Basics of the Just Third Way
(In Four Easy Pieces)
- Dignity and sovereignty begins with the human person, not any institution. Social justice places a responsibility on each person to work with others to perfect the social order and all its institutions to support the empowerment and development of every person.
- Binary Economics: The two interdependent factors of production are “Labor” (all human inputs) and “Capital” (all non-human inputs). The two legitimate ways to produce wealth and be entitled to the incomes produced, are through the contribution of one’s labor and the contribution of one’s capital. The relative value of these contributions is determined by free, open and anti-monopolistic markets — which require equal access to capital ownership.
- The three essential principles of economic justice:
- Participative Justice (the input principle): the equal right and opportunity to contribute to economic production through one’s labor and/or capital;
- Distributive Justice (the out-take principle): the equal right to receive one’s proportionate share of economic reward/income based on one’s contribution of labor and/or capital; and
- Social Justice (the feedback and corrective principle): the balancing of participatory and distributive justice, and the responsibility of each person to work with others to correct the system when participative and distributive justice are not operating. Louis Kelso and Mortimer Adler labeled this third principle as the “principle of limitation,” “anti-monopoly principle” or “anti-greed principle”); it has also been referred to as the “principle of economic harmony.”
- The four pillars of a just free market system:
- Limited economic power of the state
- The full rights of private property (the rights to the fruits of, and control over, what one owns, subject to the limitation that one’s property cannot be used to harm another’s person, property or the general welfare)
- Free, open and anti-monopolistic markets for determining just wages, just prices and just profits
- Universal access and equal opportunity to acquire capital ownership
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