Labor & Economy

| September 11, 2016 | 0 Comments

LaborEconomy

Among our tasks as witnesses to the love of Christ is that of giving a voice to the cry of the poor. 4

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment in the State of Minnesota has continued its gradual decline from 5.1 percent in June 2013 to 4.5 percent in June 2014. Although unemployment has decreased and the economy continues to slowly recover, most of the economic gains have not been distributed across the socioeconomic spectrum. In general, the very wealthy continue to make gains while the wages of most other workers have remained stagnant or have even declined. Many Minnesota families struggle to make ends meet. Elected officials, especially through formulation of the state budget, have considerable influence on policies and public funding for programs that serve the poorest and most vulnerable in society.

The last two years have seen the passage of important legislation aimed at combating poverty and fostering economic security, such as an increase in the minimum wage, record levels of public funding to combat homelessness  and an increase in the Working Family Credit to reduce marriage penalties. Still, new and creative ways to address poverty and foster greater participation in the labor market and in the benefits generated by the economy must continue. Similarly, legislation to curtail the usurious and exploitative practice of payday lending is still in need of enactment. As the Gospels outline, Catholics are called to stand up for those most in need.  One way we can do this is by heeding Pope Francis’ call to “resolve the structural causes of poverty.”5  This includes times when lawmakers are making important decisions that directly affect the most economically vulnerable in our communities. People of the faith community should encourage constant evaluation of economic decisions and institutions based on their ability to protect and respect human dignity.

  • Where does the candidate stand on promoting policies that protect the state’s most vulnerable citizens?
  • Where does the candidate stand on social and economic policies that foster economic participation and the creation of jobs that provide decent working conditions and just wages?

 

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Category: Voter's Guide 2016