by Bryan J. Neva, Sr.
- Adam Smith - The Wealth of Nations, 1776
- David Ricardo - On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation, 1817
- Herbert Spenser - 1820 to 1903 various philosophies on social Darwinism and eugenics
- Friedrich Engles - The Condition of the Working Class in England, 1845
- Karl Marx and Friedrich Engles - The Communist Manifesto, 1848
- Karl Marx - Capital Vol I, 1867, Vol II, 1885, and Vol III, 1895 (note: Vol II and III were published posthumously by Engles based on Marx' notes)
- Quadragesimo Anno (or In the 40th Year) by Pope Pius XI in 1931
- Mater et Magistra (or Christianity and Social Progress) by Pope John XXIII in 1961
- Gaudium et Spes (or the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World) by the Second Vatican Council in 1965
- Populorum Progressio (or The Development of People's) by Pope Paul VI in 1967
- Laborem Exercens (or Through Work) by Pope John Paul II in 1981
- Centesimus Annus (or The Hundredth Year) by Pope John Paul II in 1991
- Evangelii Gaudium (or The Joy of the Gospel) by Pope Francis in 2013
- Human dignity
- Solidarity and the common good
- Distributism and social justice
- The sanctity of human life and the dignity of the human person
- A call to family, community, and the participation and pursuit of the common good
- The rights and responsibilities of social justice
- The preferential option for the poor and vulnerable
- The dignity of work
- Solidarity and the universal destiny of the goods of the earth
- Care for God's creation
1. The economy exists for the person, not the person for the economy.
2. All economic life should be shaped by moral principles. Economic choices and institutions must be judged by how they protect or undermine the life and dignity of the human person, support the family and serve the common good.
3. A fundamental moral measure of any economy is how the poor and vulnerable are faring.
4. All people have a right to life and to secure the basic necessities of life (e.g., food, clothing, shelter, education, health care, safe environment, economic security.)
5. All people have the right to economic initiative, to productive work, to just wages and benefits, to decent working conditions as well as to organize and join unions or other associations.
6. All people, to the extent they are able, have a corresponding duty to work, a responsibility to provide the needs of their families and an obligation to contribute to the broader society.
7. In economic life, free markets have both clear advantages and limits; government has essential responsibilities and limitations; voluntary groups have irreplaceable roles, but cannot substitute for the proper working of the market and the just policies of the state.
8. Society has a moral obligation, including governmental action where necessary, to assure opportunity, meet basic human needs, and pursue justice in economic life.
9. Workers, owners, managers, stockholders and consumers are moral agents in economic life. By our choices, initiative, creativity and investment, we enhance or diminish economic opportunity, community life and social justice.
10. The global economy has moral dimensions and human consequences. Decisions on investment, trade, aid and development should protect human life and promote human rights, especially for those most in need wherever they might live on this globe.
According to Pope John Paul II, the Catholic tradition calls for a “society of work, enterprise and participation” which “is not directed against the market, but demands that the market be appropriately controlled by the forces of society and by the state to assure that the basic needs of the whole society are satisfied.” (Centesimus Annus, 35). All of economic life should recognize the fact that we all are God’s children and members of one human family, called to exercise a clear priority for “the least among us.”