deliberately attend to the good of the whole human family. We must all work to increase the effectiven ess of international agencies in addressing global problems that cannot be handled th rough the actions of individual count ries. In particular we repeat The Challenge of Peace our plea made in urging "that the United States adopt a stronger supportive leadership role with respect to the United Nations."(27) In the years following World War II, the United States took the lead in establishing multil ateral bodies to deal with postwar economic problems. Unfortunately, in recent years this country has taken steps that have weakened rather than strengthened multilateral approaches. This is a shortsighted policy and should be reversed if the long-term interests of an interdependent globe are to be serve d.(28) In devising more effective arrangements for pursuing international economic justice, the overriding problem is how to get from where we are to where we ought to be. Progres s toward that goal demands positive and often nks, labor unions, governments, and other major actors on the difficult action by corporations, ba international stage. But whatever the difficulty, the need to give pr iority to alleviating poverty in ; and the cost of continued in action can be counted in human developing countries is undeniable lives lost or stunted, talent s wasted, opportunities foregone, mi sery and suffering prolonged, and injustice condoned. ism by all parties are necessary first steps toward strengthening 325. Self-restraint and self-critic the international structures to protect the co mmon good. Otherwise, growing interdependence will lead to conflict and increased ec onomic threats to human dignity. Th is is an important long-term challenge to the economic future of this country and its place in the emerging world economic community 78

88 A New American Experiment: Partnership For The Public Good FOOTNOTES Chapter IV 1 Octogesima Adveniens , 24. 2 For different analyses along these lines with quite different starting points see Martin Carnoy, Derek Shearer and Russell Rumberger, An Immodest Agenda: A New Social Contract (New York: Harper and Ro w, 1983); Amatai Etzioni, Politics and -Hill, 1983); Charles E. Lindblom, Reconstructing America Before the 21st Century (New York: McGraw The New American Ideology (New York: Markets (New York: Basic Books, 1977), esp. 346-348; George C. Lodge, Journal of the American Alfred A. Knopf, 1975); Douglas Sturm, "Corporations, Constitutions and Covenants," The Zero-Sum Society (New York: Basic Books, 1980), esp. Academy of Religion , 41 (1973): 331-55; Lester Thurow, Knowledge and Politics 1975); George F. Will, Statecraft as ch. 1; Roberto Mangabeira Unger, (New York: Free Press, Soulcraft: What Government Does (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1982), esp. ch. 6. Pastoral Constitution , 68. See 3 , 75-77. Mater et Magistra 4 Charles W. Powers provided a helpful discussion of these matters in a paper presented at a conference on the sity Divinity School and the Institute for Policy Studies, first draft of this letter sponsored by the Harvard Univer Cambridge, Massachusetts, March 29-31, 1985. Business in a Changing Workplace," 3, Origins 15 (February 6, 1986): 567. 5 See John Paul II, "The Role of Rerum Novarum , 28. For an analysis of the relevant papal teachings on institutions of collaboration and 6 : The Social Teaching of the Catholic Church Applied to partnership, see John Cronin, Catholic Social Principles II; Oswlad von Nell-Breuning, Reorganization of Social American Economic Life (Milwaukee: Bruce, 1950), ch. V trans. Bernard W. Dempse Bruce, 1936), Economy: The Cosical Encyclical Developed and Explained, y (Milwaukee: chs. X-XII; Jean-Yves Calvez and Jacques Perrin, The Chur ch and Social Justice, trans. J. R. Kirwan (Chicago: Regnery, 1961), ch. XIX. 7 Michael Conte, Arnold S. Tannenbaum and Donna McCulloch, Employee Ownership , Research Report Series, Institute for Social Research (Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 1981); Robert A. Dahl, A Preface to Economic Democracy (Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 1985); Harvard Business School, "The Mondragon Cooperative Movement," case study prepared by David P. Ellerman (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Business School, n.d.); Robert Jacka (Berkeley, Calif.: University ll and Henry M. Levin, eds., Worker Cooperatives in America Participatory and Self-Managed Firms: Evaluating of California Press, 1984); Derek Jones and Jan Svejnar, eds., Economic Performance (Lexington, Mass.: D.C. Heath, 1982); Irving H. Siegel and Edgar Weinberg, Labor- Management Cooperation: The American Experience (Kalamazoo, Mich.: W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, 1982); Stuart M. Speiser, "Broadened Capital Ownership—The Solution to Major Domestic and International Journal of Post-Keynesian Economics VIII Problems," Self-Management: (1985): 426-434; Jaroslav Vanek, ed., Economic Liberation of Man The Share Economy (Cambridge, Mass.: (London: Penguin, 1975); Martin L. Weitzman, Harvard University Press, 1984). 8 Program of Social Reconstruction in Justice in the Marketplace , 381. 9 Mater et Magistra , 32, 77, 85-103; On Human Work , 14. 10 For examples of worker-owned and operated enterprises supported by the Campaign for Human Development's revolving loan fund see CHD's Annual Report (Washington, D.C.: United States Catholic Conference). Quadragesimo Anno is based: "It is wholly false to ascribe to 11 states the basic norm on which this conclusion property alone or to labor alone whatever has been obtained through the combined effort of both, and it is wholly unjust for either, denying the efficacy of the other, to arrogate to itself whatever has been produced" (53). On Human Work , 12. 