Can Marco Rubio help to break the partisan divide over the dignity of work?

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, is pictured in a Nov. 8, 2017, photo in Washington. (CNS photo/Joshua Roberts, Reuters) 

U.S. politicians love to talk about the dignity of work. And for good reason: Work is a major part of how Americans understand themselves. But politicians do not agree about what the dignity of work entails. The way Republicans and Democrats talk about this idea and the policies they justify through it differ widely.

So it is remarkable to see Florida Senator Marco Rubio’s recent essay on the dignity of work in the journal First Things. In it, Mr. Rubio, a Republican, uses the concept of work’s dignity in ways more commonly heard from Democratic senators like Ohio’s Sherrod Brown and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. Mr. Rubio writes of “the essential role of labor unions” and how the growing power of financial capital “has sapped our productive capacity and damaged our ability to provide dignified work.”

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It is also remarkable that Mr. Rubio draws these ideas from Catholic social teaching. “The dignity of work, the Church instructs us through documents like [Leo XIII’s 1891 encyclical] Rerum Novarum, is not just the concern of individuals,” he writes. “It is the concern of communities and nations to provide productive labor to their people.”

The partisan divide over the dignity of work comes down to one question: Where does dignity come from? Do jobs give people dignity, or do people give jobs their dignity?

The labor-friendly ideals of Catholic social teaching are more often echoed by Democrats’ statements on the dignity of work than by Republicans. With this essay, Mr. Rubio is breaking intellectual ranks. If other Republicans follow him, he may show that Catholic social teaching points the way toward a pro-worker political consensus.

The partisan divide over the dignity of work comes down to one question: Where does dignity come from? Do jobs give people dignity, or do people give jobs their dignity?

Republicans typically say dignity is inherent in work itself. When you work, you earn not just wages but also the right to take pride in contributing to society. By this reasoning, minimum-wage and maximum-hours laws, as well as collective bargaining by labor unions, get in the way of people’s access to the dignity that work brings. As the former Wisconsin governor Scott Walker said last year, in a statement justifying new work requirements for food stamps, “We want to help those in need move from government dependence to true independence through the dignity of work.” Without work, on this view, you lack dignity.

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Democrats, by contrast, talk about dignity as contingent on the quality of the job; work is only as dignified as the wages, protections and benefits workers get from it. That means dignity is not equally inherent in all work. “Dignity of work means hard work should pay off for everyone, no matter who you are or what kind of work you do,” reads the website for Mr. Brown’s 2019 Dignity of Work Tour. “When work has dignity, everyone can afford health care and housing.... When work has dignity, our country has a strong middle class.” Dignity, then, is something to preserve, to organize around or, as Mr. Brown has said, to “fight for.”

Mr. Brown’s view, like the one Mr. Rubio espouses in his essay, aligns with much of what the popes say in the social encyclicals. Catholic social teaching emphasizes that the person has dignity before they ever work a day in their life—or if they never do. As Pope John Paul II wrote in his 1981 encyclical, “Laborem Exercens,” “the basis for determining the value of human work is...the fact that the one who is doing it is a person.” Work is only dignified because human beings, made in the image of God, already are.

 

The social encyclicals were written, in part, to combat socialism. Pope Leo spends much of “Rerum Novarum” defending the right to private property and calls Marxists “crafty agitators.” But his vision of labor is also radical by the standards of the United States in the 21st century. Leo sounds further left than Senator Bernie Sanders, an avowed democratic socialist, when the pope deplores the inequality created by Industrial Age capitalism: “A small number of very rich men have been able to lay upon the teeming masses of the laboring poor a yoke little better than that of slavery itself.”

As for policy, Leo argues for a living wage—income high enough to support a frugal family—and for maximum hours based on the kind of work being done and “the health and strength of the worker.” He mentions miners as deserving “shorter hours in proportion as their labor is more severe and trying to health.” Throughout the encyclical, the pope appeals to natural law. Humane labor conditions are not just perks for the highly skilled; they are universal requirements of justice.

It will take more than one Republican senator’s essay to realize Catholic social teaching’s vision of the dignity of work. But workers’ natural rights become a little more secure with each legislator who begins to see dignity in Pope Leo’s terms.

