Altruism and “Economic Justice”

The Regressive movement likes to portray itself as being on the side of justice. But the reality is, the policies they advocate are worse than unjust. They invert justice by granting the unearned and penalizing the innocent. Consider the Houston Peace & Justice Center (HPJC) as an example. Some of the policies the organization advocates are:

  • Providing quality, affordable health care for all citizens
  • Adequate funding for human needs
  • Providing quality, affordable education through college for all citizens

Implementing each of these policies requires that money be taken from some for the alleged benefit of others. This we are to believe, is “economic justice.”

Justice is the virtue of judging others by rational principles and acting accordingly. But according to HPJC, the judgment of individuals is irrelevant. Individuals will be forced to pay for the health care, needs, and education of others whether they want to or not.

If your neighbor broke into your house and took your money to pay for his health care, needs, or education, few would dispute that his action is immoral. The principle does not change if government acts as a middleman.

HPJC is motivated by altruism, which holds that we have a moral duty to sacrifice for others. According to altruism, needs supersede rights. If your neighbor needs money to pay for his health care, needs or education, you have an obligation to satisfy those needs. According to altruism, your failure to do so is an act of injustice.

Altruism demands that we not only sacrifice our property, but also our judgment. We are not to consider the reasons for another’s need. We are to ignore the nature of his character. His need is the only relevant fact.

Consider what would happen if our criminal justice system operated on this premise. Consider what would happen if juries were told that they could not judge the actions of the accused, but only his needs. The result would not be justice, but its inversion.

The same is true when altruism is applied to economic issues.

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