Daily Archives: September 7, 2015

Another Look Back–John F Kennedy's Labor Day Address in 1963

We honor too the contributions of labor to the strength and safety of our Nation. America’s capacity for leadership in the world depends on the character of our society at home; and, in a turbulent and uncertain world, our leadership would falter unless our domestic society is robust and progressive. The labor movement in the United States has made an indispensable contribution both to the vigor of our democracy and to the advancement of the ideals of freedom around the earth.

We can take satisfaction on this Labor Day in the health and energy of our national society. The events of this year have shown a quickening of democratic spirit and vitality among our people. We can take satisfaction too in the continued steady gain in living standards. The Nation’s income, output, and employment have reached new heights. More than 70 million men and women are working in our factories, on our farms, and in our shops and services. The average factory wage is at an all-time high of more than $100 a week. Prices have remained relatively stable, so the larger paycheck means a real increase in purchasing power for the average American family.

Yet our achievements, notable as they are, must not distract us from the things we have yet to achieve. If satisfaction with the status quo had been the American way, we would still be 13 small colonies straggling along the Atlantic coast. I urge all Americans, on this Labor Day, to consider what we can do as individuals and as a nation to move speedily ahead on four major fronts.

First, we must accelerate our effort against unemployment and for the expansion of jobs and opportunity.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Economy, History, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Office of the President, Politics in General, Theology

(RNS) Adon Taft–Labor Day and the unions’ forgotten religious roots

Union leaders have forgotten the religious roots of organized labor in this country. Terence Vincent Powderly, who led the Knights’ outreach across the nation, was a devout Catholic influenced by his Baptist lay preacher predecessor, Uriah Stephens. Powderly, a nonsmoking teetotaler, attributed the roots of the labor movement to Christianity.

Writing in 1893 on the history of the Labor Day observance ”” which had begun only the year before and wasn’t declared a national holiday until President Grover Cleveland acted in 1894 ”” Powderly recounted centuries of labor history:

“Trades-unionists, members of guilds, leagues and other organizations of workingmen embraced Christianity and proclaimed its doctrines as being especially advantageous to the welfare of the toiling poor,” he said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Religion & Culture, Theology

A Prayer for the Unemployed (II)

Heavenly Father, we remember before you those who suffer want and anxiety from lack of work. Guide the people of this land so to use our public and private wealth that all may find suitable and fulfilling employment, and receive just payment for their labor; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

–Book of Common Prayer

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology

A Prayer for Labor Day (III)

O God, who hast taught us that none should be idle: Grant to all the people of this land both the desire and the opportunity to labour; that, working together with one heart and mind, they may set forward the welfare of mankind, and glorify thy holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Spirituality/Prayer

(Atlantic) A 2015 Labor Day Reading List– the changing nature of work in America

But in case you’d like to ring in your Labor Day by reading up on how labor itself is changing in America, I’ve compiled a collection of recent coverage from The Atlantic that covers just that theme. One refrain in this coverage is the idea that Americans take less vacation time and work more hours than their counterparts in other rich countries. So if you are grilling today, don’t be too hard on yourself. You’ve probably earned it. Enjoy your Labor Day.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market

An Important Look Back–Franklin Delano Roosevelt's 1941 Labor Day Radio Address

On this day””this American holiday- we are celebrating the rights of free laboring men and women.

The preservation of these rights is vitally important now, not only to us who enjoy them””but to the whole future of Christian civilization.

American labor now bears a tremendous responsibility in the winning of this most brutal, most terrible of all wars.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Office of the President, Politics in General, Theology

A Prayer for the Unemployed (I)

From the Catholic Employment Network:

God, our Father, I turn to you seeking your divine help and guidance as I look for suitable employment. I need your wisdom to guide my footsteps along the right path, and to lead me to find the proper things to say and do in this quest. I wish to use the gifts and talents you have given me, but I need the opportunity to do so with gainful employment. Do not abandon me, dear Father, in this search, but rather grant me this favor I seek so that I may return to you with praise and thanksgiving for your gracious assistance. Grant this through Christ, our Lord. Amen

Posted in Uncategorized

(Gallup) US Underemployment Increases to 14.5% in August

Gallup’s measure of underemployment in August is 14.5%, up 0.3 points from July. This rate is still lower than in any month other than July 2015 since Gallup began tracking it daily in 2010. Gallup’s U.S. underemployment rate combines the percentage of adults in the workforce who are unemployed (6.3%) and those who are working part time but desire full-time work (8.2%).

