Book 10: Justice-Liberty or Equality.
After visiting The Colonies, the libertarian paradise, Commander. Gulliver and his friends meet a professor to talk about what is justice for a society. The ideas of justice rest on the three basic assumptions for our values as discussed in book 4. But another continuum needs to be addressed when looking at justice in a society. This deals with the equality to liberty continuum. The first question to discuss is whether or not we humans are equal or unequal. If we are equal then equality should be shown throughout the society, including the equality of wages or economic equality. If we are not equal then we should have the freedom, the liberty, to achieve to whatever levels we desire--including financial liberty.
“I laugh at the way ‘democratic’ societies are democratic only when it suits their purposes. I think of back in 2011 when the Palestinian representatives wanted to have UNESCO recognize them as a state and they had the backing of a huge majority of the countries of the United Nations, but your US didn’t want to abide by the majority decision and vetoed the move in the Security Council. I see that you still have the Electoral College that allows minority presidents to be elected often. You have your government by lobbyists that work for business interests while shunning the needs of the majority of your citizens. And you call yourselves democratic!
“We are going to focus on the idea of justice in our discussion. All of these actions just mentioned may be ‘just,’ it merely depends on whether liberty or equality is the fundamental that you build your social justice system upon. It is not at all unanimous as to how one determines what is fair, or just. But what I have found in my discussions with people from other nations, especially the social welfare states, is that the recent idea of equality is so deeply ingrained in them that it has reached a level of being a basic assumption even though it generally runs counter to our observation of nature. It is so engrained that people will not discuss it--and any attempt to look more deeply meets with the same stonewalling that we usually find when discussing religion with someone whose only evidence for belief is found in the only book with which they are familiar, such as the Bible or Qu’ran. I find that the more widely read a person is in religion or politics the easier it is to discuss in depth the real issues. But as you know, most people are stuck at the level of opinion and neither facts nor logic can jar them into reality.
“Just look around at the major industrial countries of the world. In Europe and America the idea of equality has developed far beyond anything we have seen in the world to date. Pensions have been too generous and given to people who are too young to retire based on their contributions to their retirement systems. Look at Greece with its pensions starting in the early 50s for some, like hair dressers who are said to have hazardous jobs.. Every country has retirement ages that are too young. The contributions the workers have given to the retirement system are almost never adequate to pay the life-long pensions, unless the patriotic worker valiantly enjoys an early death. Of course older people want the perk of having a generous and early retirement--so they vote for it.
“Older people want socialized medicine for themselves even if they have not paid enough taxes to warrant it. So they vote for it. And their government borrows to pay for it.
“Workers want more vacation time so they vote for it. This of course cuts into the productivity of the country so the government borrows to pay for what these people want. After all, we are all equal and deserving of whatever we want.
“If you look at these countries across Europe and North America you find almost universal debt and nearly universal deficit spending. Because there is so much emphasis on equality and satisfying people's desires, there is huge employment in the domestic service realm but high unemployment in areas of manufacturing and exporting. Unemployment at home and foreign borrowing result. With the need for spending on equalitarian needs for the older people, education and other necessary expenses for the young must be reduced. Of course primary and secondary students are not allowed to vote so their needs fall far behind those of the elderly and middle-aged voters. People seldom see that the modern emphasis on equality as a fundamental of justice has put a heavy anchor on their economic potentials. Add to this the idea that everyone is worth at least a minimum wage because they are equal and we have still another brake on the economy.