Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Song for a future generation

There is a fundamental misconception in society that social justice is about the government making sure "everyone has enough stuff." According to Ryan Messmore, the William E. Simon Fellow at the Heritage Foundation in Washington DC, we need a more robust concept of social justice which understands poverty as being more than just material. "Poverty, if traced back to its roots, usually has to do with a breakdown of some foundational relationship in life that is necessary to flourish." Social justice is therefore largely about restoring broken relationships. It needs to be cultivated and grown, it takes time, and it is not as simple as the government depositing money in people's accounts.
It never is as simple as giving people money, at least not when the
Maxim Institute is involved. And this time Maxim has called the Heritage Foundation for help. You see, Maxim has a crap dependency. There is not enough right-wing crap in little ol' New Zealand, so they have to import it from the USofA. That's right: they are taking advice from Conservatives in a country with a failed welfare system; this is not unlike asking the North Koreans for help with agriculture.

So, what's it all about then? It's about Social Justice. This, roughly translated, means blaming the poor for their poverty, as well as privatising welfare. It is a win-win solution, for the winners (but not for the poor). Let's hear how the William E. Simon Fellow at the Heritage Foundation in Washington DC thinks of Social Justice:
Messmore illustrated the potential we have to change society for the better, by telling the story of a drug dealer his Foundation met in the course of their research. The man's name is Roderick and he lives in Dallas, Texas. Roderick lived in a poor neighbourhood where he controlled 70 percent of the drug traffic.
See, they have found a typical welfare dependent: Roderick (obviously a person of colour with a name like that) who is a drug dealer. Now you may be thinking that a drug dealer who controls 70 per cent of the traffic in his 'hood is hardly in need of a hand-out or a hand-up. He might need help finding a Range Rover dealership, but that is his problem. You might also be thinking that Roderick is only taking the welfare because the authorities would become suspicious of his income sources if he were declare himself a man of independent means. But you are missing the point. It is the welfare system which is to blame.
The welfare system was such that his family got more money if his legitimate income remained under a certain threshold, and if he remained in a non-committed relationship with the mother of his children. This was therefore how he lived and most people in his local area lived, with devastating consequences. He did not know anyone in his neighbourhood who was married, and hardly any of the men worked, which cultivated depression and illicit drug use.
If Roderick isn't coining it, then he needs business advice. Anyway, you can guess the rest: a crisis occurs; nice middle-class people from another suburb help out; Roderick quits the drugs, gets a real job and makes an honest woman of his woman. All is right with the world. Here comes the moral.
Social justice requires all of us—from families to police, to clubs, to government—to play their part in meeting needs. The government can provide some crucial building blocks like the rule of law, but individuals like Ron and Cheryl are also required to build the long term relationships and strong community that are necessary for real escapes from poverty.
See: you don't give poor people money, because they will spend it on drugs; you give them the rule of law, because that is non-transferable. You leave it to the Rons and Cheryls of this world to help poor people clean up and get respectable. Only middle-class people can help poor people realise the error of their ways. It is not a role for Government.

So there you have it – Social Justice: it is not social and its not just. If you are fortunate enough to have a middle-class suburb near your ghetto and have the fortune to meet a Ron and Cheryl, you might escape. However, it is more likely that you will be stuffed, because this is not Fantasy Island. However, the people in the nice suburbs will pay almost no taxes, which will be an incentive for you to pull yourself up.

Here are some people with unrealistic ambitions who want to have casual sex and children out of wedlock:

1 comment:

Boganette said...

Well said. And I really don't understand why they think getting married is such a big deal. Like that's going to stop you from being a drug dealer. I love the B52s by the way...and am supremely gutted that I couldn't see them last year because it was too windy.