Thoughts on Economic Justice
By Michael McGehee at Apr 09, 2009
I have shared my thoughts on “economic freedom” and now want to say something about “economic justice.” I see a lot of Leftist groups and organizations use the phrase and often times the phrase goes undefined, or when it does I find the definition to be insufficient. Rather than single out and critique individual groups I will just give my definition.
To have justice in economic affairs means that all participants have an equitable access to education and training for jobs they desire and can prove to be qualified at; income reflecting the effort and sacrifice they endure; and decision making to the degree that they are affected. Or to put it more simply: economic justice is a classless society.
So when I see certain groups, organizations, networks or unions freely use the term “economic justice” and also see that internally they have hierarchal structures I think it is productive and constructive to say, "This is bullshit and will not do!"
Economic actors cannot have justice if: tasks are divided so that some monopolize empowering and informative skills; proposals and/or decision-making is made by an executive committee, board of directors or elitist group of individuals; if income is distributed based on bargaining power; and if access to education and training is not equitably distributed so that all may have a fair chance at fulfilling their needs and desires.
The Left is in bad need of adhering to the various proverbs on how if you want change the best place is to start at home; to lead by example. So long as the Left replicates many of the injustices in their internal structuring then it should be clear as day to the rest of us that little, if any, progress is being made. And just like the Right has their empty slogans about God and Country, so too is "economic justice" for many on the Left.
It doesn't have to be this way. Economic Justice can be and should be something real but the question is: Will the Left build a popular grassroots movement that is not only united across many important issues like economic justice, environmental preservation, gay rights, anti-war, anti-nuke, political decentralization, etc., but do so in a way that lays the foundation for a new and better society that is truly classless and egalitarian?