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rose-ellen caminer
1 month 2 weeks ago

Capitalism is a double edged sword then.Yes it brought us cell phones, t.v., and cars, and perhaps too penicillin which changed the course of health care, but it increased the need for certain commodities that did not exist before. In a more primitive world you needed food, clothing an shelter, but in the modern world, a cell phone , color t.v., cars and penicillin are included as basic staples that we need. Having those items have become a part of a frugality.You can't work unless you can get there, and not having a cell phone or tv isolates one and puts you and your family in jeopardy. In the 1950's we only knew of hurricanes because ships witnessed them out at sea,Now we can track them efficiently with our satellite observations.Without a t.v. , the individual would be living in a world isolated from that situation and unaware of evacuation orders.

J Cosgrove
1 month 2 weeks ago

You realized you just made a great argument for capitalism.

I worked in advertising at one time and the new product development of most companies was based on problems to be solved. But once a problem was solved, new problems arose that were always there but not thought that bad before but which now were at the forefront. So solving them became an objective. No matter what level of prosperity there is, there will always be new problems. Capitalism did not increase needs, it increased wants as people saw what was possible. There is a huge differences.

J Cosgrove
1 month 2 weeks ago

As an example, in health care, the main problem in the 1950's was heart/cardio vascular issues. Still a major problem but less than it was. Cancer then took over as the #1 bogey man, still a major problem but less of a concern. Then there is alzheimers. A scary ending for all of us as we treat elderly relatives who are almost in a vegetative state. Usually not life threatening but debilitating is arthritis. Now there is falling. An elderly acquaintance said that nearly all of his friend that are still alive are complaining of falling and the local parish has a program run by the parish nurse on how to avoid falls. Others such as diabetes and lung diseases are slowly being reduced. Something will replace them as a major concern.

rose-ellen caminer
1 month 2 weeks ago

Of course it increased needs; for many that includes cars to get to work, [ in simpler supply and demand proto capitalist self sufficient societies of the past one worked on ones farm or owned a business in ones neighborhood where the price of gasoline was not a consideration] cell phones to access emergency services, [ very few pay phones around today ] t.v's , now even computers to not be isolated, penicillin [health care] to live. I'm not anti capitalist; I'm a Democratic Socialist;[ I prefer the term "Christian Democrat", but why quibble with words in this secular nation].Government has a role to play; a big one, in providing for the ECONOMIC welfare of all it citizens;that's what government is for in this technologically advanced interdependent globalized system, in addition to establishing just laws and defense of citizens.[IMO}.
The Republican mantras about "freedom" and "independence from government" [free to have no health care, or go into debt for being educated, add now;the freedom to not have food stamps to eat, latest indignity] just does not cut it, to hoodwink the people into accepting laissez faire puritanical capitalist economics any more.[ I hope].

With AI coming along who knows; perhaps one day most of if not all of physical labor will be done by machines, and that will leave a sizable chunk of humanity without jobs. We can adjust to that too,[ Wang's guaranteed income for all will be a logical outcome;a necessity] .Then the inherent dignity of work;man/woman as the macher, the doer, the user of ones hands,ones body for the inherent dignity of movement; of physical labor will be actualized. People will "work", as leisure, as pleasure, as hobby as do gooder for its own sake.We have a glimpse of that possible future now already with people needing to go to gyms to get some physical labor.

Stuart Meisenzahl
1 month 2 weeks ago

Rose Ellen
Reread your own argument ....”Capitalism has created new needs such as cellphones ,TVs ,and cars” That,Rose Ellen, is a perfect demonstration/argument of how transformative Capitalism /free market has been. Food, clothing and shelter used to be the basics for defining poverty levels and your argument admits that is no longer the case.
But even taking your argument at face value ,capitalism/ free market has continuously driven down the cost of the very items you now speak of as essential to not being poor.
By way of contrast please look at Venezuela where the Democratic Socialist Chavez leveled the playing field to wipe out disparities in the income levels of its people....seized private enterprises and nationalized resources for the common usage/good . Within 10 years Venezuela....once the overall richest country in Latin America ...found that food, clothing and shelter were once again the descriptors/ yard stick of its poverty and that more Venezuelans were poor than before Chavismo was instituted. Cuba is yet another example of the abject failure of the socialist agenda. It was wholly dependent on Russia and now it is dependent on Venezuela. Poverty in Cuba is now defined as a Food clothing and shelter issue. Government is by definition (and experience) the least efficient and effective way to provide goods and services

Charles Erlinger
1 month 2 weeks ago

Rerum Novarum has not been the last word on human dignity. Neither that document nor any from the Church since then has defined work as the source of human dignity. Dignity is an attribute that one human accords another in recognition and acknowledgement of the other’s human personhood, with all that is implied by that personhood. Work is fundamentally a condition of survival and for most of us, a source of satisfaction of aspirations for our physical and social flourishing. That flourishing improves the likelihood that others will acknowledge our dignity, but work is not the source of our dignity.

