Washington D.C., Aug 27, 2019 / 13:30 pm
Economic policy and debate should prioritize people and the dignity of work, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) argued in an article published Monday.
Writing for the magazine First Things, Rubio cited Catholic social teaching and Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical Rerum novarum while reflecting that profit and human concern have drifted apart.
“Economic stability for working-class families is not a feature of today’s economy,” the senator wrote. “Business profits have become increasingly estranged from production and employment.”
Rubio cited international business interests and a globalized economy as twin pressures on domestic production and employment, as companies act to leverage domestic resources and assets for more speculative growth.
“When dignified work is lost or unattainable, it corrodes the human spirit. Recent years have seen the destruction of jobs that provided a way of life for families and communities for generations,” Rubio said.
“The dignity of work, the Church instructs us through documents like Rerum novarum, is not just the concerns of individuals. It is the concern of communities and nations to provide productive labor to their people.”
Rubio said the promise of a new economy, often based around casual or flexible so-called gig employment, has largely failed to materialize, and that “the new fabric of American work” is too thin to sustain people.
The economic and political failure to prioritize the creation and sustaining of “dignified work” through investment now presents “serious problems,” he said, directly impacting the family life of many in the United States, and driving population losses in rural and mid-urban parts of the country. “Entire regions have been hollowed out,” the senator said.