Job insecurity persists even as U.S. unemployment rates hit new lows.
For just about any modern industrial society, a 4.3 percent unemployment rate would be something to celebrate. That’s the level the United States hit in May, a 16-year low and continuing what has proved a historic run in job growth. The United States reached the enviable economic state of full employment. Full employment in the United States occurs at a base unemployment rate of 5.0 to 5.2 percent.
A new podcast teaches consumers a lesson in globalization, its promise, and its potential liabilities.
Most of us devote little thought to ocean-borne shipping. Yet it plays an enormous role in our lives, as around 90 percent of everything that needs to go from point A to point B does so on the seas. As Americans, globalization has risen to the top of our national discourse and as Catholic Christians, how globalized shipping affects workers and the environment resonates deeply with our sense of community, stewardship, and economic exchange.
The priorities of the current administration are in stark contrast to those of Catholic social teaching.
Figuring discretionary spending the better part of valor, President Trump and the U.S. Congress avoided another potential government shutdown in April and punted the 2017 budget down the road to September.
A humanitarian crisis lurks in our modern food delivery system.
Strolling your supermarket aisles, you have one eye on your family’s food needs for the week and another on whatever bargains you may be able to pull off the shelf. You can be forgiven if, coupons in hand, you’re not worrying about avoiding food that includes hidden ingredients like, well, slavery. Sadly, in today’s interconnected food marketplace, compelled or uncompensated labor—even child slavery—provides a reliable competitive edge for many food exporters.
A new Canadian program makes a point to celebrate refugees, rather than demonize them.
Ammar (not his real name), a refugee from Syria, entered Canada two years ago at the age of 14. When he first moved to Canada with his mother and sister, he was extremely shy and had no friends or sense of community. But now, at 16, Ammar is an active member of an innovative group mentoring and youth development program called “Conversation Club.” After becoming more immersed in the program, Ammar says, “Now I can speak freely to other people, to my friends like this. Like when I came here, I don’t have any friends. Then, I came here and made all my friends.”
Now is the time to end the institutionalization of children everywhere, says Sean Callahan, president of Catholic Relief Services.
In the U.S., orphanages have long been phased out. Today social services are in place to support families and orphaned and other vulnerable children are cared for in foster homes until a permanent family is found or their existing family is able to care for them again. If we don’t accept orphanages in the U.S., why should we accept them in Guatemala, Haiti, and Ethiopia?
The church is a place where all are welcomed and where everyone belongs.
When Wendy Zimmerman wanted to join her boyfriend, Eddie Knack, for Sunday Mass, it took some doing.
Zimmerman has an intellectual disability that precludes her from driving and living fully independently. So over four weeks, a staff member from Zimmerman’s group home attended church with the couple. Each time the worker explained to Zimmerman where to exit in an emergency and where the restroom is so that Zimmerman would feel safe and comfortable.
Now Zimmerman and Knack attend Mass on their own. They sit right up front.
We can’t stay silent about segregation, says journalist Natalie Moore.
Natalie Moore’s book The South Side: A Portrait of Chicago and American Segregation (St. Martin’s Press) focuses primarily on the Windy City. But the topics she covers—housing policies, real estate markets, white flight, and school integration, among others—resonate across the country. She narrates how housing policies have historically undervalued and thus oppressed black people across the country and exposes a racist system, piece by piece, for what it is: inequitable, unjust, sinful.
Few Catholics are as consistently successful at being peace than the members of the Sant’Egidio community.
Returning after an unprecedented visit with refugees on the Greek island of Lesbos in April last year, Pope Francis startled the world by bringing 12 Syrian refugees back with him to Rome. Who did he turn to for help in orchestrating this humanitarian public relations coup? The Rome-based community of Sant’Egidio.
Since that dramatic gesture, Sant’Egidio has been shepherding the pope’s refugee families and accepting new people fleeing Syria, assisting them with language lessons, job placement, and settling in to life in Rome.
Who will shoulder social responsibility over the next four years?
Ready or not, 2017 could prove to be the year of unanticipated subsidiarity—the idea that social needs should be addressed at the lowest level of personal, civic, or governmental authority capable of responding to them.