Having Been Human
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Fri Aug 17 05:24:21 2012
Small Restatement on Economic Justice

I've said this many times, but I'm not sure I've done a restatement on here recently.

This is one of the constraints on economic justices that I believe in, and it could either be directly implemented under socialism or approximated through good tax policy and social services provisioning under a moderate, regulated capitalism.

The phrasing for this came from the context of an argument with a property-centric conservative who believes poor people on welfare are all lazy and funds supporting them are theft.

There is no slavery in requiring someone to pay their due to society, and yes, if we are able, we do have duties to it. We are decent people and we care for each other. If you really think people will always be content with doing the mininal to get by, living on the cheapest food and having the worst housing, then why do people work to get rich under any system? I am not talking about a system with no incentives; I am talking about a system that structures them in a humane way.

A: We guarantee the minimals to everyone. It might not be comfortable, but it's livable. Some minimal food, shelter, healthcare. It could be as limited as a bunk in a shelter or a private bed in a small room, but it should let people get by. B: We guarantee a reasonable life with dignity and opportunity for the average person who is willing to work. Public education, a reasonable home, good food, entertainment, and so. C: For those who make exceptional contributions, they can earn more privileges yet.

That's what justice looks like. No significantly different inheritances, and all income is public. It's not your "I confuse the money that comes in with unconditional and permanent grants of resources that nobody can touch". It's more "I've been given these privileges by society because of my labour, and they're provisional, and I'd best keep working hard, visibly for the public good, if I want to keep them". If you want to make a just society, that's what you do.