Hey bishops, work is a moral matter

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By Harold Morgon

A few days ago, the New Mexico Conference of Catholic Bishops wrote our congressional delegation urging a vote against United States military action in Syria. The letter, citing moral concerns, came from Most Reverend Michael Sheehan — the Archbishop of Santa Fe, James Wall of Gallup, and Oscar Cantu and Ricardo Ramirez, both of Santa Fe.
Work, a local topic, is worth the bishops’ attention. Work is good. Work is moral. Good things happen with work. Families prosper. Children prosper.
The recent report about New Mexico being 50th in child poverty brought much anguish. I thought the report was not interesting. This “news” is nothing new except for the detail of being 50th instead of 49th. It only reflects bigger issues, work in particular.
People in the labor force either have a job or believe it worth the effort to look for a job. All sorts of technical definitions exist, hours worked, age ranges and the like.
Nationally, the most recent peak for labor force participation came in June 2005 at 66.5 percent. After floating around 66 percent for more than three years, the rate increased to 66.4 percent and has dropped steadily since, even since the economic recovery began.
In August, labor force participation nationally was 63.2 percent, the lowest since August 1978.

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