Social Justice and Other Fallacies

Discussion in 'Economy' started by PoliticalChic, Aug 14, 2012.

  1. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    1. Many express bafflement and repugnance at the difference in wealth among individuals. How, they ask, could individuals differ so in what they deserve?

    2. George Bernard Shaw...said: 'A division in which one woman gets a shilling and another three thousand shillings for an hour of work has no moral sense in it: it is just something that happens, and that ought not to happen.” Shaw, “The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Socialism and Capitalism,” p. 22.



    3. The basis for this view is that wealth is collective, and hence must be divided up in order to be dispensed, followed by the assumption that this division currently has no principle involved but 'just happens,' …In reality, most income is not distributed, so the fashionable metaphor of 'income distribution' is misleading. Most income is earned by the production of goods and services, and how much that production is 'really' worth is a question that need not be left for third parties to determine, since those who directly receive the benefits of that production know better than anyone else how much that production is worth to them - and have the most incentives to seek alternative ways of getting that production as inexpensively as possible. Sowell, “Economic Facts and Fallacies,” p. 150.

    4. One of the founding myths of the religion of Liberalism is that of “social justice.” As Thomas Sowell points out (in “Intellectuals and Society,”) the Left believes that wealth should be “shared,” ignoring the fact that by way of capitalism, it is shared in the most efficient manner, through trade. Conveniently unasked, is ‘where did wealth come from?’ Pointedly, it did not come from heaven, like manna, and spread evenly on the ground! No, it was created by individual expenditure of effort, and by individual willingness to take risk! ‘Social justice’ thesis requires a belief that wealth-manna simply falls equally on all, and if anyone has more than another, it must have been stolen, gotten by cheating- the possessor of ‘more’ must be a thief! To the Left, in spite of one hundred and fifty years of the most extensive and tragic disprovals of Marxism, the possession of property = proof of theft! Mamet, “The Secret Knowledge.”

    a. Money is merely the most efficient way of keeping track of the production of individuals, of their work, and the capacity of that work to benefit their fellows. Government, which doesn’t produce this product, can do little with it but waste it: it cannot allocate it with greater justice than the Free Market. It should provide only those services that the Free Market was incapable of providing, such as the roads, the judiciary, streetlights, Legislature, and the common defense. Ibid.



    5. Yet, from the earliest of Progressive administrations, we find the belief that government bureaucrats, and technocrats, and agencies know better than those involved in the myriad voluntary transactions as to how much each should have.

    a. “Progressives looked to insulate administrators not only from the chief executive, but from politics altogether. It is the Progressives' desire to free bureaucratic agencies from the confines of politics and the law that allows us to trace the origins of the administrative state to their political thought. The idea of separating politics and administration--of grounding a significant portion of government not on the basis of popular consent but on expertise--was a fundamental aim of American Progressivism and explains the Progressives' fierce assault on the Founders' separation-of-powers constitutionalism.” The Birth of the Administrative State: Where It Came From and What It Means for Limited Government

    b. “Perhaps the most fallacious assumption of all is that third parties with neither experience nor expertise can make better decisions “ based on a belief that the wealth of a nation should simply be ‘spread around.’
     
  2. Mad Scientist
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    Mad Scientist Deplorable Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    You can put whatever Politically Correct name on it you want to make yerself feel better about it but Theft is Theft no matter who you do it to.

    When the Cops Beat a Protester they'll call that "Application of Force" or "Compliance Techniques" but it still just Beating a Protester isn't it?
     
  3. Freemason9
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    Freemason9 Gold Member

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    It appears that both previous posters are coming from right wing (and, perhaps, even extremist Randian) positions. "Mad Scientists" promotes the view that equalization of compensation for labor is tantamount to "theft." This, in my opinion, skirts the issue; ALL goods produced in this county--and, therefore, ALL wealth--came from the efforts of laborers. If labor isn't adequately compensated, a few things will take place:

    (1) Social unrest. Riots. It has happened continually throughout human history; the only way to keep the slaves in line is to have a massive military/police state, which becomes even more oppressive and hard to finance. It collapses under its own weight.

    (2) Declining productivity. As the incentive for work declines, so does productivity. The right wing unwittingly agrees with this when they claim that rich people will be less "productive" if they have to pay more in taxes.

    (3) Demand collapses. Because workers can no longer afford to buy the stuff they create, they stop buying it. The economic loop collapses as demand disappears.

    (4) Human spirituality. Although the right wing appears to be somewhat vacuous in terms of humanity and spirituality, they may be wrong. God or some other supreme consciousness may exist; if that is the case, right wingers will suffer in Hell. Or, alternatively, they may be reincarnated as pigs.

    (just some things to think about.)
     
  4. expat_panama
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    expat_panama Silver Member

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    Clarity is wonderful --thanks!
    [​IMG]
    This belief is the core of classical Marxism, that workers do everything while management, innovation, and investment contribute nothing.[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6j8XhQfvpW8]Obama: If You've Got a Business, You Didn't Build That ... - YouTube[/ame]It's a crock.
     
  5. Freemason9
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    Freemason9 Gold Member

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    Why do you believe, Panama, that workers cannot provide "management, innovation, and investment?" I don't think those are exclusive traits at all. Most business owners I know aren't geniuses--they are merely driven to control others more than they are driven to work as part of a team.

    I stand by my assertion, and I insist it is true. Without productive laborers (able to work cohesively in an organization), there can be NO managment, innovation, or investment; labor is the straw that stirs the drink.
     
