Economic Justice 8 replies

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FireSphere

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13th February 2004

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#1 15 years ago

There is one good thing about the election finally being over: Now we can talk about our beliefs and the principles that guide us without being encumbered by the bitter partisan divide or who we're going to vote for (I voted for Kerry, but that hardly matters now). One of the main topics of the 2004 election, albeit hidden, was the question of what economic justice is. What is economic justice? Is it simply being allowed to accumulate wealth and to work? Or is it something more? Are the demands of justice to merely serve a procedural and legal definition of justice (that the process of serving justice be the same to all), or must we actively seek to meet the needs of all? This argument spilt over into the election process by the two eternally divided ideologies, the conservatives vs. the liberals. One side is bitterly opposed to any state greater than that which is necessary to maintain the safety of the nation and the fairness of business (the minimal state), and the other side feels the need for the government to step in sometimes for the benefit of the poor and marginalized. It is clear that this great philosophical debate has not been decided yet. The election of 2004 only told us that the majority of Americans respect moral values (without resolving who's moral values were correct). What a terrific pile of shit the election of 2004 was. Fox News tried to tell us (days after the election) that the nation is now less divided than it was 4 years ago. Huh??? The 2004 Election resolved nothing. The "ignorant armies" are still violently opposed to each other. It's time to call an end to raw emotion and listen to ideals.




NiteStryker

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#2 15 years ago

Man why does everyone rag on Fox News so much?

anywho....

Im not sure what Ecnonomic Justice is..im kinda confused on ur post




Napalm

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#3 15 years ago

Economics is just one of the pillars of the parties and both parties are getting closer to the middle when it comes to the economy. The question of whether we would rather have closer government intervention in our economy or not was not really answered in the election, but then again it was not a big issue, it was foreign policy and moral values that dominated this election.

Economic issues are not a defining issued in the average voting american's life and not many people know their parties stance on those issues anyway.




FireSphere

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#4 15 years ago

Man why does everyone rag on Fox News so much? "Fox News tried to tell us (days after the election) that the nation is now less divided than it was 4 years ago." I'm not lying here. That's what Fox News said. I wasn't ragging on them. Most of these issues like gay marriage and job exportation are irrelevant...the main issue is and has always been the government's role in the economy. Indeed, governments are classified as "Right" or "Left" according to their stances on this issue.




FireSphere

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#5 15 years ago

I guess my question is: what does economic justice mean to you? Do you prefer a pure libertarian capitalist state, a socialist state, or a welfare state? And why?




Col Jimmy Emeric

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#6 15 years ago
NiteStrykerMan why does everyone rag on Fox News so much?

because their the only non liberal news station




FireSphere

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#7 15 years ago

Let's not get into this! I know one side is going to say, "Fox News is the only non-liberal news station"...and then the other side is going to say, "Fox News is way to the right of all the other news stations, so that's why all the others seem liberal"...and it's just going to back and forth.

Can any of you reply intellectually to my question? What is your vision of an ideal economic system?




FireSphere

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#8 15 years ago

Fine, I guess I'll start. My ideal system is the welfare state, the culimination of both capitalist and socialist ideas. The main arguments for capitalism are:

  • Adam Smith's "Invisible Hand" and the idea that by individuals pursuing their own self-interest they inadvertently serve the interest of society in general.
  • Capitalism provides an incentive for people to work, and therefore is the most productive.
  • The free market is flexible and need not require new legislation (as a socialist society does) to change what or how things are produced or distributed.
  • Capitalism rewards people for hard work.
  • Only the minimum state an be justified; and since a capitalist state is the minimum state, requiring the least government interference, it is the only state that respects people's individual liberties (Robert Nozick).
  • Nozick's entitlement theory of justice, "Justice must not reside in a distributive pattern, but in principles or underlying reasons" and "Whatever arises from a just situation by just means is itself just."
  • Economic freedom is a necessary but not sufficient condition for political freedom; so capitalism is necessary for political freedom.

The only argument here that I really disagree with is the idea that capitalism rewards people for hard work. While hard work is a factor, it is really market value that decides how resources are distributed. For example, compare the actor and the millworker: the actor does not have to work nearly as hard as the millworker, and yet the actor sometimes has an income thousands of times that of the millworker. Consider the millions of poor in the United States and throughout the world's capitalist states. The only way one could argue that hard work is the primary rationale for distribution of resources is if one claims that the entirety of the poor population is lazy. That is unacceptable and elitist. The main arguments for socialism are:

  • Capitalism merely provides negative freedom and doesn't provide positive freedom: to a capitalist, one is free to eat an apple if no one prevents him from eating the apple; to a socialist, one is free to eat an apple if no one prevents him and if he actually has an apple to eat and the means to eat it.
  • The more a capitalist state ages, the greater and greater disparities that exist within it. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
  • The poor in a capitalist society are not as free as the rich. The poor have little or no choice on what to eat, where to live, what to wear, etc and merely live as wage laborers, given only enough to ensure their survival, like human machines. Wealth = freedom.
  • The constant requirement in Capitalism to subsist limits for each person the ability to decide his/her lifestyle. An artist's work must be marketable, otherwise he starves (even if his artwork is very good).

Consider the example of a game of Monopoly(TM): [indent]"In the first game, play proceeds as usual, with everyone starting out with $1500 from the bank. The second game, however, begins with everyone holding the money they had at the end of the first game; the third begins with everyone holding the money they had at the end of the second, and so on. It does not take much insight to see that those who do well in the first game will have a distinct advantage as they enter the second, while those who do poorly will have a difficult time making a comeback. In the game, as in life, economic success tends to be cumulative. Those with more resources are in a better position to do well than are those with limited resources." (Nathanson, Stephen. Economic Justice. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1998. 18-40.) [/indent]So, apparently, the solution is to limit the disparity-creating effects of the capitalist system. Firstly, we should have a flat rate of taxation for all people on all objects of taxation. Secondly, we should provide for the needs of all people, because simply assuming that all poor people are lazy does not help the situation: it merely contributes to a life of poverty. "Rags to riches" rarely occurs, not because the majority of poor people are lazy, but because it also takes an incredible amount of luck. I believe we should provide everyone with an annual sum (or possibly in monthly payments) that equals the amount of money required for subsistence. This is the amount of money needed to live. This money would be handed out to all people, whether rich or poor, jobless or employed, willing to work or not, US citizen or permanent resident of the US. This approach would virtually end all poverty in the United States. It would also supply businesses with many more customers, since many more people would be able to buy products. This plan would not seek to eliminate all disparities of wealth, but would seek to raise the wealth of the poorest people to subsistence levels, so that the dignity of all people is recognized. Thirdly, we should close all tax loopholes. Every single person should have to pay the same rate of taxation, say 50-60% (to support the aforementioned Universal Basic Income or UBI). The government shall not grant incentives to businesses, or impose penalties on others for reasons not related to illegal activity. Fourthly, healthcare should be a right and not a privilege. The government should be attempting to prevent people from becoming sick, not attempting to make people work while being sick (a hazard) in order to afford healthcare. Whether or not this universal healthcare system is privately or publicly operated is up to you. Fifthly, the legal system should be sped up by building more courts and such, and the amount of trivial lawsuits should be reduced by imposing more restrictive controls on what cases can be brought to court. Suing McDonald's for making greasy french fries is just retarded. We need to unclog the legal system so that more people have legal access to resolve issues and cases that are really dire.




NiteStryker

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#9 15 years ago
Col Jimmy Emericbecause their the only non liberal news station

thats true...

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