Work in the Future: Economic Realities and Insights from Catholic Thought

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When: Thursday, April 21, 2022, 7:30 PM EDT

Where: DiGiovanni Hall, St. Paul's Harvard Square Campus, 29 Mt. Auburn St., Cambridge MA and Livestreamed

Lecture by: Professor Mary Hirschfeld, Villanova University

Two trends - globalization and automation – are transforming the experience, organization, and character of work, and our best evidence suggests they will continue to do so over the next generation. Both trends spring from the imperative to maximize profits, and they seem to drive an inexorable increase in income inequality along with instability and fragmentation in the world of work. Some economists have responded by proposing schemes of income redistribution such as a “universal basic income,” but these define the good of both labor and business narrowly, primarily in monetary terms. By contrast, the Catholic intellectual tradition, with its fuller view of the human person and emphasis on the common good, suggests a more complex and rounded vision of work that could guide both policy and practice in the years to come.