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Is Social Justice Just? With Robert Whaples


Today, The Two Mikes spoke with Wake-Forest University’s Professor of Economics, Robert Whaples. Professor Whaples recently edited and published a book of essays by accomplished academics that is called Is Social Justice Just? The book includes a forward by the incisive commentator Jordan Peterson.

Professor Whaples noted that part and parcel of the social justice movement (SJM) is the rejection of free trade, capitalism – which SJM counts as the source of racism -- and the market economy, the very things that have long ensured general prosperity in the United States. The SJM is gradually eroding national confidence in the just-mentioned items, and are intent on building socialism applied by a national government rule the people form the top down. The SJM and their goal of “equity” are designed to pick winners and losers in business as well as in individuals. Equity in regard to people means, of course, means to produce the outcomes the SJM wants to achieve, no matter whether the winners they pick to crown have any obvious merit in terms of character, education, responsible behavior, competitiveness, and experience. In terms of businesses, the winners will come in the business areas they support, which of course rules out such producers of well-paying jobs for the middle-and-blue collar classes; think of fracking, pipeline-construction, and energy exploration and development, for example. The SJM is an engine that has the potential to destroy America’s economy and social amity via racism, envy, and misinformation.

The road to eliminating SJM’s the main products – chaos, culture wars, racism, crime, and socialism – is to restore the primacy of the jobs-and-prosperity producers of free trade, capitalism, and the market economy, and to recreate the education system for all Americans by creating charter schools and, as important, by allowing federal educational funding follow the student to whatever school he or she chooses to attend. These ideas are commonsense and tried-and-true, and they help to answer such question as:

  • how to do social justice wrong with the poison of resentment, envy, and ignorance;

  • how to do social justice right with the insights of philosophers and theologians;

  • how to respect people’s rights and liberties without sacrificing true equality;

  • and how to reform flawed public policies that just make everything worse. (points are from the books' review on Amazon)

--Professor Whaples book is: Is Social Justice Just? The volume was published by the Independent Institute in May, 2023, and is available at Amazon and other booksellers.

--Professor Whaples also is a senior member of the Independent Institute, and the editor of its journal the Independent Review.

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