Stuart Meisenzahl
1 month 2 weeks ago

The author references to Scott Walker stating that “the work requirement of Wisconsin food stamps as moving the recipient from government dependence to independence through the dignity of work”
From this statement the author makes the incredible and intellectually dishonest conclusion :”Without work ,on this view (the Republican view) you lack dignity”.
That is not at all what Governor Walker said. He said that THROUGH the dignity of work you become independent vs government dependent.
A person can be fully dignified in his own right and still NOT Independent! The “dignity of work” is transformative of your state of dependence.
The author purposefully misstates that the Republican view is that you have no individual dignity without work ....the Republican view is that you can have no independence without the dignity of work.

rose-ellen caminer
1 month 2 weeks ago

Some people are just not capable or working.; emotionally and temperamentally they cannot get or keep a job. They are still human beings needing to eat to live. That food stamps should be denied them because they have no job, turns the very concept of food stamps on its head. [ Similar to the Republican/right wing position that turns refugees qualification on its head; only people who can be vetted by the very governments they are fleeing from should be allowed in , or only people who already have it made economically should be allowed in].That someone out of work must partake of this "dignity of work" [abstraction] in order to qualify for food stamps is puritanical[ the same people who brought us solitary confinement for prisoners], cruel and absurd. And it stigmatizes people who are already at the bottom rung socio/economically.There is no dignity in going hungry and not knowing where you next meal is coming from.This from a country that regards itself as the most generous, compassionate people that have ever existed on the planet!Unbelievable! .
If you are underemployed you are still dependent.Even the rich are provided many government subsidies;many pay little or nothing in taxes.In a democracy the government is of the people .We are all interconnected.

J Cosgrove
1 month 2 weeks ago

You are arguing for the US to feed, clothe and shelter 6 billion people. It's not possible. So what is the policy that let's the US feed, clothe and shelter the small fraction of the world it can while excluding others? Meanwhile the world has been getting better off based on the innovations developed in the part of the world that embraced freedom.
Also the 1% in the US pay more than a third of income taxes and about a quarter of all federal taxes. The top 10% pay over 2/3 of income taxes and over half of all federal taxes.

Stuart Meisenzahl
1 month 2 weeks ago

Now, Now J C....if you read their comments on what NOW constitutes poverty, then just giving those 6 billion people food, clothing and shelter will never do...cellphones, TVs and cars will also also be required.

J Cosgrove
1 month 2 weeks ago

Cellphones, TVs and cars are in the second 5 year Plan.

Stuart Meisenzahl
1 month 2 weeks ago

Rose-Ellen
You might try and read the “work requirement” under discussion ...it is not a work or starve proposition....it is an “if you are capable of work then you must work.” There are all kinds of safety net exits built in for those who are not capable.
You have abused and misused this issue to conflate and create an emotional diatribe of social justice talking points.

rose-ellen caminer
1 month 2 weeks ago

You MUST work if capable?;"from each according to his/her ability to each according to his/her need",say the Communists.

Food stamps ARE the safety net for those who for whatever reason have no work but must eat to live[ and to find work if inclined and capable].Relying on what some person at some private or religious charity[ your "all kinds of safety nets"] may or may not assess concerning your capacity to work, when you tell them you are out of work and need food, is not a safety net that promotes ones autonomy and upholds ones dignity as it can be arbitrary and capricious.; "you look fit to me.", says the intake worker who does not like your attitude or looks, or the fact you show up all the time and are neither a drug addict or alcoholic or have severe mental illness [ those categories social justice warriors have educated us to no longer stigmatize but here's another group; the simply unemployed, we now can]. A government program like food stamps is objective, universal[anyone needing to be supplemented for food gets it]and pragmatic as well as ethical.To undue this safety net is both cruel and stupid.[imo]
{ actually food stamps as stamps was seen rightly so, to be stigmatizing ,as everyone could see you using them and know you were poor, So the government humanely and wisely did away with the actual stamps[ I was on them years ago] and made cards that look like debit cards[ ARE debit cards?] for people in need of food subsidies, So no one is embarrassed for needing assistance if not working or underemployed.

