Turnabout is fair play (and vice versa)

Justice must be reciprocal. Otherwise it’s not justice.

Turnabout is fair play and fair play is turnabout. Justice isn’t justice if it’s not the same when the shoe is on the other foot.

Louisiana lawmakers do not understand this:

We told you last week about Louisiana’s new plan for educating its youth, which is to stop having a plan for educating its youth and just dump everybody into classrooms owned by private companies that replace teachers with Moses Explains Algebra on VHS.

They’re set to steer tens of millions of dollars into the new privatization program, which pays for vouchers that parents can use to send their children to religious schools. Gov. Bobby Jindal said the state was “changing the way we deliver education,” which is a lot like Domino’s saying it’s changing the way it delivers pizza by locking up the store and telling everyone to buy a Hot Pocket from the Vatican. In any case, Louisiana Republicans loved the plan. Until a group of folks showed up to ruin the whole thing: Muslims.

The Voss Lighting Company of Lincoln, Neb., does not understand this:

According to the complaint, the manager asked Wolfe “to identify every church he has attended over the past several years; where and when [he] was ‘saved’ and the circumstances that led up to it.” In the interview, Wolfe claims he was told most employees at Voss were Southern Baptist, but employees could go to any church, as long as they were “born again.” The complaint claims the manager asked Wolfe if he would “have a problem” coming to work early, without pay, to attend Bible study. Wolfe, a single parent who says he cannot attend church on Sundays, told lawyers the branch manager was “agitated” at his answers. He didn’t get the job.

As Joe Jervis says, “If the situation were reversed, you can bet this story would be at the top of every Christianist site.”

And that is always the key question: Would this seem fair “if the situation were reversed”?

Ben Bernanke does not understand this, but Matt Yglesias does:

If I had a chance to ask Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke a question at his press conference today, this is what I would want to know: “Suppose that inflation were 8.2 percent and the unemployment rate was at or below 2 percent, what would you do?”

The answer, obviously, is tighter money. But that wouldn’t just mean an operational action to raise interest rates. You would, of course, raise interest rates. But expectations matter. If people thought that as soon as unemployment lingered above 2 percent for a month or two that rates would come down again, then inflationary expectations would never be whipped. To implement a tight money policy that worked, Bernanke would need to lecture a little bit. He’d have to say that while of course nobody wants to see unemployment go higher if you want to bring inflation down you have no choice but to tolerate somewhat higher unemployment.

Jason Pitzl-Waters does understand this:

Sadly, these worthy efforts towards making the Air Force a place that respects all manifestations of faith is being framed as an attack on “religious freedom” by these lawmakers. For them, religious freedom means freedom for Christians to swing their theological “arms” without any regard to whose nose might be struck. When [they] assert that “the combination of events mentioned above raises concerns that the Air Force is developing a culture that is hostile towards religion” what they mean is hostile toward unfettered Christian expression, and little else. I cannot imagine that any of the 66 lawmakers gave one thought as to what things were like for religious minorities before the recent shift in policy and tone. Religious freedom, for them, begins and ends with their conception of America as a “Judeo-Christian” nation that exists under a single, monotheistic, God.

As I’ve said before, to these Christians, government-enforced secularism isn’t a neutral ethos, but a method of attacking their faith and limiting their free expression. In the minds of these Christians “religious freedom” means, in this time of demographic dominance, the right to let the majority dictate the religious norms of a society. Any deviance from that, in limiting prayer in schools, or sectarian prayer at government meetings, is a persecution of their church. We are increasingly caught in Christianity’s own crisis over its role and purpose in a post-Christian pluralistic society, and the results aren’t always pretty. …

… If religious freedom as a concept is going to mean anything, if isn’t going to just be hollow rhetoric, then it needs to apply equally to everyone.

  • VMink

    Sadly, that first link does not end on a happy note.  The Muslim school withdrew its request for funding.  “The system works,” one of those troglodytic theocrats exulted.  This is really getting maddening.  

  • Magic_Cracker

    According many a conservative, “justice” and “fairness” are two totally separate things. The latter is liberal, namby-pamby hand-holding and the former is whatever conservatives say it is that moment because shut up.

  • histrogeek

    How is Voss Lighting not being pummeled for violations of labor law for unpaid requirements and the 1964 Civil Rights Act for religious discrimination? DOL and DOJ better get on the ball, that’s feudalism kids.

