Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Social Justice, I: Introduction

Most of the postings on this blog have dealt with the binary economics aspect of the Just Third Way. Having just had our eighth annual rally outside the Federal Reserve and the twenty-eighth CESJ annual celebration, the question came up as to the effectiveness of the effort to implement the Just Third Way, especially a Capital Homestead Act. As one correspondent declared rather forcefully (names have been changed to protect the guilty),

"Why, I ask, are we not part of this national debate on economics? After 40 years, we are not even mentioned as a potential or even possible solution. We do not have the attention of the system! Why can we not see that? We are less than ignored. We are ridiculed! Even the impressive Russell Long victory was really not a victory for democratic economics as it was ultimately perverted by the crooked Congress (funded by the 1%). We cannot beat them without calling them out to the American people.

"WE HAVE TO OUT THE 1% AND CALL THEM WHAT THEY ARE . . . ROBBER BARONS! We should publish a list of them . . . brand them for what they are . . . break down our argument for change into individual elements. See them for what they are, a faceless minority hiding behind even more faceless corporations doing their bidding. We should be working hand in glove with the 99% converting them over from socialism to binary economics. That is where our time should be spent . . . not in trying to get their leaders to pass the litmus test, of ideological purity according to CESJ. We should become a virus in the system and not a flea crawling across its back."

This is a fairly accurate statement of the goal of economic justice and the standard means chosen to reach goals in our society. The problem here, however, is that the strategy and the tactics do not take into account the fact that CESJ is the Center for Economic and Social Justice. People can be up to speed on the Kelsonian principles of binary economics and the necessity of implementing and maintaining the four pillars of an economically just society.

To refresh our memories, the three principles of economic justice are,

  • Participation (the input principle which demands as a fundamental human right, equal opportunity for every person to contribute to the production of society's marketable wealth both as a worker and as an owner of productive assets),

  • Distribution (the outtake principle which holds that the contribution of labor to the economic process should be compensated at the market-determined rate (or "just wage") for each particular type of human contribution to the production of marketable wealth. This principle dictates that the contribution of capital should be compensated by the "just profit" generated by the project or enterprise), and

  • Harmony (the feedback principle that balances and restores participation and distribution within the economic system. This principle was referred to by Louis Kelso and Mortimer Adler as the "principle of limitation" and by others as "social justice," as it calls for the restructuring of the economic system to restore participative and distributive justice),

The four pillars of an economically just society are:

  • A limited economic role for the State,

  • Free and open markets within an understandable and enforceable legal system as the best means for determining just wages, just prices, and just profits,

  • Restoration of the rights of private property, especially in corporate equity and other forms of business organization, and

  • Widespread direct ownership of capital, individually or in free association with others.

So, you say, what's the problem? That is what we'll look at tomorrow.



nail-in-the-wall said...

Why do they still throw stones?

Michael D. Greaney said...

Because it's easier than stowing thrones . . . especially in grass houses. People who live in grass houses shouldn't stow thrones.