Stuart Meisenzahl
1 month 2 weeks ago

Rose-Ellen
You betrayed it all in your second sentence.....”Food Stamps ARE the safety net for those WHO FOR WHATEVER REASON HAVE NO WORK ...”
Your “WHATEVER REASON “ includes “just not liking to work”...”thinking work is beneath you” etc etc.........providing food stamps to such people is nothing short of stupid and rewards conduct which is parasitic, antisocial and utterly unacceptable in a functioning society.

rose-ellen caminer
1 month 2 weeks ago

What is unacceptable ethically is treating access to food subsidies as a tool of punishment for people who for whatever reason have no job.It's not like we lack for food in this country.We throw out food. To use food as a weapon against even "parasitic anti social" people, is beneath the dignity of a food abundant society. Even those people have to eat. And your characterization may apply to a relative handful of people out of work, but the reality is, it is experienced by most people as a burden to be fit and healthy and not have a job;"the days are long, the nights are long" when you have no place to go and nothing to do and you see others of your age group gainfully employed going to work and coming home every day. Most unemployed people want to work. So this gross characterization of perhaps a handful of "parasites" betrays this Puritanical attitude that right wingers have that if you are out of work you are bad. [ the corollary of if you are rich you must be good].But even "bad" people are human beings who need to eat to live. And so a functioning society should provide food for all its citizens; the good and the bad alike.Using food as a weapon even against "bad" people is wrong.
PS And even anti social parasites have a role in society.if nothing else , they are not taking jobs away from the eager beaver ambitious who will get depressed if out of work.Also the,y being outside the mainstream may have perspectives on the culture at large that those immersed in it don't.[ not a coincidence that all of us retirees love to post our insights on blogs]There are all kinds of people in the world; a technologically advance humanistic society with food to spare can surely accept even love its anti social parasites[IMO}

rose-ellen caminer
1 month 2 weeks ago

AND; if you accept the premise that there are people who are not deserving of food stamps because they are anti social parasites, then you must also accept the premise that there are some who are legitimately incapable of work.How do you decide which are which? The obvious answer is the government, but the right wing has already concluded that the government is incapable of rational decision making.Therefore the decision must be made by the capitalists whose knee jerk reaction will always be that they are all the undeserving poor.

J Cosgrove
1 month 2 weeks ago

You are talking nonsense. I am pretty much aware of what conservatives believe and read their websites frequently and your descriptions and those of others are not even close to what they think. No one is against helping others in true need. And there are probably a few millions of those in the United States. It is a question of who and how much. Clinton declared in 2000 that there was enough aid at that time for the country. Since then the amount of aid increased dramatically. For some there is never enough but there is a limit of what can be done and also what harm the aid has.

J Cosgrove
1 month 2 weeks ago

We have an obesity problem not a starvation problem. Calorie consumption in the US is about 3500 calories a day. It’s possible for a non active person to exist on 1400-1800 calories a day. I know because both my wife and I did so to lose weight. It’s tough but possible. Food stamps is enough to provide that level of calories. Currently 36 million are on food stamps, down from a high of 47 million and double that during Clinton’s last year.

rose-ellen caminer
1 month 1 week ago

So does that mean you too disagree with cruel right wing policies that kick people when they are down such as this not giving food stamps to people who don't have jobs; i.e. ,people who need them the most.?

J Cosgrove
1 month 1 week ago

As I have said you do not understand the issues and name calling is an indication of that.

There are currently 37 million on food stamps, despite record low unemployment, twice the number when Clinton left office.

rose-ellen caminer
1 month 1 week ago

What name calling?You don't see a policy of denying food stamps to people who need it the most; the unemployed, as cruel? You see such policies of government enforced food insecurity in a country that has an abundance of food as ethical?What relevance is it how many people are on food stamps and what the record of unemployment is today, to the issue of the ethics of denying food stamps to people out of work?

