About

Justice

Image by mindgutter via Flickr

The purpose of this blog is to provide commentary on the major institutions of U.S. society through a progressive lens.

As a progressive, I believe that the purpose of government is to improve the lives of ALL Americans through building and maintaining a large, vibrant middle class.

I believe that our economic policies must be fair for this to happen.

Political philosopher John Rawls explains this idea in his landmark “Justice as Fairness” theory.  A just government is one that provides a fair equality of opportunity to all citizens.  I firmly adhere to the idea that our government should strive to give the greatest benefit to the least advantaged members of society.  This promotes a healthy democracy and prevents harmful inequalities.

I believe that an effective democracy is one in which the nation’s wealth is not concentrated in the hands of the few at the expense of the many.

As a progressive, ensuring equal rights and protecting civil liberties necessitates pursuing social justice for everyone.

Furthermore, I believe that our politicians must embrace their oath as public servants by putting the interests of middle class America ahead of business interests.  Much as the “separation of church and state” doctrine protects our religious liberties and prevents the government from favoring one religion over another, it is imperative that our government separates itself from business interests for a similar reason: to prevent the interests of certain industries from corrupting the creation of public policy.

This means cracking down on the actions of lobbyists and reforming campaign finance laws that create an unequal political playing field and mistakenly confuse “freedom of speech” with “ability to outspend.”  These current realities are clearly anti-democratic.

Finally, I believe the key to achieving all of this is through progressive education that stresses democratic principles and civic participation.  In terms of governance, I believe that we need to rely more on experts with scientific knowledge and proven research when we develop our policies.  The time for turning to former and current business executives, bankers, political party strategists and other monied interests must come to an end.

Read the preamble to the Constitution.  It’s all right there.

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