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What is Fair ^ | March 21, 2012 | John Stossel

Posted on 03/21/2012 3:50:04 AM PDT by Kaslin

President Obama says he want to make society more fair. Advocates of big government believe fairness means taking from rich people and giving to others: poor people; or people who do things politicians approve of, like making "green" energy equipment (Solyndra); or old people (even rich ones) through Social Security and Medicare.

The idea that government can "make life fair" is intuitively appealing to people -- at least until they think about it. I'll try to help.

Obama says fairness requires higher taxes, but as The Wall Street Journal's Stephen Moore asks, "Is it fair that the richest 10 percent of Americans shoulder a higher share of their country's income-tax burden than do the richest 10 percent in every other industrialized nation, including socialist Sweden?"

Or as economist Art Laffer asked, is it fair that American corporations pay the highest corporate tax rate in the world?

Beyond taxes, again quoting Moore, "Is it fair that President Obama sends his two daughters to elite private schools that are safer, better-run and produce higher test scores than public schools in Washington, D.C. -- but millions of other families across America are denied that free choice and forced to send their kids to rotten schools?"

No. Parents ought to be able to spend their education money at any school they choose.

Big-government politicians bemoan income inequality, but would equalizing incomes make life fair?

To many, it is intuitive that such inequality is necessarily unfair. If someone makes his income by looting the taxpayers -- sure, that's unfair. His gains are ill-gotten, and honest taxpayers are out hard-earned money. But there's nothing unfair simply in making more money through productive work. People have a range of talents and ambitions. Some will serve consumers better than others and therefore make more money. Government should not worry about that.

It should spend its time abolishing political privileges so that people compete fairly -- in the marketplace.

You want to know what's unfair? Social Security. Progressives say Social Security is the best-working government program ever, but they are wrong.

"Think about Social Security in terms of what would happen if a private company came up with a deal like this," said Charles Goyette, author of "Red and Blue and Broke All Over." "The president of the company says, we've got to sell some new policies tomorrow to pay you what you're due when you cash in today. They'd lock these guys up."

Goyette was referring to the fact that your payroll taxes are not invested. The money is spent right away, and the government counts on new money from current workers to pay retirees. The touted trust fund doesn't exist.

"There's no trust. There's no fund. There's no security. And the really bad thing -- this is what's really destructive -- it has changed the propensity of the American people to save for themselves. ... We're creating a multigenerational calamity. And it's right at our doorstep."

We've taught people to be dependent. But dependence robs us of our dignity and keeps poor people poor.

Few politicians will touch the issue because seniors vote. And so trouble is not far up the road.

"We've loaded kids up with a debt that they will be burdened by for the rest of their lives," Goyette said. "What kind of people, what kind of country does something like that?"

It's even worse for Medicare. We're talking tens of trillions in unfunded liabilities. Where's that money going come from? Since seniors resist cuts, will politicians keep their promises by devaluing the currency? And why do the guardians of fairness never talk about this?

It might seem reasonable for government to make life more fair. But when it takes your money and freedom trying to do that, life becomes less fair. Everyone is poorer and less free. As government grows, individual liberty shrinks. That's not fair.

It might help if instead of talking about fairness, we talked about justice: respecting other people, their freedom and their honestly acquired belongings. Real fairness, or justice, requires limiting government power. That means the same rules for everyone. No special favors. No handouts. Or, in Frederic Bastiat's phrase, no "legal plunder."

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: fair; morefair; mustread; notfair; stossel; unfair

1 posted on 03/21/2012 3:50:07 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin
When you hear that run like hell.
I taught my children life is not fair, never was, never will be here on this earth.
Deal with it.
The community organizer will try to legislate fairness. LOOK OUT! ! ! ! ! !
2 posted on 03/21/2012 3:59:33 AM PDT by DeaconRed (I am the Only Daddy that will walk the line. . . . . . .)
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To: Voter#537

John Stossel says more or less the same things

3 posted on 03/21/2012 4:11:27 AM PDT by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: Kaslin

These rat leftists want the few of us that work to survive to
share in the misery of the lazy, welfare bilking inner
city filth. It’s what they consider “fair”.

4 posted on 03/21/2012 4:21:35 AM PDT by soycd
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To: Kaslin

To Liberals: Equal Opportunity = Equal Outcome.

5 posted on 03/21/2012 4:22:07 AM PDT by rlmorel (A knife in the chest from a unapologetic liberal is preferable to a knife in the back from a RINO.)
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To: Kaslin
"John Stossel says more or less the same things."

He stole it from me.
JUST KIDDING: John and I agree on a lot of things.
We need common sense thinkers running the show. NOT COMMUNITY ORGANIZERS that think fairness is giving away OUR money NEVER their money.