Stuart Meisenzahl
1 month 1 week ago

Rose Ellen
It is not a question of “punishing anyone”......you have it exactly backwards!.....it is a case of not rewarding what Bill Clinton himself described as “welfare queens”. ....it is a case of not compensating those who find available work beneath them ...it is a case of not rewarding people who find work boring or even (heaven forbid ) hard!
Read the legislation and see what is in place for the cases you are reasonably worried about.You will be surprised. You are simply presuming it’s a giant right wing plot to hit the poor.
Further these rules are made by each state, not the Federal Government ....it’s good old Catholic subsidiarity at its best
As for your comment on the value of anti-social parasites....well they may even be entertaining but rewarding such conduct is simply stupid.

rose-ellen caminer
1 month 1 week ago

No point in arguing with people who call themselves Catholic but are really Puritans. No one should be "scrounging around for their next meal" and every meal because they have no job, in this country!

J Cosgrove
1 month 1 week ago

No point in arguing with people who call themselves Catholic but are really Puritans

Sorry you feel that way. But try not to criticize others. You can certainly criticize their arguments or dispute their claims on facts and behavior. But I can tell you that conservatives believe they have the moral high ground on this issue and I agree. So to cast aspersions is not productive. I have 16 years of Catholic education and am anything but a Puritan.

J Cosgrove
1 month 1 week ago

I have a good friend who says that the success of his family was due to his grandmother who he describes as an Irish washer woman who scrubbed floors to help her family eat. He is a very successful educator who has lectured around the country on how to teach writing. He held his grandmother in awe. How many today would thing scrubbing floors is dignified? Interesting my wife and I were on a cruise to the South Pacific a few years ago and one of the couples at out table was a delightful couple from the UK. She too was a washer woman who cleaned offices at night. This trip was the culmination of 10 years of saving. Was this work undignified? I doubt it.

rose-ellen caminer
1 month 1 week ago

My point is you don't have the moral high ground.If you have chosen to live the dignified life as God and or nature intended; as a working person, then as Jesus said, you have your reward.Goodness is for goodness sake.Do you want to trade places with someone who has chosen the undignified life of, as the other commenter said; a stupid arrogant anti social parasite [ there's your name calling]whose stupidity and arrogance is fodder as entertainment for the rest of society; we the straight as arrows God pleasing dignified workers?No you don't. If someone in their stupidity and arrogance chooses that undignified life,that's on them. Live and let life; they still have to eat, and enforced food scarcity on people labeled stupid and arrogant in a country with an abundance of food, is cruel.

But even this narrative of people not working because they are arrogant, and stupid is a paranoid contemptuous trope used by this Puritan[ right wing Republican] mindset that wants to punish anyone who does not fit societies mold of living a dignified life . Most people who are not working are either victims of circumstances, or of a few bad choices and mistakes.Or they are temperamentally and emotionally incapable of holding a job.Often, if one has been out of work for some time, no one will hire you just for being out of work; a catch 22. One then becomes chronically unemployed . To deny food stamps because one has no work is an adversity for the unemployed person ;who is already in the adverse position of not having a job and no income.Therefore it IS cruel, and stupid to boot; it is kicking people who are already on the bottom.That IS puritanical thinking; God favors the good, and if you are down and out, you are not pleasing to God and we, the dignified, the hard working good, are doing God's work in being cruel to you by in this case denying you access to food security!YOU deserve to suffer!

Stuart Meisenzahl
1 month 1 week ago

Rose -Ellen
At the heart of our disagreement as to the Catholic approach to this problem is a very simple: You view the injunctions of the Sermon on The Mount as directed to Governments. I view those injunctions as directed to each of us as individuals.
I do not believe that a person can adhere to Matt25 by outsourcing his responsibility to government. You in the best Socialist tradition believe that government should fulfill our “collective obligation” under Matt 25 through taxes. When Christ to told the rich young man he should sell everything he owned and give it to the poor, He did not say “and sell your neighbors goods as well”
Also in the best Socialist tradition you have no trouble creating future dependence on government through a myriad of economic policies conceived at headquarters.
I am all in favor of food safety nets for those who need it. You are all in favor in providing food to anyone who simply wants it.
My use of the word “stupid “ was not attached to or directed to any person .....it was specifically directed to a policy which rewards actions that are essentially parasitic—-a person who gets on the public dole simply because they do not want to work.
You have intentionally misrepresented my statement because you know it is impossible to defend rewarding those who do not want to work.

