Dear Members of Congress,
As Catholic citizens of the United States, we're writing to express our concern with the decent jobs crisis that is promoting unacceptable inequality in our country.
One of the profound catalysts of this current crisis is the unjust wages that too many of our workers receive in today's marketplace.
Our faith teaches us that human work has intrinsic dignity, and that just wages honor that dignity.
The current federal minimum wage falls short of a just wage, because it fails to provide the resources for individuals to take care of themselves and form and sustain their families.
This fact should haunt our consciences: a full-year, full-time worker making the minimum wage does not make enough money to raise a child free from poverty.
That's unacceptable, and as Catholics, we urge you our lawmakers to do something about it.
We implore you to raise the minimum wage to meet the primary needs of our citizens. Workers deserve a just wage that allows them to live in dignity, form and support families, and contribute to the common good.
As Pope Francis has recently reminded us, "Work means dignity, work means taking food home, work means loving! To defend this idolatrous economic system the 'culture of waste' has become established; grandparents are thrown away and young people are thrown away. And we must say 'no' to this 'culture of waste'. We must say 'we want a just system! A system that enables everyone to get on'. We must say: 'we don’t want this globalized economic system which does us so much harm!'. Men and women must be at the centre as God desires, and not money!"
Dear elected officials, we must return the human person to the center of economic life, and one way we can do that is ensuring that workers in our country receive a just wage.
Please work to ensure the American worker gets a wage that both honors God and promotes the dignity of work.