12 13 Ibid., 20. This point was well made by John Cronin twenty-five years ago: "Even if most injustice and exploitation were removed, unions would still have a legitimate place. They are th e normal voice of la bor, necessary to organize social life for the common good. There is positive need for such organization today, quite independently of any social evils which may prevail. Order and harmony do not happen; they are the fruit of conscious and organized effort. While we may hope that the abuses which occasioned the rise of unions may disappear, it does not thereby follow that unions will have lost their function. On the contrary, they will be freed from unpleasant, even though temporarily necessary, tasks and able to devote all their time a nd efforts to a better organization of social life" Catholic Social Principles , 418. See also AFL-CIO Committee on the Evolution of Work, The Future of Work (Washington, D.C.: AFL-CIO, 1983). 79

89 Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy relative power of managers and sharehol ders see A.A. Berl e and Gardiner C. 14 For a classic discussion of the The Modern Corporation and Private Property Means, (New York: Macmillan, 1932). 15 Peter L. Berger and Richard John Neuhaus, To Empower People: The Role of Mediating Structures in Public (Washington, D.C.: American Enterprise Institute, 1977). Policy 1978 Annual Report (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing 16 United States Small Business Administration, Office, 1979). 17 For recent discussion from a variety of perspectives see: Robert Friedman and William Schweke, eds., Expanding the Opportunity to Produce: Revitalizing the American Economy Through New Enterprise Development: A Policy Reader (Washington, D.C.: Corporation for New Enterprise Development, 1981); Jack A. Meyer, Meeting Human Needs: Toward a New Public Philosophy (Washington, D.C.: American Enterprise Institute, 1982); Committee for Economic Development, Jobs for the Hard-to-Employ: New Directions for a Public-Private Partnership (New York: Committee for Economic Development, 1978); Gar Alperovitz and Jeff Faux, Rebuilding America: A Blueprint for the New Economy (New York: Pantheon Books, 1984). 18 Christopher Mackin, Strate gies for Local Ownership and Control: A Policy Analysis (Somerville, Mass.: Industrial Cooperative Association, 1983). 19 Mater et Magistra ” 59 and 62. 20 On Human Work " 18. 21 Ibid. 22 For examples and analysis of different meanings of economic planning see Naomi Caiden and Aaron Planning and Budgeting in Poor Countries Wildavsky, (New York: Wiley, 1974); Robert Dahl and Charles E. Lindblom, Politics, Economics and Welfare: Planning and Politic o-Economic Systems Resolved Into Basic Social Processes (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1976); Stephen S. Cohen, Modern Capitalist Planning: The French Model Development Planning: Lessons of (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1977); Albert Waterston, Experience (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1965); Rebuilding America , chs. 14, 15. 23 For example, many students of recent policy point out that monetary policy on the one hand and fiscal policies governing taxation and government expenditures on the other have been at odds with each other, with larger public deficits and high interest rates as th e outcome. See Ali ce M. Rivlin, ed., Economic Choices 1984 (Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution, 1984), esp. ch. 2. The Challenge of Peace , 270-271. 24 25 On the Development of Peoples , 3. 26 Peace on Earth , 134-135. 27 The Challenge of Peace , 268. 28 See Robert O. Keohane and Joseph S. Nye Jr., "Two Cheers for Multilateralism," Foreign Policy 60 (Fall 1985): 148-167. . 80

90 A Commitment To The Future CHAPTER V A COMMITMENT TO THE FUTURE is universal, we hold that the life of each 326. Because Jesus' command to love our neighbor bringing about a just economic order where all, person on this globe is sacred. This commits us to without exception, will be treated w ith dignity and to working in collaboration with those who share this vision. The world is complex and this may of ten tempt us to seek simple and self-centered a new vision that we solutions; but as a community of disciples we are called to a new hope and to st we learn more about our hout oversimplification. Not only mu must live without fear and wit moral responsibility for the larger economic issues that touch the daily life of each and every person Church as a model of soci on this planet, but we also want to help shape the al and economic justice. Thus, this chapter deals with the Christian vocati on in the world today, the special challenges to the the themes of this letter Church at this moment of history, ways in which should be followed up and a call to the kind of commitment that will be needed to reshape the future. A. The Christian Vocation in the World Today 327. This letter has addressed many matters co mmonly regarded as secular; for example: , and international economic relatio nships. Yet, the affairs of the employment rates, income levels world, including economic ones, cannot be separate d from the spiritual hunger of the human heart. We have presented the biblical vi sion of humanity and the Church's moral and religi ous tradition as a framework for asking the deeper questions about the meaning of economic life and for actively responding to them. But words alone are not enough. The Christian perspective on the meaning of economic life must transform the lives of individuals, families, in fact, our whole culture. The Gospel confers on each Christian the vocation to l ove God and neighbor in ways that bear fruit in the life of society. That vocation consists above al l in a change of heart: a conversion expressed in praise of God and in concrete deeds of justice and service. 