Pope Blames Globalization For Massive Unemployment, But How Can The Church Help?
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Pope Francis attacked globalization for the rise of massive unemployment on Sunday in Sardinia, and urged the unemployed to fight for work, according to a Reuters report.
But how can the church help the unemployed find work?
Here is what pastor Sean Mullan did in Smithfield, Dublin, Ireland in the aftermath of the 2008-9 crisis: He used crowdfunding to finance a social enterprise that delivered value to consumers, jobs for the unemployed, and funds to support local charities. “The crisis spelled double trouble for our local community,” he said. “Charitable funds dried up at a time the ranks of those in need swelled. That’s why I decided with my partner to start The Third Space.”
A Starbucks SBUX -0.3%-like coffee shop, The Third Space features open space dining, living room and office facilities, decks stuffed with books, and a stand with free newspapers. That’s a setting, which bundles the amenities of home and office with the spirit of a community center.
Translation: customers can use the Third Space at anytime of the day, as a dining place, a living room, or an office, a community center.
Already profitable, the 19th-month old social enterprise employs more than a dozen people on a full-time and part-time basis, and is getting ready to expand to other locations. “The plan is to refine the model,” says Mullan. “Then move towards opening Third Spaces in other parts of the city. Slowly, three to four stores in total. But our mission will remain the same, to distribute all profits to local charities.”
How many more people have followed pastor Mullan’s example? We cannot say. What we can say, however, is that social entrepreneurship is a widespread concept in Ireland—Social Entrepreneurs Ireland has supported 161 socialentrepreneurs since 2004 with 4.9 million euros.
What we can also add is that massive unemployment cannot be reduced with another dose of bad government welfare—subsidized employment that keeps people busy rather than producing something valuable for society. That’s probably more harmful to people than globalization. Unemployment can be reduced through social entrepreneurship, something the church should encourage.