“The primordial value of labor stems from man himself, its author and its beneficiary. Work is for man, not man for work.”
Work is not a baseless activity. It is an opportunity for men and women, created in the image and likeness of God, to engage in co-creation. Work engages mankind’s most noble faculties–our creativity, our rationality, and our personality–in the service of our families and our communities. Therefore, we all have the right to participate in economic life, and the duty to contribute. As St. Pope John Paul II teaches in Laborem Exercens, “Work is a fundamental dimension of human existence.”
Our nation and state has a responsibility to encourage all citizens and businesses to uphold the common good by creating economic policy that promotes the participation of the whole community, and labor that gives first priority to human beings—rather than production or capital. We evaluate economic policy based on the extent to which it promotes the self-realization of the human person and properly values who he or she is, versus what he or she does.