1. Conversion 328. The transformation of social structures begins with and is always accompanied by a conversion of the heart.(1) As disciples of Christ each of us is called to a deep personal conversion and to "action on behalf of justi ce and participation in the transfor mation of the world."(2) By faith and baptism we are fashioned into a "new creature" ; we are filled with the Holy Spirit and a new love that compels us to seek out a new profound relationship with God, with the human family, and with all created things.(3) Renouncing self-centered desires, beari ng one's daily cross, and imitating Christ's compassion, all involve a personal strugg le to control greed a nd selfishness, a personal commitment to reverence one's own human dignity and the dignity of others by avoiding self- indulgence and those attachments that make us insensitive to the condi tions of others and that erode social solidarity. Christ warned us against attachments to material things, against total self-reliance, against the idolatry of accumulating material goods and seeking safety in them. We must take these teachings seriously and in their light examine how each of us lives and acts toward others. But personal conversion is not gained on ce and for all. It is a proce ss that goes on through our entire 81

91 Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy life. Conversion, moreover, takes place in the cont ext of a larger faith community: through baptism ayer, and through our activity with others on behalf of justice. into the Church, through common pr 2. Worship and Prayer 329. Challenging U.S. economic life with the Chri stian vision calls for a deeper awareness of the integral connection between worship and the world of work. Worship and common prayer are at continually call the the wellsprings that give life to any reflection on economic problems and th God of the universe is to participants to greater fidelity to discipleship. To worship and pray to the acknowledge that the healing love of God extends to all persons and to every part of existence, including work, leisure, money, economic and polit ical power and their us e, and to all those practical policies that either lead to justice or im pede it. Therefore, when Christians come together in prayer, they make a commitment to carry God's love into all these areas of life. 330. The unity of work and worship finds expres sion in a unique way in the Eucharist. As people of a new covenant, the faithful hear God's challenging word proclaimed to them—a message of hope to the poor and oppresse d—and they call upon the Holy Spirit to unite all into one body of of the fullness of God's Kingdom, the faithful must Christ. For the Eucharist to be a living promise ith the same care and love for all people that commit themselves to living as redeemed people w Jesus showed. The body of Christ which worshipers receive in Communion is also a reminder of the reconciling power of his death on th e cross. It empowers them to work to heal the brokenness of society and human relationships and to grow in a spirit of self-giving for others. 331. The liturgy teaches us to have grateful hearts: to thank God for the gift of life, the gift of this earth and the gift of all people . It turns our hearts from self-seeking to a spirituality that sees the and working for justice. By uniting us in prayer signs of true discipleship in our sharing of goods od, with the rich and the poor, with those near and dear, and with those in with all the people of G distant lands, liturgy challenges our way of liv ing and refines our values. Together in the e goods of this earth for the benefit of all. In community of worship, we are encouraged to use th mes a "sacrament," a visible sign of that unity in worship and in deeds for justice, the Church beco justice and peace that God wills for the whole of humanity.(4) 3. Call to Holiness in the World 332. Holiness is not limited to the sanctuary or to moments of private prayer; it is a call to direct our whole heart and life toward God and accord ing to God's plan for this world. For the laity holiness is achieved in the midst of the world, in family, in community, in friendships, in work, in leisure, in citizenship. Through their competency and by their activity, lay men and women have the vocation to bring the light of the Gospel to economi c affairs, "so that the world may be filled with the Spirit of Christ and may more ef fectively attain its destiny in ju stice, in love, and in peace."(5) 333. But as disciples of Christ we must consta ntly ask ourselves how deeply the biblical and ethical vision of justice and love permeates our thinking. How thoroughly does it influence our way of life? We may hide behind the complexity of the issues or dismiss the signi ficance of our personal contribution; in fact, each one has a role to play, because every day each one makes economic decisions. Some, by reason of their work or their pos ition in society, have a vocation to be involved 82

