Economic justice isn't what it seems

Gov. Ralph Northam used his first speech to the General Assembly to seek common ground with Republicans on workforce training, education and economic development, but he also forcefully called for expansion of the state’s Medicaid program as “a matter of basic economic justice” and challenged them on hot-button Democratic political priorities.

Lets explore the term “economic justice.”

I think it is important for Virginians to understand just what our new governor is talking about. Economic justice is a component of three progressive idealisms, with social justice being the end result.

To create social justice, we look at participative justice, distributive justice and shares (people). Participative justice is what each individual does to create economic contributions or input. Distributive justice is output and matched to each individuals labor and capital inputs. Each of these in balance creates social justice.

Social justice can only be achieved when human interactions are organized and governed to design a level of common good.

If we were to imagine a three legged stool — each of these principles a leg — the system of economic distributive and social justice would collapse if any one was missing or weakened.

Participative justice does not guarantee equal results. It rejects social barriers and special privileges. Distributive justice says an individual should be matched to his input; it turns to the open marketplace as the most objective means for a just wage or profit. Social justice is an attempt to correct inputs and outputs where these principals, progressive believe, need to be balanced to make for a stable three-legged stool.

Sounds good, but the three-legged stool will not stand because humans are capable of abstract thought and are tribal by nature. Here is where a progressive liberal such as Gov. Northam will use his own abstract thoughts on economic justice: The legs of the stool will be chopped on one side and strengthened on the side of social justice.

Gov. Northam may attempt to pass laws that take economic justice from one person and give it to another, such as expanding Medicare. The governor may attempt to limit your freedom by taking away the basic foundation of nature’s first law: The right to self defense.

You know the legs will be chopped when tax codes are restructured to ensure redistribution of wealth. State jobs will target minorities and unfairly put others at a disadvantage based on race or gender. He will offer financial support to urban communities and disregard rural ones. He might try to eliminate Virginia as a right-to-work state.

Be very afraid my fellow Virginians, when someone in a powerful position starts talking about economic justice. It will be then you have a dictator on your hands.

Reed Johnson


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