Catholic Social Science Review

Volume 16, 2011

Joel Gibbons
Pages 27-38

Work, Labor, and Social Justice

Work provides the opportunities that social justice distributes. Without work there isn’t even the possibility of justice. On the one side, this fact calls us to think clearly about what works and about what creates value in the economic world, and about how this is forged into economic justice. This short essay focuses on that junction between work and justice, drawing on two recent encyclicals for their insight into justice, and drawing on recent economic history for insight into what actually works economically. In the end one conclusion becomes clear: our work is justified by what it teaches us and nourishes in us, but even more it is judged by the objective value of what it produces.