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Sociology, Theology

South Carolina 37th in wage growth–Most jobs tied to manufacturing, construction

As South Carolinians observe the Labor Day weekend, more are discovering it’s easier to find a job. Unemployment has dropped from a high of 11.6 percent during the depths of the Great Recession in June 2009 to 6.4 percent in July. But South Carolina workers also know wages for those jobs are growing ever so slowly.

South Carolina ranked 36th in the nation in wage growth from 2013 to 2014 ”“expanding only 2.6 percent, according to the most recent year-to-year comparisons from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

North Dakota was first at 6.4 percent, buoyed by the rising oil shale industry. Nevada was last at 1.4 percent, with its wages tied to the service and tourism industries.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Anthropology, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Personal Finance, Politics in General, State Government, Theology

A Prayer for Labor Day (II)

On this three day weekend, when we rest from our usual labors, loving Father, we pray for all who shoulder the tasks of human labor””in the marketplace, in factories and offices, in the professions, and in family living.

We thank you, Lord, for the gift and opportunity of work; may our efforts always be pure of heart, for the good of others and the glory of your name.

We lift up to you all who long for just employment and those who work to defend the rights and needs of workers everywhere.

May those of us who are now retired always remember that we still make a valuable contribution to our Church and our world by our prayers and deeds of charity.

May our working and our resting all give praise to you until the day we share together in eternal rest with all our departed in your Kingdom as you live and reign Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

–The Archdiocese of Detroit

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Spirituality/Prayer

(LA Times Editorial) Labor Day 2015: Uncertain times for American workers

Unfortunately, being a worker in America today isn’t what it was a decade ago, and not all the changes can be blamed on the recession, though that certainly was economically cataclysmic for millions of people. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ data show that the country still hasn’t recovered fully, let alone returned to the heights reached during the late 1990s’ dot-com boom. Compared with late 2006, about 1.3 million more people are unemployed today and about 1 million more have been jobless for more than six months. Almost 6.5 million Americans currently working part time want full-time jobs, which is 2 million more than a decade ago.

Relationships with employers have changed as well. More people now work as independent contractors, which means they aren’t covered by wage and overtime laws and don’t receive workers’ compensation if injured or unemployment insurance if laid off. Some workers prefer such jobs because of the flexibility it gives them, which also appeals to employers who may only need a worker for a specific task for a short time. But many companies exploit the system by misclassifying workers as independent contractors when they really are acting as employees and entitled to protections.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Theology

A Labor Day Reflection on Saint Joseph the Worker

ZENIT spoke with Father Tarcisio Giuseppe Stramare of the Congregation of Oblates of Saint Joseph, director of the Josephite Movement, about Tuesday’s feast of St. Joseph the Worker….

ZENIT: What does “Gospel of work” mean?

Father Stramare: “Gospel” is the Good News that refers to Jesus, the Savior of humanity. Well, despite the fact that in general we see Jesus as someone who teaches and does miracles, he was so identified with work that in his time he was regarded as “the son of the carpenter,” namely, an artisan himself. Among many possible activities, the Wisdom of God chose for Jesus manual work, entrusted the education of his Son not to the school of the learned but to a humble artisan, namely, St. Joseph.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Other Churches, Roman Catholic, Theology

A Prayer for Labor Day (I)

O Lord Jesus Christ, who in thy earthly life didst share man’s toil, and thereby hallow the labour of his hands: Prosper all those who maintain the industries of this land; and give them pride in their work, a just reward for their labour, and joy both in supplying the needs of others and in serving thee their Saviour; who with the Father and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day from C J Vaughan

O Lord God, we pray thee to keep us from all self-confidence and vainglory, and to bestow upon us thy great grace of humility and self-forgetfulness. To thee may we look, in all that we do, both for the will and for the power; and to thee may we ascribe with a sincere heart all the praise; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,

To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, thankful for your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.
And I am sure that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to feel thus about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruits of righteousness which come through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

–Philippians 1:1-11

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture