Screw Social Justice
If you proposed to me that all of the poor were lazy and desired nothing more than to live lives of sloth and overindulgence; smoking their cigarettes, drinking their cheap booze, shooting their drugs, and having their lllegitimate babies willy-nilly at the taxpayer’s expense I would call you a starry-eyed idealist and and someone without a firm footing in the real world. In no way would I want your naive idealism to guide public policy because your point of view would be so extreme as to be ridiculous. And yet if you were to propose the converse, that the poor were all noble creatures mightily striving but failing to obtain their slice of prosperity because they were held back by racism, inequality,and every barrier that could be put in their path by The Man, you would be feted as a deep thinker, a person with a firm grasp on reality, and your own peculiar brand of idealism, as equally ridiculous, would inform a hundred public policy initiatives.
But that’s the problem with Social Justice, especially as it is used to justify giving everyone free health care. It makes the assumption that everyone is a victim and doesn’t allow for the possibility of the freeloader who not only exists in droves but is aggressively selected for in every nanny-state ever created. People may be lazy but they aren’t stupid and, as most people do not love their jobs, if the conditions are set to obviate the need for work many people will tend to do as little work as they possibly can. This sort of society is not sustainable for more than a generation or two as our cousins in Europe are starting to realize and it is certainly going to bankrupt our nation if we continue down the same path. In fact, the number one problem in all of the Western Democracies boils down to the unsustainable growth of entitlements paid to non-productive citizens by a dwindling pool of productive workers. Many of the recent riots in France, for example, were instigated by their government’s clumsy attempts to slightly reduce entitlements, already at levels that would make our most flagrant abusers of the welfare system blush with shame.
With this in mind, you’d think that our goal as a nation would be to reduce entitlement spending, limiting it as much as possible to those hopeless cases who demonstrate that they would actually starve to death or die from lack of primary care if not given a helping hand, not to work towards the opposite goal of giving everyone free everything whether they need it or not. Not that anything is really free. The money comes from somewhere although governments occasionally take leave of their senses and print money with nothing to support it, a short term strategy that fools nobody and leads to inflation and lack of confidence in the currency.
Unfortunately the mob, once it discovers it can vote itself access to other people’s wallets, is difficult to keep in check and the usual dependency triumvirate of ghetto, trailer park, and academia are perpetually braying for somebody else’s money. The extent to which this money can be secured depends on how many productive citizens can be lured onto the dependency plantation, usually by the propaganda of fear and class envy. The problem with creating a welfare state is that it tends to fulfill the dire prophecies of its creators. The more productive citizens are taxed the more economic activity is stifled leading to stagnant economies where there are, in fact, no jobs for many people who would be employed if growth and economic opportunity were encouraged at the expense of stealing from one set of citizens to give to another.
Social Justice is a euphemism for welfare, a word that has been so thoroughly demonized that the left has to invent a more pleasant sounding phrase.
Make Up Your Minds
The usual suspects crying for social justice are deeply conflicted anyway and their outrage is mighty selective. On one hand they argue that a collectivist approach needs to be taken to distribute medical care, essentially saying that doctors and nurses who provide this care should be forced to provide it at whatever price the the congress, acting entirely from self interest, determines to be fair. And provide it even if it entails the majority, through increased taxation, sacrifice some of their material prosperity the use of which for their own purposes is the ultimate freedom. On the other hand if I insisted that for the collective good, the ability of a citizen to sue his doctor be severely curtailed, the usual suspects will wax sanctimonious about the inability of a free people to allow even the smallest of their rights to be violated at any time, in this case the right win a legal jackpot.
Surely some medical lawsuits have merit but under the theory of social justice, for the collective good of the majority who would benefit from cheaper medical care, the minority deserving of malpractice awards would have to suck it up for the greater good. Likewise, if I insisted that for the collective good we put yer’ elderly granny down when she becomes too much of a burden to the nanny state the cries of outrage would ascend to the very heavens.
As if we don’t have enough trouble administering real justice we now have to gear up to dispense social justice, a highly nebulous concept the implementation of which requires that grievance, race, age, social status, intelligence, and other things that Americans should ignore be worked into an arbitrary and impossible behavioral calculus to give to each according to his need and to take from each according to his ability.