When I use a term like economic justice, the far right comes unglued and immediately sees communist warning flags and a Hitler wantabe (how that one comes up, I don't know but it does. Maybe it's because they don't know much about what Hitler did but just that he was bad and that's enough). The very thought of discussing economic justice has their hair on end.
Well tell me what something like this tells you about the economic situation in our country?
Basically the top one percent has the power, the money and most of the material goods in our country. They have five members on the Supreme Court, and control of one of the country's major parties with a fair number they more or less control in the other one also. Obama seems to feel he must move toward them if he wants to have a second term which doesn't bode well for the middle.
Corporate interests can now donate any amount they want to any candidate with no questions asked as they are considered to be the same as any other voter. Interestingly Justice Roberts, writing for the majority when they knocked down Arizona's campaign finance law, said basically that for the state to match the funds for the opposing candidates that say a wealthy man/woman had given, would take away that wealthy person's freedom of speech. Scratch your head over that one!
Did you read Suzy Orman, the financial something or other, suggesting that for most people renting is better than owning? It means give it up people. They have most of it and want the rest. You can be a sharecropper-- at best. What those people want is a feudal system and that is their definition of economic justice. Clearly there is never enough money for some people.
Now why would the majority in a culture support the top 1% having all the money, all the power, all the benefits? Why would ordinary people actually fight for tax cuts for the wealthiest? Think about it. Right now there wouldn't be all the concern over paying for Medicare and Medicaid, over helping the poor with heating, with all the reasonable social programs in this country IF they had not extended the tax cuts for those who have incomes (this is after deductions remember) of over $250,000. IF they had not started two wars they didn't want to pay for, the poor wouldn't be threatened this way. This isn't about the poor but they are bound and determined to convince Americans it is.
Some say it's for the benefit of small business that they fought for those tax cuts. No, it's not. Small businesses have many deductions and in the end if they are having a net income of over $250,000, they can afford to pay that extra 2 or 3% which is only on that part over $250,000 anyway. The question has been raised-- it wouldn't be enough to do that, the problem is bigger. Fine but it's a start. Statistically is doesn't work out to be a help; so why not do it?
I have read one theory, on the resistance in the right to doing this, that ordinary folks think they'll be rich someday; so out of selfishness, they are protecting the interests of the wealthy. Well given the rate of inflation (which is soooo hidden and so dominant a factor for the value of dollars), they might get those dollars all right, but it won't mean much when they do. It's lucky most people don't carry around cash anymore and use debit cards because the amount of cash you'd have to carry is expanding rapidly.
Another reason the middle supports this economic imbalance is religious. They have a favorite cause like fear of gays having normal family lives or of a woman being able to decide for herself whether to have an abortion. On figuring out the secular voices supporting more and more for the richest, I give up as it makes no real sense to me. I do understand those on religious grounds but I wish they'd use their head and especially Christians remember who it was they claim they follow.
Why is the concept of economic justice so controversial? I think some is because people really haven't thought what it means. They have a fear it means giving most of what they have now to someone else. They see it as about social programs for the poor. It actually is not the case. In a system of economic injustice, which more and more we have, you could have programs that give pittances to the poor to keep them from revolting.
I think economic justice is more establishing a level playing field, having an environment where everyone has a chance to earn a living, where jobs are available and at a wage that provides basic living expenses, where living conditions are not intolerable for anybody, and where businesses are encouraged to reinvest in their inventory and hire more employees as their profits rise.
I have to think also that, at least for me, a world of economic justice would not have the poor on the streets or people starving. Is there really joy for people with a lot of money when they know some cannot afford the basics of life? How long can they convince themselves that those children deserve to starve? Economic justice to me is about jobs and fairness.
So I'd be interested in hearing what others think economic justice means. The great mystics, those who have gone beyond living in caves and have come back out to look at human lives, they generally support economic justice. It makes sense even for the rich but when greed takes over a country, logic and sense aren't factors anymore.
How can it be better for the rich to have a group of people with less and less education, less and less ability to support themselves and more reason to attack others as they have no concept of morality taught to them? How can it be fun to have so much when you know others are suffering?
Economic justice means that when you do a job, you get a fair wage for the work. It means that you don't have some work (CEOs for instance) valued thousands of times over what others receive when all jobs are needed.
When so many of our manufacturing jobs were shipped overseas, where they can be done cheaper, the elites in this country didn't have to worry about economic justice anymore. They just had to worry about whether to get that fourth home in the Hamptons or Cape Cod.
We are heading for a feudal system as the rich have convinced the rest of us that their way is the best. So government cannot do anything better than the private sector. Convenient for them if people buy into that, isn't it?
What this all means is the next generation won't be able to rise up as was possible for my generation. People will be locked into caste systems based on no way to get educations or training if there were even jobs to do. They won't be able to get an education as this bunch is doing all they can to end public education. They won't have the infrastructure to support doing anything but slave labor. They won't have the investment in research, none of the things that got us where we were when the downturn began thirty years ago.
Economic justice is about everybody who has the strength to work being able to find jobs and at wages that enable their families to live.It means one bunch don't take it all even though, and this happens too often, those taking it have been contributing nothing to the culture.
This is a matter of Christianity. Try what Jesus said about it in: Matthew 20:1-16. Some try to spiritualize this to a meaning other than what he literally said. Why can't it be both?
It's in Judaism: "Speak up, judge righteously, champion the poor and the needy," King Solomon in Proverbs. "You shall not abuse a needy and destitute laborer but you must pay him his wages on the same day, for he is needy and urgently depends on it." Moses in the Torah
Economic justice doesn't mean there will be no poor, but it means the system is not weighted to take more and more for one group as a way to enrich themselves off the sweat of another.