Tuesday, June 22, 2010
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, with liberty and justice for all." What kind of justice does our nation guarantee? If something is "just," it is also "fair." This means that to obtain "justice for all," the situation must be fair to all. Only equal justice under the law can be fair to everyone. There are many different words being discussed in our nation today, words that sound like fairness to all but are just the opposite. "Social justice," "political justice" and "economic justice" are different ways to justify redistribution of wealth. President Obama stated, "… the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society. [O]ne of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was, because the civil rights movement became so court focused I think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change." Redistribution of wealth appears to be high on the President's "fairness list" as his Administration uses his "coalition of power" to force change on Americans. One of the reasons given for Obamacare was that it was unfair and unjust for millions of people to be without health insurance. I have family members and friends who struggle to pay for health insurance - or go without it. I understand the need to increase the availability of health care at lower costs in order that all may have health coverage; however, I fail to understand the fairness or justice in taking from one group to give to another group as this President is seeking to do. I think that it is past time for everyone to understand a basic principle: Life is not fair. How can it be fair for one girl to have beautiful hair and a shapely body while another girl is unattractive? How can it be fair for one boy to have a tall, handsome, athletic body while another boy is short and skinny with an acne problem? What is fair about one person being able to sing beautiful melodies while another is not able to carry a tune? Life is unfair! Everyone's life experiences are unique. Even siblings born to the same parents and growing up together in the same home have individual abilities and experiences. Some will have a bigger disposable income than others, and some will have easier lives than their siblings. Life is not fair! Those people who think redistribution of wealth will make everyone rich should do some more thinking. As more and more money is taken from the wealthy and those who work hard for what they have, there will be less and less money to go around because no one will be motivated to work for success. No one wants to work for something that will just be taken away from them. Redistribution of wealth will simply make everyone poor. Instead of thinking about "social" or "economic" or "political" justice, we need to think in terms of "equal" justice. Everyone should have the opportunity to be educated, to work, to live in a nice neighborhood, to have health insurance, etc., but no one should be entitled to anything except life, liberty, and the opportunity to own property. There have been times in my life when I struggled, was broke, and without ready cash, but I have never lived in chronic poverty or been dependent on the government to provide my living. My parents taught me how to work and the importance of work. They also taught me to be independent. There is an old saying that should be taught in all homes, schools, and churches: "If you give a man a fish, you feed him for one day. If you teach the man to fish, he can catch his own fish and feed himself for many days," Individuals who are temporarily short of cash may need only a "fish," but people who live in chronic poverty need to be taught how to fish so that they can be independent. Benjamin Franklin shared the same idea. "I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I traveled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer." America is a great nation with enough opportunities for all to succeed or to fail in the attempt. Failure is not a bad thing; in fact, it is one of life's greatest teachers. In fact, failure can lead to great achievement. The reason that so many Americans are prosperous is because capitalism gave them the opportunity to succeed or fail. Capitalism creates prosperity. If the government got out of the way, more people could enjoy prosperity. In America we are guaranteed the protection of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Americans should also enjoy "equal justice" under the law.