92 A Commitment To The Future in a more decisive way in those decisions that affect the economic well-being of others. They must be encouraged and sustained by all in their search for greater justice. 334. At times we will be called upon to say no to the cultural manifestations that emphasize ogether we must reflect ed to the Scriptures. T values and aims that are selfish, wasteful, and oppos necessary wants in order to meet the needs of on our personal and family decisions and curb un others. There are many questions we must keep asking ourselves: Are we becoming ever more wasteful in a "throw-away" societ y? Are we able to distinguish between our true needs and those thrust on us by advertising and a so ciety that values consumption more than saving? All of us could witness we are not called to adopt a simpler well ask ourselves whether as a Christian prophetic lifestyle, in the face of the exces sive accumulation of material goods that characterizes an affluent society. d weigh their needs carefully and establish a 335. Husbands and wives, in particular, shoul proper priority of values as they discuss the que stions of both parents working outside the home and r care and attention. At ti the responsibilities of raising children with prope mes we will be called as individuals, as families, as parishes, as Church, to identify more closely with the poor in their struggle for participation and to close the gap of understanding between them and the affluent. By sharing the perspectives of those who are suffering, we can come to understand economic and social us to seek more durable solutions. problems in a deeper way, thus leading 336. In the workplace the laity are often called to make tough deci sions with little information about the consequences that such decisions have on the economic lives of others. Such times call for collaborative dialogue together wi th prayerful reflection on Script ure and ethical norms. The same can be said of the need to ela borate policies that will reflect sound ethical principles and that can become a part of our political and social system. Si nce this is a part of the lay vocation and its call l and ethical dimension into the public debate on to holiness, the laity must seek to instill a mora s that must be faced. To weigh political options these issues and help enunciate the ethical question according to criteria that go beyond efficiency and expediency requires prayer, reflection, and dialogue on all the ethical norms involved. Holiness for the laity will involve all the sacrifices reflection within a worshiping and supporting faith needed to lead such a life of prayer and will bridge the gap that so easily arises between the moral community. In this way the laity principles that guide the personal life of the Christian and the considerations that govern decisions in society in the political forum and in the marketplace. 4. Leisure 337. Some of the difficulty in bringing Christian faith to economic life in the United States today results from the obstacles to establishing a ba lance of labor and leisure in daily life. Tedious and boring work leads some to look for fulfillm ent only during time off the job. Others have become "workaholics," people who work compulsively and without reflection on the deeper meaning of life and their actions. The quality a nd pace of work should be more human in scale enabling people to experience the dignity and valu e of their work and giving them time for other duties and obligations. This balance is vitally important for sustaining the social, political, educational, and cultural structur es of society. The family, in pa rticular, requires such balance. Without leisure there is too little time for nur turing marriages, for developing parent-child relationships, and for fulfilling commitments to other important groups: the extended family, the community of friends, the paris h, the neighborhood, schools, and poli tical organizations. Why is it 83

93 Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy one hears so little today about s if both parents are working? hortening the work week, especially other, for their children, and for their other Such a change would give them more time for each social and political responsibilities. ected to the whole of one' ed by the general culture s value system and influenc 338. Leisure is conn one lives in. It can be trivialized into boredom and laziness, or end in nothing but a desire for greater being counte rcultural. consumption and waste. For disciples of Christ, the use of leisure may demand build family and societal rela tionships and an opportunity in leisure time to The Christian tradition sees for communal prayer and wo rship, for relaxed contemplation and enjoyment of God's creation, and for n longing for wholeness. Mo st of all, we must be the cultivation of the arts which help fill the huma ffect our use of leisure and that su convinced that economic decisions a ch decisions are also to be based In this area of leisur ard against being swept on moral and ethical considerations. e we must be on our gu along by a lack of cultural values and by the cha nging fads of an affluent society. In the creation narrative God worked six da ys to create the world and rested on the seventh (Gn 2:1-4). We must take to harmonize action and rest, that image seriously and learn how work and leisure, so that both contribute to building up the person as well as the family and community. B. Challenges to the Church 339. The Church is all the peopl e of God, gathered in smaller faith communities, guided and served by a pope and a hierarchy of bishops, minister ed to by priests, deacons , religious, and laity, through visible institutions and agencies. Church is, thus, primarily a communion of people bonded by the Spirit with Christ as their Head, sustaining one another in love and acting as a sign or d to a transcendent end; sacrament in the world. By its nature it is people calle but, it is also a visible social institution functioning in this world. Accord ing to their calling, memb ers participate in the mission and work of the Church and share, to varyi ng degrees, the responsibil ity for its institutions nt in history, it is particular ly important to emphasize the and agencies.