Is taking bread from the mouths of those who labor to feed the appetites of able-bodied adults who decline to work your idea of economic justice?
Or of injustice?
A recent Cato Institute study by Michael Tanner and Charles Hughes found that welfare benefits exceed the minimum wage for workers in 35 states. In 15 states, welfare benefits top $31,200 annually — equivalent to the $15 an hour minimum wage that SEIU and other unions are promoting for fast-food workers.
In short, at the lowest rungs of the economy, one can make more money not working.
The Washington Post’s Charles Lane advances another aspect of economic justice in a recent column suggesting that while some wealth is merited, the bulk of the wealth swirling about in the nation’s capital is not earned, but wrested from a system where insider politics meets crony capitalism.
And Lane notes that “too many of our public institutions — from Congress to big-city school systems — have been captured by rent-seeking interest groups,” warning broadly that, “Various societies have grown free and prosperous by many different methods; dividing up existing wealth according to political connections is not one of them.”
Yesterday at Townhall, I embraced the idea of economic justice, calling for a healthy dose of it, namely:
- Stop making welfare pay better than work;
- End government subsidies to cronies, farmers, everyone;
- Let people create new businesses by ending licensing laws and regulations that serve only to block needed competition.
That’s economic justice.
Not futzing about trying to make us “equal,” but making the basic rules equitable.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.