6 posted on 03/21/2012 4:22:23 AM PDT by DeaconRed (I am the Only Daddy that will walk the line. . . . . . .)
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To: Kaslin

I truly hate the word “FAIR”.
Nothing says commie more than “fair”.

7 posted on 03/21/2012 4:23:50 AM PDT by BuffaloJack (End Obama's War On Freedom.)
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To: Kaslin

Fair involves equality or the perception of equality.

Equality ends at birth. From that point events, destiny and initiative control. One who chooses to be lazy and likes being lazy will always be inferior to one who is not lazy.

A large proportion of the population has chosen to be lazy. They become unequal and as time goes by, the inequality grows.

Fairness becomes the rationalization for creating equality. Fairness is a political class warfare doctrine to create pseudo equality. Those who loudly shout the doctrine should be feared and severely control. They are public enemies.

8 posted on 03/21/2012 4:30:05 AM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 ..... Crucifixion is coming)
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To: bert

The word “fair” is a gigantic con — tailor made for idiots, who will fall for it every time.

9 posted on 03/21/2012 4:35:11 AM PDT by Jerrybob
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To: Kaslin

But there’s nothing unfair simply in making more money through productive work. People have a range of talents and ambitions. Some will serve consumers better than others and therefore make more money.

What if more money is made by giving political donations in order to get government money like Solyndra? The writer means well but make the assumption that we have a free market. As long as the government is allowed to interfere, many undeserving scum will make big bucks while hard working honest people will get stomped down by the government.

10 posted on 03/21/2012 4:39:54 AM PDT by freedomfiter2 (Brutal acts of commission and yawning acts of omission both strengthen the hand of the devil.)
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To: Kaslin

“Fair” is a low standard; justice is what we should be striving for. Solomon dividing the baby was “fair”; identifying the real mother was justice.

Fairness as a goal allows the Kenyan to spread your wealth around; justice prevents this theft.

11 posted on 03/21/2012 4:40:41 AM PDT by muir_redwoods (No wonder this administration favors abortion; everything they have done is an abortion)
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To: Kaslin
It comes once a year to Shreveport, usually in late October.

12 posted on 03/21/2012 4:43:59 AM PDT by abb ("What ISN'T in the news is often more important than what IS." Ed Biersmith, 1942 -)
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To: Kaslin
There's no sense in blaming the word "fair" just because it's been perverted by the Marxists. Genuine fairness is still genuine fairness. I haven't surrendered the words "gay" or "liberal," and I'm not going to surrender "fair," either. Those who define the terms tend to win the arguments.
13 posted on 03/21/2012 5:29:29 AM PDT by Standing Wolf
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To: Kaslin; All
Thank you!!!!

Obama and his fellow so-called "progressives" have redefined perfectly good words to mean what their little band of tyrants want them to mean.

The "fairness" America's Founders and Framers of its Constitution understood was a fairness that provided indivdual liberty, equality before the law, and protection from the coercive power of government officials.

In order to enlighten what Thomas Jefferson called "the American mind" of today to the Founding generation's wisdom and reasoning on their strong Constitutional limits protecting "the People's" rights to property, a reading of the following words of John Adams might be in order. They can be found and downloaded from here.

John Adams, Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States

- 1787 - Works 6:8--9

"Suppose a nation, rich and poor, high and low, ten millions in number, all assembled together; not more than one or two millions will have lands, houses, or any personal property; if we take into the account the women and children, or even if we leave them out of the question, a great majority of every nation is wholly destitute of property, except a small quantity of clothes, and a few trifles of other movables. Would Mr. Nedham be responsible that, if all were to be decided by a vote of the majority, the eight or nine millions who have no property, would not think of usurping over the rights of the one or two millions who have? Property is surely a right of mankind as really as liberty. Perhaps, at first, prejudice, habit, shame or fear, principle or religion, would restrain the poor from attacking the rich, and the idle from usurping on the industrious; but the time would not be long before courage and enterprise would come, and pretexts be invented by degrees, to countenance the majority in dividing all the property among them, or at least, in sharing it equally with its present possessors. Debts would be abolished first; taxes laid heavy on the rich, and not at all on the others; and at last a downright equal division of every thing be demanded, and voted. What would be the consequence of this? The idle, the vicious, the intemperate, would rush into the utmost extravagance of debauchery, sell and spend all their share, and then demand a new division of those who purchased from them. The moment the idea is admitted into society, that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If "Thou shalt not covet," and "Thou shalt not steal," were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society, before it can be civilized or made free." (Underlining added for emphasis)

After reading Adams' words, and seeing what has happened today,can we doubt the wisdom of his words?

If future generations are to enjoy freedom, then America needs leadership focusing on restoring a sense of a fairness which recognizes that what is unlawful for individuals to do to one another without punishment should be unlawful for collections of individuals (called politicians) to do to the rest of society.

14 posted on 03/21/2012 9:42:12 AM PDT by loveliberty2
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