rose-ellen caminer
1 month 1 week ago

You are right; i believe the role of government today is to provide for the welfare of its citizens. I believe that today unlike thew past; when food supplies were precarious, triage was the norm and such considerations of who gets how much food had to be considered, today that is not an issue for us[at least in this country] So yes everyone whatever their iq or ethics or lack of ethics , should not have to worry about not having enough to eat.[i would extend that to shelter too and or course health care, and education].Some months ago i was inside a store looking out the woindow on a busy street. i saw a young man who looked fit and was dressed nice and did not look homeless, alcoholic or drug addicted. But he was looking around and went up to a food vendor and asked him if he could have some food for free. The vendor said no.I saw him walk away and of course I felt bad for him. I don't know what was in his mind; did he think he was above working .I really doubt it. But that just a few feet away from me was someone who was going hungry made me feel bad. {Emotions ARE relevant to ethics; emotions give us empathy and our laws and policies are based on our capacity to have empathy]I can eat anything I want when ever I want. That's as it should be. I feel no guilt about that, but knowing someone else has food shortages when there was food all over that street, was horrible.[water, water everywhere and nothing but to drink]. That's how I see the issue of food stamps. There are all kinds of scammers , I don't want policy to treat all unemployed as if they were scammers.There IS food scarcity in this country.Recently I was in the supermarket filling up the cart. At the checkout counter, a person behind me came up and handed me an item of food he wanted me to pay for with my groceries. I don't know if he was a scammer, and we're not made of money , but there I was filling my cart with food and he had one item, and so I felt ethically obliged to trust that he was needy. These people exist and shame on those who want to take away their food stamp subsidies!

Stuart Meisenzahl
1 month 1 week ago

Rose ellen
Please note that the Food stamp program is in fact a Government Program....the very type you indicate government should initiate ...in fact its a Federal /State program.....the Fed’s provide $$$$ and the States decide how to distribute them.
As for your stories about people in need being hungry....I have one of my own:
A female 23 year old bar tender was getting ready for her first child...she was congratulated by “the regulars” who had taken up a collection for a gift. I asked her if she and her significant other were finallygoing to get married now that a kid was imminent ....She replied : Oh No ,that would be foolish if married our combined income would be such that we each would no longer be eligible for our current individual food stamp allotment!! After inquiry , I discovered this is a very common reason for couples to not marry!
Sure this is just one example of gaming the system.....but it goes to show that even with rules like those requiring beneficiaries to actively seek work there will be plenty of people taking advantage of a government program as a matter of personal right!

rose-ellen caminer
1 month 1 week ago

I would want to know what was their combined income; how much rent were they paying, how much was going out to health insurance companies, before I can say that choosing to not be married by the state, for the sake of still getting the food stamps was unethical.Taking advantage of a government program by abiding by the laws and stipulations of that program IS a matter of a personal right.If they are living high on the hog already and choose to not be married for the few extra pittance the food stamps provide then yes they are greedy misers taking advantage of a system designed to help people make ends meet.
I would like to see a uniform standard of how food stamps get spent [and a uniform ;across all states, standard gun regulations for that matter]. Am I correct and if I am is it a coincidence that states that are hardest on the poor, have the highest rates of drug addictions, suicides, mental illness, people going violently berserk,shortened life spans , white nationalist racists?

Stuart Meisenzahl
1 month 1 week ago

Rose Ellen
I cite that bar tender example because it is indicative of the complexity of these called “ need problem “......unless you are in the trenches you have no idea how many variations on these scams exist.......I have had two carpenters who “stop working” when they get W-9s amounting to$50,000 because they loose free state health care and food stamps. They do continue to work in fact but only for cash payment /no w-9 to the Fed’s. These people are not naive ! They know the rules and use them.
I don’t think there are any stats that reflect your concern that mayhem breaks out on the States who “are hardest on the poor”. For instance New Hampshire is recognized by all political parties as one of the ground zero states for addiction. Yet it has one of the most robust safety nets for the poor in the United States.—- See The Center in Budget and Policy Priorities Report “Safety Net Cuts Poverty by More Than Half In New Hampshire”. California has they most Progressive anti poverty / subsidy programs in the Country, yet it has the highest homeless rate!

