Working for Dignity
by Alí Bustamante, Ph.D. and Brendan Gottschall, S.J., JustSouth Quarterly Winter 2018
Despite this moral imperative for employers and obligation on governments, wages in the Gulf South are among the lowest in the country. More than 1 in 5 workers in the region earn wages at or below $10 an hour (see Table 1). In 2016, the median/typical wage of $15 per hour in Mississippi was the lowest in the country. Even the highest median wage in the Gulf South of $16.47 per hour in Texas was well below the national median wage of $17.42 per hour.
Banner Photo: Over a six month period, Sakeenah Shabazz (Emerson Congressional Hunger Fellow at JSRI), Jeanie Donovan (JSRI Economic Policy Specialist), and Colleen Dulle (Loyola University New Orleans senior), traveled around Louisiana and spoke with 47 SNAP recipients and coordinators. SNAP Story Bank Project
An Introduction to Poverty and Measures of Poverty
By Fred Kammer, SJ
Poverty is one of the three focus areas for the work of JSRI. In their 1986 book-length pastoral letter Economic Justice for All the US Bishops reminded us of the importance of confronting poverty in these words: "Dealing with poverty is not a luxury to which our nation can attend when it finds the time and resources. Rather, it is a moral imperative of the highest priority."
But what does it mean to speak of poverty in the United States? Drawing on the tradition of Catholic Social Teaching, the bishops explained it this way, “By poverty, we are referring here to the lack of sufficient material resources required for a decent life.” Then, in the next sentence, they acknowledge the complexity of the question, “We use the government’s definition of poverty, although we recognize its limits.” And a footnote introduces elements of the national debate about what we call “the poverty line.” [Continue on to MORE about measuring poverty and poverty in the Gulf South.]
ARCHIVED ARTICLES ON POVERTY
Shrinking the Safety Net--Donovan
The Payday Shark in Your Bank Account -- Mikulich
Catholicism and Capitalism -- Kammer