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Friday Five: Meaningful Work and the Barriers to It

On Fridays, we bring you the best ideas from our blog and around the web. This week’s collection features thoughts on work: its meaning, its importance and the barriers to it.

Economic Challenges Provide Church with Opportunity: With an estimated 10.4 million Americans currently unemployed and an increasing percentage of individuals dissatisfied with their work, Michael Jahr discusses why the church has an essential role to play.

Americans are struggling in the workplace and in the economy. Financial challenges, family strife, depression, contentment, effective witnessing in the workplace, and myriad other areas are affected by these realities. Fortunately, the church is in a unique place to explain Christ’s restoration of work, the meaning of suffering, and the hope and peace that results from putting our trust in him.

Freedom to Flourish: This compelling video from the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics makes the case for why the freedom to work with meaning and dignity is essential to a flourishing society.

Unequal to the Challenge: AEI’s Ramesh Ponnuru and Yuval Levin highlight the problems still gripping the U.S. economy, particularly rising levels of inequality. Confronting the shortcomings of proposed solutions from both Democrat and Republican leaders, they outline a more compelling strategy.

[The] challenge is not that some have grown too rich too quickly in our country but that the American dream may be falling out of reach for too many Americans. The Democrats’ intellectual exhaustion offers Republicans a chance to reconceive their public arguments and their policy agenda by applying conservative principles to the problems that face working families. If they are up to that challenge, they may become America’s governing party again.

Finding Meaning for Millennials in the Workplace: Jacqueline Isaacs describes the difficulties facing many Millennials struggling to enter the workforce, and highlights how Christians can have a redemptive influence by viewing “the workplace as part of our ministry.”

We know that our work environment and the attitude of our coworkers take nothing away from the fact that we ought to be serving others and working for the Lord… If you are a Millennial struggling to find work or struggling to find satisfaction in your work, I would encourage you to remember for whom we actually work, and keep your eye on the Kingdom which He will direct our labors to create.

CBO: Obamacare Is a Tax on Work: Released on February 4, the latest report from the Congressional Budget Office reveals the alarming impact Obamacare is expected to have on jobs across the country, reports Scott Gotlieb.

[This] is the first time that CBO explicitly acknowledges the impact of Obamacare on the wage-labor relationship and incentives for full-time work. In its new budget outlook, CBO very clearly states that Obamacare amounts to an implicit tax on work and workers that will reduce employment by as much as 2.5 million jobs over the next ten years.