(6) At this mome for education and family life. responsibilities of the whole Church 1. Education 340. We have already emphasized the commitment is necessary if the to quality education that poor are to take their rightful place in the economi c structures of our society. We have called the Church to remember its own obligation in this regard and we have endorsed support for improvements in public education. 341. The educational mission of the Church is no t only to the poor but to all its members. We reiterate our 1972 statement: Through education, the Church seeks to prepare its members to proclaim the Good News and to translate this proclamation into action. Since the Ch ristian vocation is a call to transform oneself and society with God's help, the educational efforts of the Church must encompass the twin purposes of personal sanctification and social reform in the light of Christian values. (7) Through her educational mission the Church seeks: to integrate knowledge a bout this world with revelation about God; to understand God's relationshi p to the human race and its ultimate destiny in the Kingdom of God; to build up human communities of justice and peace; and to teach the value of all creation. By inculcating these va lues the educational system of th e Church contributes to society 84

94 A Commitment To The Future and to social justice. Economic questions are, thus , seen as a part of a larger vision of the human ed earth, and the duties a nd responsibilities that person and the human family, the value of this creat all have toward each other and toward this universe. 342. For these reasons the Church of her educational system the must incorporate into all levels teaching of social justice and th e biblical and ethical principles that support it. We call on our universities, in particular, to make Catholic soci al teaching, and the social encyclicals of the popes a an active role in U.S. part of their curriculum, especially for those whos e vocation will call them to technological progress are not opposed one to economic and political decision making. Faith and another, but this progre ss must not be channeled and directed by greed, self-indulgence, or novelty for its own sake, but by values that respect human dignity and foster social solidarity. 343. The Church has always held that the first ta r education lies in the sk and responsibility fo hands of parents: they have the right to choose freely the schools or other means necessary to .(8) The Church also has consiste educate their children in the faith ntly held that public authorities must ensure that public subsidies for the education of children are allocated so that parents can freely choose to exercise this right without incurr ing unjust burdens. This parental right should not aring in public benefits for those parents who be taken from them. We call again for equitable sh for their children. Such help s hould be available especially for choose private and religious schools low-income parents. Though many of these parent s sacrifice a great deal for their children's education, others are effectively deprived of the possibility of exercising this right. 2. Supporting the Family 344. Economic life has a profound effect on all social ularly on the family. structures and partic hardship and poverty. Divorce, failure to provide A breakdown of family life often brings with it children, pregnancies out of wedlock, all support to mothers and children, abandonment of contribute to the amount of poverty among us. Though these breakdowns of marriage and the family are more visible among the poor, they do not affect only that one segment of our society. In of these breakdowns come from the false values found among the fact, one could argue that many more affluent—values which ultimate ly pervade the whole of society. 345. More studies are needed to probe the possi ble connections between affluence and family and marital breakdowns. The constant seeking for self-gratification and the exaggerated individualism of our age, spurred on by false valu es often seen in advertising and on television, contribute to the lack of firm co mmitment in marriage and to dest ructive notions of responsibility and personal growth.(9) 346. With good reason, the Church ha s traditionally held that the family is the basic building block of any society. In fighting against economic arrangements that weaken the family, the Church contributes to the well-being of society. The sa me must be said of the Church's teaching on responsible human sexuality and its relationship to marriage a nd family. Economic arrangements must support the family and promote its solidity. 3. The Church as Economic Actor 347. Although all members of the Church are ec onomic actors every day in their individual lives, they also play an economic role united togeth er as Church. On the pari sh and diocesan level, 85

