Sunday, March 24, 2013

Karen Nussbaum: ‘New Culture War Addresses Fairness of Wealth Allocation’

Source:Working America- leader and labor organizer Karen Nussbaum.

“Jonathan Haidt has an interesting post, “Of Freedom and Fairness: The new culture war is about economic issues, and the side that better sells its idea of fairness will have the upper hand” up at Democracy Journal. With the old culture war moving off center stage, Haidt argues that,

…Economic issues such as taxation are moral issues–no less so than social issues like gay marriage–and neither side has full control of the key moral foundations that underlie economic morality: fairness and liberty. Both sides are vulnerable to being outflanked and outgunned. Both sides could use a detailed map of the moral ground on which economic battles are waged.

In this essay I offer such a map, showing the territory currently controlled by Democrats (equality and positive liberty) and by Republicans (proportionality and negative liberty). What remains up for grabs is “procedural fairness”: the integrity of the process by which we decide who gets what. Both parties are open to charges that they don’t want everyone to “play by the same rules.” Both parties have ways of answering this charge and persuading the broader public that its concept of fairness is the better one. The party that wins that point will have the upper hand in this new culture war.”

“GRITtv: The US’s largest labor federation, the AFL-CIO, pledged at its ’13 Convention to work more closely with community-based affiliates & its grassroots organizing arm, Working America. Laura Flanders talked to WA Director Karen Nussbaum after the vote.” 

Source:The Laura Flanders Show- talking to Karen Nussbaum from Working America.

From The Laura Flanders Show 

Someone should define what positive and negative liberty means, whether you are left-wing or right-wing.

Just a thought, but when I hear let’s saying leftists (people who I tend to call Socialist or Social Democrats, that others call Progressives) talk about positive liberty, they’re talking about the freedom for people to not have to worry about themselves, not to have to go without the basic necessities in life and that government will make sure that no one has to take personal responsibility over their own lives, because government will either take care of everyone financially or outlaw certain individual personal and economic decisions that big government believes is bad for us and bad for society.

And when leftists are talking about negative liberty, they’re talking about people having the freedom to make mistakes with their own lives that government (according to them) has to pay for. That according to leftists, the world is too big and complicated of a place to let people make their own economic decisions:

Pick their own health coverage

Plan their own retirements

Where to send their kids to school

How much individual wealth that they should have, and unfortunately I could go on, but hopefully you get the point by now. And that we need a government big enough manage everyone’s life for them, because the world is too big and complicated a place to allow individuals to live freely. According to leftists.

I like Andrew Jackson’s 1820 presidential campaign slogan as well: Equal opportunity for all, special privileges for none” that’s where I am as an Independent Democrat with classical liberal and progressive leanings. Almost 200 years later that’s the America we should be trying to build.

We shouldn’t be trying to go back to the 1940s or 50s when minorities and women were treated like second-class citizens compared with Anglo-Saxon men. Which is what the Tea Party seems to want to do. Or try to move America Scandinavia economically, politically, and culturally. Which is what the New-Left (Socialists or Social Democrats) want to do with us.

What we should be doing instead is create an America where everyone has a real opportunity to succeed and live in freedom in America and then get to enjoy the awards of their successes and pay for their own mistakes themselves. Which is what personal freedom and responsibility is all about. Which the America that we should be working to create instead of on Christian-theocratic monarchy, or some socialist utopia. 

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