Friends General Conference

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Unemployment – 7/4/1996

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Minutes Details: 

DRAFT Friends minute on unemployment – DRAFT Monthly meeting cleared for presentation at NYYM by Black Concerns committee with the observation that it is still under consideration by SMM.

Members of The Religious Society of Friends are concerned which the plague of unemployment on our land. Millions suffer from hunger, homelessness and a lack of health care. There is attendant psychological damage to the individual and a negative impact on the family unit. Friends are convinced that the fullness of nature together with science in our time are sufficient to support all life on earth. Yet our century has been marked by violence; unremitting wars and poverty. Friends note the Creator’s concern for the well being of humankind in his covenant with the Hebrews. Where the following laws were agreed upon: the jubilee year when after fifty years the lost family farm would be restored. The sabbatical year when after seven years debts and conditions of servitude would be forgiven, the tithe where a ten percent tax would cover all social concerns of the community, gleaning where crop remains were left for the poor to reap.(Deut.14,22,15,1-18; Ex 23/1, Lev 25,1-8 ) Clearly the people of God were not to be left to wither in a world of plenty. Friends observe that the corporate structure seems undismayed by the level of unemployment. Announcements of down sizing no longer shock. Indeed stock market reaction to divestiture of workers is usually to increase the value of that Company’s stock. Friends observe further that the government structure voices regret at the level of unemployment but manipulates the prime interest rate to retain unemployment at a perceived, desirable level. Generally the congress, resists the plaints of the poor. Indeed some legislators devote themselves to attacks on those laws they deem excessively and unnecessarily kind to the poor. Friends view the widespread, damage to society caused by unemployment and remain unconvinced that unemployment is either inevitable or irreversible. Accordingly Friends are urged to reach out to men and women of good will and to support those organizations that seek relief to the suffering of the poor and a restoration of orderly life to our communities.(Isaiah 58) J u1y 4,1996, Summit Friends Meeting, Dan W.