Automatic from la Papa

Pope Francis calls for universal access to income, housing, and more in an Easter message to social justice organizers

2014 Pastoral Visit of Pope Francis to Korea
Closing Mass for Asian Youth Day

In a signal of solidarity, Pope Francis sent a letter to members of popular movements around the world in support of their efforts to help the less fortunate.

In the letter, the Pope points out that market solutions, “…do not reach the peripheries, and State protection is hardly visible…”.

The message, an indictment of a 50 year slide to laissez faire economics, that has robbed whole generations of those living on the margins of the necessities of day to day life.

Most of the coverage of the letter has noted the Holy Father’s call for Universal Basic Income, an idea that was a central theme in the United States by Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang.

Universal Basic Income is, “…a guarantee that each citizen receives a minimum income…” according to the savings and investment website, The Balance.

Republicans have seized on the popularity of UBI. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) , and Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) have all shown support or called for some form of UBI during the COVID-19 crisis.

Pope Francis didn’t stop there, calling for universal access to work, shelter, and food.

All of this falls in line with Christ’s teachings about kindness and respecting your fellow man. Teachings that are easy to forget in the rat race world we’ve built…which is also something the Pope noted.

Universal Basic Income, as well as taking care of other basic needs, also falls in line with Catholic social justice teaching.

I’m not particularly religious. I grew up mostly in the Methodist church, though I know how to find my way around a Mass. All that said, I’m glad the Pope used his platform to highlight the plight of those pushed to the margins.

They’re people too. They deserve to be treated with dignity.

P.S. If you didn’t get the reference, the title is a play on words from the REM album, Automatic for the People.

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