Sunday, September 26, 2010

Jefferson on Justice


What would Thomas Jefferson say about social justice, which is the idea of using the government to rearrange things so as to make life more fair for groups which may appear at the moment, to be disadvantaged in some way?

To take from one, because it is thought that his own industry, or that of his father's has acquired too much, in order to spare others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association---the guarantee to every one of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.

And what is justice, anyway? And would mere mortals be capable of instituting it?

There can be no test by which we can discover what is 'socially unjust' because there is no subject by which such an injustice can be committed, and there are no rules of individual conduct the observance of which in the market order would secure to the individuals and groups the position which as such (as distinguished from the procedure by which it is determined) would appear just to us. (Social justice) does not belong to the category of error but to that of nonsense, like the term `a moral stone.---Friedrick Hayek

Nonsense, definitely......and when one tries to enforce a social justice system, one simply ends up with more unaffordable lollipops offered, but not delivered, to the electorate. A high standard of living is promised to all, but when property rights are denied to those who have been working hard so as to amass for themselves a little property, who is going to keep working to create all that wealth? Jefferson knew it was a bad road to go down. We ought to listen up.

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