95 Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy through its agencies and institut ople; it has investments; it has ions, the Church employs many pe All the moral principles that govern the just operation extensive properties for worship and mission. of any economic endeavor apply to the Church and its agencies and institutions; indeed the Church is challenge most aptly: “While the The Synod of Bishops in 1971 worded th should be exemplary. to justice, she recognizes that anyone who ventures to speak to Church is bound to give witness people about justice must first be just in their ey es. Hence, we must undertake an examination of the modes of acting and of the possessions and lif estyle found within the Church herself.”(10) 348. Catholics in the United States can be justly proud of their accomplishments in building and maintaining churches and chapels, and an exte nsive system of schools, hospitals, and charitable institutions. Through sacrifices and personal labor our immigrant ancestors built these institutions. nd men taught in our schools and worked in our For many decades religious orders of women a hospitals with very little remune ration. Right now, we see the same spirit of generosity among the eek to pay more adequate salaries. religious and lay people even as we s we to deny a need for renewa l in the economic life of the 349. We would be insincere were Church itself and for renewed zeal on the part of the Church in examining its role in the larger context of reinforcing in U.S. so ciety and culture those values th at support economic justice.(11) flection: (1) wages and salaries, (2) rights of 350. We select here five areas for special re employees, (3) investments and property, (4) wo rks of charity, and (5) working for economic justice. 351. We bishops commit ourselves to the prin ciple that those who se rve the Church—laity, clergy, and religious—should receiv e a sufficient livelihood and the social benefits provided by responsible employers in our nation. These ob ligations, however, canno t be met without the the Church. We call on a increased contributions of all the members of ll to recognize their responsibility to contribute monetarily to the support of those who carry out the public mission of the Church. Sacrificial giving or tithing by all the People of God w ould provide the funds necessary r religious and lay people; the lack of funds is the usual underlying to pay these adequate salaries fo cause for the lack of adequate salaries. The obligation to sustain the Church's institutions— religious education programs, care of the elderly, education and health care, social service agencies, youth ministry, and the like—falls on all the members of the commun ity because of their baptism; them. Increased resources are also the obligation is not just on the users or on those who staff needed for the support of elderly members of re ligious communities. Thes e dedicated women and men have not always asked for or received the stip ends and pensions that would have assured their future. It would be a breach of our obligations to them to let them or their communities face retirement without adequate funds. 352. Many volunteers provide services to the Church and its mission which cannot be measured in dollars and cents. These services are important to the life and vitality of the Church in the United States and carry on a practice that has marked the history of the Church in this country since its founding. In this tradition, we ask young people to make themselves available for a year or more of voluntary service before beginning their training for more specific vocations in life; we also recommend expanding voluntary serv ice roles for retired persons; we encourage those who have accepted this challenge. 353. All church institutions must also fully recognize the rights of empl oyees to organize and bargain collectively with the inst itution through whatever associa tion or organization they freely choose.(12) In the light of new creative models of collaboration between labor and management 86

96 A Commitment To The Future described earlier in this letter, we challenge our c t new fruitful modes of hurch institutions to adop cooperation. Although the Church has its own nature and mission that must be respected and fostered, we are pleased that many who are not of our faith, but who share similar hopes and this vision. In seeking d with us in achieving aspirations for the human family, work for us an to be particularly alert to the continuing greater justice in wages, we recognize the need oughout Church and society, esp ecially reflected in both the discrimination against women thr in the concentration of women in jobs at the inequities of salaries between women and men and lower end of the wage scale. ders and those responsible within church 354. Individual Christians who are sharehol institutions that own stocks in U.S. corporations must see to it that the invested funds are used responsibly. Although it is a moral a nd legal fiduciary responsibility of the trustees to ensure an the work of the Chur adequate return on investment for the support of ch, their stewardship embraces broader moral concerns. As part-owners, they must cooperate in shaping the policies of nt, through votes at corp those companies through dialogue with manageme orate meetings, through the introduction of resolutions, a nd through participation in investment decisions. We praise the efforts of dioceses and other religious and ecumeni cal bodies that work toge ther toward these goals. nvestment policies, especially those which support We also praise efforts to develop alternative i in depressed communities and which help the enterprises that promote economic development Church respond to local and region al needs.(13) When the decision to divest seems unavoidable, it should be done after prudent examination a nd with a clear explanation of the motives. 