The Weekly Sedition

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

“Fair” is a Four-Letter Word

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , — weeklysedition @ 12:25 PM

For about 200 years now, liberals [1], free-marketers, libertarians ands capitalists [2] have been pilloried by statists and collectivists for supporting the removal of state controls over the market, as markets are “inherently unfair” without regulatory and taxation schemes sanctioned by those same statists and collectivists.

What I’d to know from the advocates of government control over the market is this —

What is your definition of the word “fair” ?

After all, statists and collectivists, both on the “left” and the “right”, from Barack Obama and Ralph Nader to John McCain and George Bush, use the word on a regular basis, as though it has a commonly-understood, objective meaning, like the equation 2 + 2 = 4 in mathematics. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth — “fair” is a word loaded with emotional content and is defined subjectively — Obama and Nader will more than likely offer up definitions markedly different from those of McCain and Bush, while libertarians such as Ron Paul will differ from all four of them.

So what’s “fair” ?

What probably applies from the Wikitionary page for “fair” is definition two —
    3. Just, equitable. — He must be given a fair trial.

The Wikipedia page for “fair takes us to a disambiguation page, where we find disambiguation page for “fairness”.
    Distributive justice
    Absence of bias

So what’s “just” and equitable” ? Again, these words are subjectively defined, depending on one’s worldview. As such, I’m extremely reluctant to use it when putting together any sort of policy proposal. I shudder to think of what the incoming Obama Administration will do by using the word.

To get as far as he did in the morass that is Chicago politics, Obama had to at least pay lip service to the idea of economic equality — that “it’s not fair” that one person makes more money than any other. Will The Barack really tax the Kennedy clan, the Kerrys, and the big-money donors that contributed to his campaign at a rate of 100 percent, and start passing out the proceeds to gas-station attendants?

It’s obvious to anyone with a working gray matter cell that he’s NOT going to do this, yet his supporters still seem to think that the idea will actually be implemented.

If “it’s not fair” for one person to have more cash on hand than any other, as the Obamaniacs seem to think, then why aren’t they calling for legislation to wipe out the Kennedy clan’s tax loopholes.

It’s funny that Ted Kennedy calls the accumulated wealth of someone like Bill Gates “unfair,” yet never seems to get around to donating his share of the family fortune in support of the people he professes to care about when he’s on the campaign trail.


  1. I’m referring to classical liberals here, such as Benjamin Franklin and Frederic Bastiat, not the Rooseveltian fascists who hijacked the word in the 1930’s.
  2. I’m referring to Randian capitalists here, more properly called “free-marketers” here, not the favor-seeking plutocrats excoriated by Bastiat and Marx.

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