  6. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    Thanks so much.....let me return the favor:


    1. The adolescent, the Marxist, and the Liberal dream of “fairness,” brought about by the state. Silly. This would mean usurping the society decision that the skilled worker is entitled to higher pay than the unskilled. This decision is never pronounced by any authority other than the free market. It was arrived at via the interaction of human beings perfectly capable of ordering their own affairs.


    2. Government cannot and will not correct itself- thus the necessity for elections. But society, convened as the free market, can and des correct itself…and quickly, ‘else the risk of impoverishment.




    3. If the Leftist is interested in a more ‘fair’ redistribution of wealth, let him vote for lower taxes, and then he can distribute his now larger share of his wealth to the lesser compensated folks.

    a. Illustrative of reality is the fact that the Leftist refrains from paying above the stated price for goods and services…he wants, as everyone else does, competition between said services. Only then does he stand a chance of getting a “fair” price. In his own enterprise, he strives to improve quality or lower price…’else his potential customers will take their business to others. Unless he has the power of government!


    4. The current attention to identifying ‘bad’ teachers reveals the idiocy of the Leftist’s position. If the street sweeper should be paid as the surgeon…in the interests of ‘fairness’ or ‘equality,’ then why should the ‘bad’ teacher not be paid as much as the good one? We see that principle in unionism, affirmative action, and set-asides and preferences wherein accomplishment and performance are often outside of consideration. This is the operative principle in a national healthcare regime.

    a. The sentimental Leftist mutters that it’s a ‘shame’ that the street sweeper is ‘underpaid’…He could ameliorate the situation by digging into his pocket, but he will not: he wants government to do it. But, he won’t ask where government will get the money, or hold government responsible for the waste and chaos it caused in the enterprise.

    b. The inexcusable failure of intellect of the Liberal is in attributing to bureaucrats the talents of wisdom, patience and the capability of all discernment, when history has never indicated same. Where, one should ask, were officials actually able to determine solutions the ancient and heretofore ineradicable problems of unfairness, poverty, greed and envy?



    5. Beware of the Good Intentions of Government by the Left, for it removes competition from the free market. It knows what is best…and is intent on taking from the consumer the freedom to choose between competing enterprises. And what is Freedom by the freedom to choose?


    6. Equality may be barred by ability: the street sweeper may lack the ability to be a surgeon, and, therefore, not attain the wealth to be equal. Then let him work at that for which he does have the ability, or choose another line of employment which might lead him to a life closer to his vision of his deserts and to his needs. Or do his job superlatively in the hope of advancement.

    a. If, by government mandate, the street sweeper is paid the same as the surgeon, why should he aspire to better his lot? John Stuart Mill writes in “On Liberty,” that any man who is rewarded equally for doing a good job or a bad job, would be a fool to put energy into its accomplishment. He would naturally withhold it, and put it where it might improve his status or income.

    b. Milton Friedman suggested we all recognize as a joke the notion that someone might say to a government employee, “Slow down, you’re killing yourself…”



    7. Consider this question: should government pay to support an opera singer whose performances no one attends? The free market alternative would cause his handlers, manager, coaches, and assistants to seek other employment. While we would all, likely, feel compassion for those out of work, do those who might have to move on to other employment have a claim on our tax dollars? Well…then how about the members of the auto industry?
    From Mamet, "The Secret Knowledge," chapter 32.
     
  7. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    "And, we must always remember that entrepreneurship is the audacity, perseverance, and competence that turn an individual into a creator, whether of wealth, science, technology, or military success….and we must honor it."
    Gingrich, "To Save America."
     
  8. Freemason9
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    Freemason9 Gold Member

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    Well, P.C., I cannot argue with the theoretical models you present regarding the Glories of Capitalism. And, lest you become inflamed, please do not believe that I am a devout socialist. HOWEVER, since you bring up economic theory and the interesting sociological underpinnings, I would say that both Smith and Marx had seemingly good arguments--and they indeed agree on many points.

    I don't think you would disagree with the statements of either M. or S., however, that warn of the consequences of runaway and unregulated capitalism; that, brought to its logical end, capitalism inevitably will result in an elimination of competing firms. Additionally, the relegation of labor to a commodity good suppresses wages to such degrees that the market for goods declines, and that is indeed exactly what happens today. Ultimately, it destroys the national economic system.

    You seem to hold a Randian belief in the Heroic Individual that needs no affiliation with society, family, or rule of law. That is essentially the Utopian libertarian theme that is (in practice) completely unworkable except in tiny populations. In the real world, there is great connectivity and reliance upon others within the population to provide cohesion. (Try driving to work this next year without the services of the convenience store attendant, the fuel truck driver, the highway crew, the government workers that manage revenue distribution and infrastructure, the educators that taught them all, the cops that prevent you and others from stealing fuel, the salt miners that provide the ice-melting material in the winter, the factory workers that placed the windscreen in your automobile, etc.).

    This is a world that has grown and evolved to coordinate the resources and talents of millions of human beings. Although I understand that a certain percentage of those humans do not necessarily work well with others, those individuals have no enhanced power over the majority unless it is by force of wealth or brutality.

    In other words--as boring as it may seem, the human future depends upon interdependancy.
     
  9. Freemason9
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    Freemason9 Gold Member

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    I hate to burst your bubble there, but any number of peer-reviewed studies on entrepreneurship paints a less glorious picture; indeed, most entrepreneurs are forced into entrepreneurship because they are otherwise unemployable and cannot find or keep jobs.
     
  10. Freemason9
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    No. I believe product labor should be rewarded; using that as a central tenet, however, would relegate someone like Willard Romney to poverty. He has produced nothing. All of his wealth has come about from the productive labor of others. He merely succeeded in finding ways to confiscate it, as most pure capitalists do. Workers create wealth; capitalists steal it.
     

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