Social & Economic Justice

Social & Economic Justice


Social Justice: The Case of African Americans

Social justice May 17th, 2017

Social justice is a very significant matter for America. Today I had a friend I disagreed with about whether it is even real, and then happened to watch an innovative and compelling show called American Race, hosted by provocateur and thinker, Charles Barkley. There are many considerations when it comes to the interesting and significant topic of social justice: what is it? Is it real? How does it relate to race, institutionalized racism, class, capitalism, poverty, and class issues? What are America’s racial problems now, what are the true facts about our history, and can we make greater social progress going forward?

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Social Justice: Based in Historical Truth

social justice May 3rd, 2017

I was a little discomfited by Daniel Lattier’s derision of social justice in his account of an elementary school in Minnesota which has made some noble attempts at teaching children about historical truth, such as the idea of “white privilege.” I believe this position shows a lack of insight into the way America works, will shortchange children of all races, and will perpetuate the status quo. It’s not terribly surprising, though. Consider: “Once you follow a path of nonviolence and social justice, it won’t take you long before you come into conflict with the culture, with the society” ~ Martin Sheen. Lattier wrote in Not All Parents Want Their Children to be Social Justice Warriors:

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Conservatism: As Compared to Other Views

conservatism and libertarianism May 3rd, 2017

There are so many ultra-rich people in this country that “being a billionaire is barely enough to gain admission to the Forbes 400 [list of wealthiest individuals],” said Michael J. Sandel in is superb, readable book Justice. In a libertarian America, sure, there would be less discrimination and some of the icky stuff that social conservatives foist on the rest of us (censorship, the drug war, etc.). There could conceivably be a lot of wealth inequality, however. Is this right? Can it be morally justified? Let’s analyze, criticize, and philosophize about modern political conservatism and its ugly younger brother, libertarianism.

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Values & Ethics: From Living Room to Boardroom

Values & Ethics: From Living Room to Boardroom April 20th, 2017

It seems like daily we are inundated by superficial social media, “fake news,” political demagogues, intolerant youth, and oppressive societal institutions. How can one find concentrate on what is real, wholesome, and reliable? Can we reach back into the past and access classical wisdom, traditional values, and a greater sense of fulfillment, meaning, and optimism? Values & Ethics: From Living Room to Boardroom (2017; Palmetto Publishing Group; $17.95 softcover) aims to address big-picture topics such as values, virtues, ethics, and wisdom. The following is a pitch for the book, including endorsements, reviews, an excerpt, description, and author bio.

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Progressive: Promoting Social and Economic Change

Was America Ever Progressive? April 14th, 2017

Considering the relative powerlessness of political progressives (i.e., those on “the Left”), it’s obvious that such individuals are in it for the love of principle. As compared to the lure of power and money, the struggle for rights, social welfare, true democracy, true freedom, humaneness, and other ideals/values is a noble sentiment. The goals of social activism are also usually superior to conserving the status quo and bolstering institutional power. It has never been easy; from securing a fair wage to voting rights to being free of conscription to breaking the shackles that enslaved, progressives have not had much power on their side. Power concedes nothing without a demand…. Frederick Douglass wrote. A comparison and contrast of progressivism (“liberalism”) and conservatism follows.

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Is Inequality of Wealth Fair and Acceptable?

inequality of wealth March 27th, 2017

Is it appropriate, legitimate, and wise for government to tax the wealthy in order to help the poor (i.e., redistribution)? I think this is largely a moral issue, though it clearly touches economics, and politics. It is my belief that it is morally appropriate for a legitimate government to tax wealthy citizens to redistribute to help the poor. It’s not right to live in a society that is the richest in the history of societies, has significant wealth inequality, very low unionization, flagging wages, and so on; many millions are without health insurance, living paycheck to paycheck, not being able to afford daycare, and such. That’s not a good society. The rich need to be willing to propagate and contribute to a more horizontal society than that. It’s also wise, in addition to simply being moral.

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Progress and Social Justice in Society

suffering woman needs progress now! February 28th, 2017

Is more progress possible in modern society, and if so, how do we get from here to there? What can “the wise” teach us about our values that will bring about greater peace, justice, prosperity, equality, and happiness? What role will progressive/grass-roots politics play, versus conservative/reactionary/top-down politics? How does this all relate to economics and social policy? Let’s discuss.

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Civil Liberties Dialogue: A Response

lady justice February 24th, 2017

I shared the post from February 22nd with a friend who is an economist, and tends to see things in ways that is similar to, but different from, me. He had some interesting commentary that focused on justice, truth, and progress. I thought I would just paste his response here. His name is Robert L. Lloyd. Read the original blog first. We are discussing civil liberties, social justice, truth, and America’s social problems. 

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Social Justice and Civil Liberties: Case in Point

social justice and civil liberties February 22nd, 2017

I get that being a cop is difficult, for all kinds of reasons. One is that we don’t pay them, select them, or supervise them all that well. Also, the culture of many law enforcement agencies has some problems that new recruits have to adjust to – the blue code of silence or whatever it’s called. Clearly, there are a lot of trashy people in a country of over 300,000,000, and cops are on the front lines in dealing with them. So, I do think we should have police, but like most agencies – from schools to government to courts – the institution should be improved, amended, and altered. Social justice and civil liberties are two aspirational goals America was founded on (well, that is arguable).

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Is Capitalism Ethical? Economically Just?

Is capitalism ethical? January 3rd, 2017

This is such a funny picture, I had to blog about it. I’m afraid I don’t know whom to give credit to for the photo, but they are obviously a genius. There is great wisdom in it, I believe. So, what did Jesus value? Does that matter? Can one live a life of value and chase down the almighty dollar? In a word: is capitalism ethical? Here are some questions to consider when comparing capitalism to its alternatives: socialism, welfare statism, egalitarianism, communitarianism, and social democracy. 

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