I am somewhat perplexed by a vagueness in the terms "social justice" or "economic justice". These are terms that are freely aired by many members of the left in this country.
On one hand, who can object to "justice"? On the other hand, I am troubled by the redistributivism entailed in some concepts of the above-referenced phrases.
For example, if someone is not capable of making the amount of money he wishes, does society have an interest in "justice" -- equalization -- of his economic status?
I can see the role of compassion in this matter, but I think it should be said that wants (wishes) are infinite, whereas available resources are necessarily limited.
Without become entrenched in a discussion of the shortcomings of Marxism, I do believe that an example may be of use. Assume, arguendo, that Bill Gates is worth $30 billion. Distributed across the total population of the United States (rounded up to 300 million), this would be $100.00 for every man, woman, and child in America. However, would $100.00 per person make a difference if thus distributed? More particularly, has every American done anything to deserve Bill Gates' wealth? Isn't Gates' wealth a product of his hard work, prescience, and good luck? If so, why should "social" or "economic" justice, if considered as redistributivism, be relevant to him -- or, by extension, any individuals of means?
Is the idea of this kind of justice really just a demand for undeserved welfare?
[Edited 2006-02-08 09:07:48]