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Creating poverty through 'social justice'

By Frank Salvato
web posted May 16, 2011

We have been hearing a lot about "social justice," during the tenure of the Obama Administration. From Eric Holder to John Holdren, Lisa Jackson to Van Jones to President Obama himself, the goal of social justice appears to be at the forefront of Mr. Obama's agenda for the country. But while the term sounds innocuous enough, the goal itself is quite sinister and the road to getting there creates havoc and waste but for the chosen few.

A recent San Francisco Chronicle article proves this point beyond doubt:

"San Francisco's much-heralded 'social justice' requirements for city contracts are costing local taxpayers millions of dollars a year in overcharges, according to workers in departments ranging from the Municipal Transportation Agency to the Department of Emergency Management.

"In one case, a Muni worker said the city paid $3,000 for a vehicle battery tray. Such parts can be found online for $12 to $300, depending on the type of vehicle...

"Other city purchasing policies, if followed, would mean paying about $240 for getting a copy of a key that actually cost a worker $1.35 to get done at a hardware store on his break, the employee said. Another city worker called the use of catalog pricing for supplies 'Pentagon-style purchasing.'

"Markups from approved vendors range from 10 to 150 percent, employees said, with one calling the city's requirement that contractors provide health care benefits for domestic partners 'the expensive white elephant standing in the middle of the room (that) no one wants to mention.'

"Some vendors are suspected of being little more than middlemen who comply with San Francisco's very specific requirements for contractors - like disclosing historic ties to slavery and providing domestic partner benefits, a provision known as 12B because of its chapter in the Administrative Code - then turn around and buy the products from companies that don't meet the restrictions, city officials acknowledge.

"An analysis by the General Services Agency found that in the last complete fiscal year, 2009-10, the city paid $9.8 million to 'possible third-party brokers' - vendors that may be pass-through companies."

Imagine that, a city with a $306 million budget deficit, from a state with a $15.4 billion deficit, justifying the over-payment of taxpayer dollars to what is essentially special interest affirmative action groups in the private sector by claiming it satisfies the quest for "social justice."

If this is the path to social justice, then we have to conclude that social justice and free market capitalism are not compatible. But, then, this should be no surprise seeing as social justice is a product of the Progressive Movement; a movement founded in the ideology of socialism derived from Marxism.

One of the Four Pillars of the Green Party, an ideologically Progressive group, social justice is defined as:

"...based on the concepts of human rights and equality and involves a greater degree of economic egalitarianism through progressive taxation, income redistribution, or even property redistribution. These policies aim to achieve what developmental economists refer to as more equality of opportunity than may currently exist in some societies, and to manufacture equality of outcome in cases where incidental inequalities appear in a procedurally just system."

The key words here are "progressive taxation, income redistribution, or even property redistribution" and "more equality of opportunity than may currently exist."

We are all familiar with the evils of the Progressive Tax. It unfairly and inequitably taxes the citizenry based on "classes"; that understood, it is fitting that it is named the "Progressive" tax system. One of the effective tactics of the Progressive ideology is the divide and conquer tactic, or at Saul Alinsky wrote in Rules for Radicals: "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it."

By creating a tax system that divides the citizenry into classes, it is easier for the Progressives to demonize "the rich." Once that is accomplished, the rationale is that "the rich" can afford to pay more in taxes. It becomes irrelevant that "the rich" are also "the productive" and "the job creators." So, too, it becomes irrelevant that "the rich" are expected to pay a much greater percentage of their income so as to subsidize the class that is not productive; that contributes little to society.

So, we see that the Progressives have "picked" the class they identify as "rich" (by the way, who decides what "rich" is?), "frozen" it in the public eye, "personalized" it through demonization and effectively "polarized" the country using an "us against them" narrative that literally depletes the pool of job creators and the productive.

Where income and property redistribution is concerned, we need only look at the above scenario to understand why these two goals stand as intrinsic threats to a nation whose economy is based of free market Capitalism. By the government – through the Progressive Tax System – literally taking from "the rich" (by their definition) to subsidize "the poor," our government is essentially redistributing wealth. As wealth – or earnings, or the property of earnings – is essentially property, we see that through this redistribution of wealth also comes redistribution of personal property. Remember, property doesn't have to be presented as an object; it can be financial, intellectual, etc.

In the story about social justice not working in San Francisco, we witness the creation of special interest groups, via legislation and regulation, which are literally inserted into the free market process to create wealth for entities that would otherwise not be needed in the free market capitalist economic system. By virtue of San Francisco's social justice legislation and regulation, wealth has been extracted from the taxpayers, unnecessarily, via the process of government procurement, to reward the unproductive.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is Progressive, Socialist, Marxist, wealth redistribution fashioned for the capitalist economic system. It's here and it is happening...right now.

But perhaps the most egregious perversion of our system of government at the hands of "social justice" comes in these worlds, "more equality of opportunity than may currently exist."

"More equality of opportunity than may currently exist"? Doesn't that equate to one group receiving "more opportunity" than another? Doesn't this equate to providing more resources – resources derived from the taxpayers – to one group over another? How is this equal treatment under any definition but the perverted rational of moral relativism and the wealth redistribution ideology of Marxist Progressivism?

In the Declaration of Independence, one of the country's founding documents, included in the Charters of Freedom and just as important to Americanism as the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights, we are guaranteed, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness..."

What we are guaranteed by birthright, as Americans, are three things: Life, Liberty and the pursuit Happiness. Life and Liberty are self-explanatory, although the issue of Liberty, in the scheme of things today, is under siege. But Happiness, the pursuit of Happiness, means we are all born with an "opportunity" in life to pursue Happiness, to pursue our dreams, as human beings. We are not guaranteed "equality" in anything but those God-given unalienable rights; unalienable rights granted by the Creator to every man, woman and child on the face of the planet, not just to Americans.

Regardless of the rationale used, the government's providing of anything but a level playing field for all, regardless of skin color, regardless of gender, regardless of any variable that allows Progressives to successfully Balkanize the nation into classes for use in their divide and conquer class warfare agenda, is for government to enter into the realm of social activism and that literally destroys the guarantee of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness for everyone and to no one's exclusion.

Quite frankly, what stands in the way of everyone's "opportunity" to be "equal" are Progressives, their elected toadies, their labels and their intrusive anti-American, anti-Capitalist agenda.

Social justice...you can keep the change. ESR

Frank Salvato is the Executive Director and Director of Terrorism Research for BasicsProject.org a non-profit, non-partisan, 501(c)(3) research and education initiative. His writing has been recognized by the US House International Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict Prevention. His organization, BasicsProject.org, partnered in producing the original national symposium series addressing the root causes of radical Islamist terrorism. He is a member of the International Analyst Network and has been a featured guest on al Jazeera's Listening Post and on Russia Today. He also serves as the managing editor for The New Media Journal. Mr. Salvato has appeared on The O'Reilly Factor on FOX News Channel, and is a regular guest on talk radio including on The Captain's America Radio Show, nationally syndicated by the Phoenix Broadcasting Network and on NetTalkWorld Global Talk Radio catering to the US Armed Forces around the world. Mr. Salvato is also heard weekly on The Roth Show with Dr. Laurie Roth syndicated nationally on the USA Radio Network. His opinion-editorials have been published by The American Enterprise Institute, The Washington Times & Human Events, BigGovernment.com and are syndicated nationally. He is a featured political writer for EducationNews.org and is occasionally quoted in The Federalist. Mr. Salvato is available for public speaking engagements. He can be contacted at contact@newmediajournal.us.

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