355. The use of church property demands sp ecial attention today. Changing demographic patterns have left many parishes an d institutions with empty or part ially used buildings. The decline in the number of religious who are teaching in the schools and the reduction in the number of clergy often result in large residences with few occupants. In this regard, the Church must be sensitive to often projects, namely, that it is wealthy and the image the possession of such large facilities extravagant in the use of its resources. Th is image can be overcome only by clear public use, and of the services it renders l holdings, of its properties and their accountability of its financia large. We support and en courage the creative use of these facilities to its members and to society at by many parishes and dioceses to serve the needs of the poor. 356. The Church has a special call to be a serv ant of the poor, the sick, and the marginalized, thereby becoming a true sign of the Church's mission—a mission shared by every member of the such people through one of the largest private Christian community. The Church now serves many human services delivery systems in the countr y. The networks of agencies, institutions and programs provide services to millions of persons of all faiths. Still we must be reminded that in our day our Christian concerns must increase and ex tend beyond our borders, because everyone in need is our neighbor. We must also be reminded that ch arity requires more than alleviating misery. It demands genuine love for the person in need. It should probe the meaning of suffering and provoke s. True charity leads to advocacy. a response that seeks to remedy cause 357. Yet charity alone is not a al ills. All citizens, working corrective to all economic soci through various organizations of society and thro ugh government, bear the re sponsibility of caring for those who are in need. The Church. too, th rough all its members individually and through its agencies, must work to alleviate injustices that prevent some from participating fully in economic life. Our experience with the Campaign for Huma n Development confirms our judgment about the validity of self-help and empowe rment of the poor. The campaign, which has received the positive support of American Catholics since it was launched in 1970, provides a model that we think sets a 87

97 Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy high standard for similar efforts. We bishops know ll walks of life who use of the many faithful in a seek innovative ways to carry out the goals we are proposing in their skills and their compassion to this letter. As they do this, they are the Church acting for economic justice. At the same time, we society so that even more steps hope they will join together with us and their priests to influence our efforts by the poor themselves, helped by community can be taken to alleviate injustices. Grassroots support, are indispensable. The entire Christia n community can learn much from the way our deprived brothers and si sters assist each other in their struggles. hurch is a significant cu 358. In addition to being an economic actor, the C ltural actor concerned oblems. As we have proposed a new experiment about the deeper cultural roots of our economic pr in collaboration and participation in decision maki ng by all those affected at all levels of U.S. society, so we also commit the Church to beco me a model of collaboration and participation. C. The Road Ahead 359. The completion of a letter such as this one is but the beginning of a long process of s contents must be brought to all members of the Church and of education, discussion, and action; it society. 360. In this respect we mentioned the twofold aim of this pastoral letter: to help Catholics form their consciences on the moral dimensions of eco nomic decision making and to articulate a moral l societal and political debate that perspective in the genera stions. These two surrounds these que purposes help us to reflect on the different ways the institutions and ministers of the Church can assist the laity in their vocation in the world. Re newed emphasis on Catholic social teaching in our schools, colleges, and universiti es; special seminars with corp orate officials, union leaders, legislators, bankers, and the lik e; the organization of small gr oups composed of people from different ways of life to meditate together on the Gospel and ethical norms; speakers' bureaus; al; pulpit aids for priest family programs; clearinghouses of available materi s; diocesan television and radio programs; research projects in our universities—all of these ar e appropriate means for continued discussion and action. Some of these are done best on the parish level, others by the state Catholic conferences, and others by the Nationa l Conference of Catholic Bishops. These same many difficult decisions that deal w bodies can assist the laity in the ith political options that affect economic decisions. Where many options are available, it must be the concern of all in such debates that we as Catholics do not become polarized. All must be challenged to show how the decisions they make and the policies they suggest flow from the ethical moral vision outlined here. As new problems arise, we hope through our continual reflection that we will be able to help refine Catholic social teaching and contribute to its further development. 361. We call upon our priests, in particular, to con tinue their study of these issues so that they can proclaim the gospel message in a way that cha llenges the faithful but that also sustains and encourages their vocation in and to the world. Priestly formation in our seminaries will also have to prepare candidates for this role. 362. We wish to emphasize the need to undert ake research into ma ny of the areas this document could not deal with in depth and to conti nue exploration of those we have dealt with. We encourage our Catholic universities, foundations, and other institutions to assist in these necessary projects. The following areas for further research ar e merely suggestive, not exhaustive: the impact of arms production and large military spending on the domestic economy and on culture; arms production and sales as they relate to Third World poverty; tax reforms to e xpress the preferential 88

