In May 2013 America published "Just Economics," an article by Stacie Beck that sparked a lively and ongoing debate about social justice advocacy and Catholic social teaching. Here you will find Beck's piece along with several responses from our contributors and readers. We encourage you to join the conversation in the comments section and on Twitter @americamag.
"Just Economics: Questioning the assumptions of social justice advocates," by Stacie Beck (5/6)
"Advocating for redistribution through the tax and transfer system erodes prosperity and undermines the attitudes that created it. Can this be social justice? The central problem is to figure out how to get the market system to work for as many as possible without destroying it. "
"A Response to 'Just Economics,'"by Meghan J. Clark
"What the goals of social justice do assume is that a society built upon justice can protect the dignity and encourage the participation of all its members. To evaluate the justice and morality of economic structures, we must ask what does it do to people?"
"A (Second) Response to 'Just Economics,'" by Joseph Tetlow, S.J.
"[Human] dignity, in the Catholic social agenda, calls for a society organized to offer sufficient labor for those who want and need it. Perhaps Dr. Beck could think more carefully about this lack of sufficient labor in the U.S. today. It is not a failure of government, of the consumer, or of labor; it is failure of capitalists."
"Why Mystery Matters: Martha, Mary and the gap between economics and theology," by John Savant (11/4)
"A fully human approach to economic justice, then, would join the science of economics with a reverence for the mystery of the human person. Such an approach would honor human need before productivity, would encourage enthusiasm and responsibility through a culture enhancing the relation of worker to product and would guarantee compensation designed to diminish our scandalous income disparities. "
State of the Question: Readers respond to 'Just Economics'