rose-ellen caminer
1 month 1 week ago

You make valid points; when I was working there were people who somehow finagled to get to work four hour and got paid for 8 hours.Working light duty;sitting at a desk , no less. for claiming to have been injured on the job.I actually witnessed one woman when she was sitting there keying the mail, [as I was[] and a fly just ran into her face1 and just kept attcking her like that, [ it looked funny to me; i felt like laughing but I did not for not wanting to embarrassed her as I saw profoundly upset by this] instead of just shooing the fly and being embarrassed for a moment or so, she got livid about it.A She stopped the machine , ran off to the manager, and made the biggest to do about it! she ended up having to get paid time off over this nonsense!Filling out reams of paper work like this was some real incident that had to be addressed and was so stressful for her that she needed time to recoup!That was not an actual scam but its amazing what occurs among the working class heroes.Another scammer who was getting paid to do nothing, supposedly because he was injured, actually told a handful of us ,I heard him say it, that he was scamming. He looked like someone who works out and is on steroids; he hated my guts and when he looked at me I felt afraid.His attitude was; and he said it; let em try to prove it1[ha ha ha]. It was appalling but he got away with it for years.One day he was no longer there; I do not know the upshot but it was as relief to not have him around.

Stuart Meisenzahl
1 month 2 weeks ago

.

david_roccosalva@yahoo.com
1 month 2 weeks ago

The equation isn't "can" but "will" Rubio do the right thing? My guess is that he'll continue to be a lockstep Trumpian until about 2022, when he'll "miraculously" realize the error of his ways and repent (very publicly) to get the GOP nomination. Marco cares about Marco.

J Cosgrove
1 month 2 weeks ago

Incredible disinformation - the Catholic Church advocated a system for 15 centuries that essentially created slavery in Christendom for about 98% of its people, called serfs. It was called the "Great Chain of Being" What freed Catholics from this slavery? Free market capitalism

when the pope deplores the inequality created by Industrial Age capitalism: “A small number of very rich men have been able to lay upon the teeming masses of the laboring poor a yoke little better than that of slavery itself.

arthur mccaffrey
1 month 2 weeks ago

Rerum Novarum was a good encyclical for its time with its stress on a living wage and support for labor organizing. But RCC talks so much nonsense about the dignity of work-- and this coming from priests, bishops and cardinals who never had a real job in their lives. A crappy job is a crappy job and no amount of sweet talk will make it any less crappy.
We need a new Rerum Novarum for the digital age, and I think it has to be centered around a Basic Income to be received by all citizens, regardless.
If you really want people to retain their dignity make sure they have shelter and food, and preach birth control so they don't have more children than they can afford. I would prefer to see 'fertility change' before '"climate change". THe big challenge is to maintain a sense of self-worth in the face of numbing mindless repetitive keyboarding---we need a Rerum Novarum for the gig economy where you are only as good as your last fare, and god help you if you get sick. So, Medicare for everyone, plus a Basic Income--sound like anyone you know?--that is the quickest way to ensure dignity--and that means Big Government has to step up to protect the dignity of its citizens--but that idea is going to stick in the craw of the average do-it-yourself American--so we need a cultural shift away from individualism towards the common good. Hey Francis, can you give us a Leo XIII-type encyclical on that?

Julie A Miller
1 month 2 weeks ago

A better question than the one posed by the title might be: "Can Marco Rubio ever be taken seriously again, having so shamefully bent his knee to a president he once so floridly described as unfit for the office?"

Chris Dorf
1 month 1 week ago

Just as Steve Bannon and Donald trump tried and succeeded in bamboozling the working folks of the US in believing that they cared about workers, I fear that Marco Rubio is playing the same mind games that Trump and Bannon so obviously did.
Just one look at the trillions in debt shifted to the working classes, and the threat to remove any safety net for the common man as Trump Inc are starving the beast, enlightens one about the game afoot.
Quoting credible people to manipulate a voting population does not give you credibility; it is the old game of bait and switch all over again.
Thanks Marco

Mark Breza
1 month 1 week ago

One would think the New Testament
does not allow work only acts of charity !!
Anyway who should they Occupy ?

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