Joe Carter describes “What The Market Economy Needs to be Moral”.
While I like most of what is said, on one point I strongly disagree:<i>Justice is giving people what they are due.</i>
If this is true, than each and every American is committing an injustice in NOT giving the poor of Darfur, or Mexico, or India, “what they are due”.
But I dispute this. “Justice” is the response to some IN-justice. Before justice comes into place there must first be the commission of an injustice, and justice is the response (whether restitution, punishment, exile, or some combination).
Life is not fair. It’s not fair that Americans are born in America instead of Darfur or Mexico. But that doesn’t make it an injustice.
What is missing is the discussion of morality is the difference between means and ends. Peaceful, voluntary, honest agreements are what the Peaceful (Free) Market is about.If a “deal” is based on some dishonesty, or is involuntary (non-peaceful), that is not the Peaceful, nor Christian, market.And, because of the fallen nature of man, there is a need for some gov’t Force to stop the dishonest unjust deals. Especially to protect the poor from such all-too-common dishonesties from the rich.
When deals are honest and peaceful, they benefit both sides — this is how “wealth” (utility) is increased. Both (usually greedy) parties, feel they are better off by accepting the benefits and costs the deal.
The “third way” you’re looking for is this: honest peaceful markets without coercion or dishonesty, PLUS a society which celebrates generousity from the successful. We have the latter already — but among Leftists there is a feeling of being generous with other people’s money, thru taxation and other non-peaceful methods. That does not make them really generous. Instead, it is a false moral superiority which hides their sin of destructive envy. The desire to destroy the good fortune, or success, of others.
Justice is not the same as Fairness. We can’t make the world, or the market, fair. But we can, as humans, minimize injustice in the market, and we should be doing so. Including carefully defining what those injustices are, dishonesty & force.