98 A Commitment To The Future option for the poor; the rights of women and minorit ies in the work force; the development of global influences; robotics, automation, and reduction of communications technology and its defense industries as they will affect employme nt; the economy and the stability of the family; legitimate profit versus greed; securing economic nd ecological questions; rights; environmental a future roles of labor and unions ; international financial institu tions and Third World debt; our national deficit; world food problems; "full employ ment" and its implementation; plant closings and dealing with the human costs of an evolving economy; cooperatives and new modes of sharing; systems; concentration of land ility standards; income support welfare reform and national eligib ownership; assistance to Third World nations; migration and its effects; population policies and development; the effects of increased inequality of incomes in society. dom of Love and Justice D. Commitment to a King 363. Confronted by this economic complexity and seeking clarity for the future, we can rightly economic system affect the lives of people— ask ourselves one single question: How does our all people? Part of the American dream has been to make this world a better place for pe ople to live in; dream must include everyone on this globe. Since we profess to be at this moment of history that Church, we all must raise our si ghts to a concern for the well- members of a "catholic" or universal being of everyone in the world. Third World debt becomes our pr oblem. Famine and starvation in sub-Saharan Africa become our concern. Rising m ilitary expenditures everywhere in the world become part of our fears for the future of this planet. We cannot be content if we see ecological neglect or the squandering of natural resources. In this letter we bishops have spoken often of economic interdependence; now is the moment when all of us must confront the reality of such a moment of grace—a kairos—that can unite economic bonding and its consequences, and see it as mily. We commit ourselves to this global vision. all of us in a common community of the human fa 364. We cannot be frightened by the magnitude and complexity of these problems. We must not be discouraged. In the midst of this struggle it is inevitable that we become aware of greed, the redemptive love of laziness, and envy. No utopia is possible on this earth; but as believers in rgiving mercy, we know that God's providence is God and as those who have experienced God's fo not and will not be lacking to us today. 365. The fulfillment of human needs, we know, is not the final purpose of the creation of the human person. We have been created to share in the divine life through a destiny that goes far beyond our human capabilities and before which we must in all humility stand in awe. Like Mary in proclaiming her Magnificat, we marvel at the w onders God has done for us, how God has raised up for them in the Kingdom. God now asks of us the poor and the lowly and promised great things sacrifices and reflection on our reverence for human dignity—in ourselves and in others—and on our service and discipleship, so that the divine goal for the human family and this earth can be involves a mutual bonding with all on this fulfilled. Communion with God, sharing God's life, globe. Jesus taught us to love God and one another and that the concep t of neighbor is without limit. We know that we are called to be members of a ne w covenant of love. We have to move from our devotion to independence, through an understanding of interdependence, to a commitment to human solidarity. That challenge must find its realizatio n in the kind of community we build among us. Love implies concern for all—especially the poor —and a continued search for those social and economic structures that permit ev eryone to share in a community th at is a part of a redeemed creation (Rom 8:21-23). 89

99 Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy FOOTNOTES Chapter V 1 , 13. Reconciliation and Penance 2 Justice in the World , 6. Medellin Documents: Justice 3 (1968), 4. 4 Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, 1; Pastoral Constitution , 42 and 45; Constitution on the Liturgy , 26; Decree on the Church's Missionary Activity , 5; Liturgy and Social Justice , ed. by Mark Searle, (Collegeville, Minn: Liturgical Press, 1980); National Conference of Catholic Bishops, (Washington, D.C.: United The Church at Prayer States Catholic Conference, 1983). 5 Dogmatic Constitution on the Church , 36. 6 Justice in the World , 41. 7 National Conference of Catholic Bishops, To Teach as Jesus Did, A Pastoral Message on Education Catholic Conference, 1972), 7. (Washington, D.C.: United States 8 Cf. Vatican Council II, , 3, 6. See also, Charter of the Rights of the Family , Declaration on Christian Education Instruction on Christian Freedom and Liberation 5b; , 94. 9 Pope John Paul II, On the Family holic Conference, 198 1), 6. See also (Washington, D.C.: United States Cat Robert N. Bellah, Richard Madsen, William M. Sullivan, Ann Swidler, Steven M. Tipton, Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985); The Family Today and Tomorrow: The Church Addresses Her Future II Medical-Moral Research and (Braintree, Mass.: Pope John XXI Education Center, 1985). 10 Justice in the World , 40. 11 Dogmatic Constitution on the Church , 8. 12 National Conference of Catholic Bishops, Health and Health Care (Washington, D.C.: United States Catholic Conference, 1981), 50. 13 See ch. IV of this pastoral letter. 90

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