  • Magic_Cracker

    I can’t remember the title or author of the article I recently read, but it deemed our Brave New Economy as being on the road to feudalism-lite — the “-lite” being that under feudalism 1.0, life for the elite was still somewhat precarious — they were expected to fight in  battle, had to deal with murderous palace intrigues and violent successions, and peasant uprisings were always possible and potentially lethal — but now that the elites have mitigated those risks (for the time being) the feudal system seems appealing once more.

  • http://musings.northerngrove.com/ JarredH

     I agree.  And it doesn’t matter if they now try to claim that his religion has nothing to do with their decision.  As I understand it, the very fact that they asked some of the questions they did is a violation.

  • Lori

    My late grandfather had a saying that covered this sort of behavior very nicely: it all depends on whose ox is getting gored. This attitude is pretty pervasive and we all have to fight against it.

    See also:  much of the reaction from both the Left & the Right to Obama’s claims of executive privilege (it was bad when Bush did it and it’s still bad now, no matter how uncomfortable people are with one half of that or the other. No, that is not a reason to vote for Romney.)

    See also too: Fred’s recent post about the DREAM act in which a regular poster clearly demonstrated (again) that he doesn’t give a damn about treating immigrants like crap when it’s in service of an agenda he agrees with, but thinks it’s horrible when it’s in service of an agenda with which he disagrees. 

  • The_L1985

    The whole point of justice is that everyone is treated fairly. That’s what the word means.

    If members of one group are treated differently than members of another group, then something is very, very wrong.

  • mud man

    A church is allowed to discriminate on the basis of religious belief. Voss Lighting’s quoted mission goal is to spread the gospel, selling lighting products is an enabling method. Their problem is that they are organized as a business, not as a church. I expect there would be some difficulty organizing as a church, for example non-profit tax status … ultimately because the State reserves unto itself the right to discriminate between “businesses” and “churches” … basically the same problem as the conflation “marriage” (sacred) with “civil union” (secular).

    Even assuming his inferences are correct, Holman isn’t being frozen out of the job market in general, he just didn’t get this particular job. So sad, lots of people are loosing out like that these days, yes that’s a national problem/disgrace.

    I don’t know why this private organization should be prohibited from organizing itself as a faith community; it seems like an unwarranted intrusion of the State into Religion. This is a private organization, not the USAF or the State of Louisiana, and private organizations are entitled to privacy and religious freedom.  A confusion of secularism with homogenization.

    The biggest problem in the world today (… he said firmly …) is the destruction by of human-scale, mutually supportive community. Which side are you on?

  • Lori

    The biggest problem in the world today (… he said firmly …) is the
    destruction by of human-scale, mutually supportive community. Which side
    are you on? 

    He can say it as firmly as he wants, but there’s a reason people coined the term “balkanization” and it isn’t good.  The notion that discrimination is fine and even positive thing as long as it isn’t done by the government can be framed to sound good in theory, but in practice it definitely doesn’t lead to a better world.

    ETA: I’m on the side that tries not to empower assholes.

  • EllieMurasaki

    basically the same problem as the conflation “marriage” (sacred) with “civil union” (secular).

    I am an atheist. I want to get married someday. Are these statements contradictory?

    Odds favor my partner being another woman. Does that statement change your answer to the previous question?

    If the answer to either question is ‘yes’, fuck off.

    In unrelated news, unless Voss Lighting’s only employee is Voss zirself, Voss Lighting is (or should be) covered by the Civil Rights Act, which, as the article mentions, prohibits discrimination in hiring on the basis of religion. This is true even if Voss Lighting actually is a church that happens to sell lights on the side (which I flatly do not believe).

  • Tonio

    Reminiscent of Prince William County in Virginia in the 1950s, which closed its public schools rather than desegregate. Part of me worries that I’m being unfair by instantly suspecting the Louisiana lawmakers of proposing this as a back door to resegregation.

  • Jessica_R

    And at least with Feudalism 1.o there was the pretense of Noblesse Oblige. It might have  been empty promises more often than not but at least there was the expectation that the lord was to look out in some way for his tenants. And The Church being The Law at the time meant that the local Cathedral was seeing to feeding the hungry and such.  But now it’s the worst of both worlds. The One Percent think they don’t owe shit, and The Church is screaming at Nuns for feeding the hungry instead of protesting marriage equality. 

  • mud man

    The desire to form a community with like-minded people is not the same as being an exclusionist asshole. If you think the government is going to do a better job of taking care of you than your friends … well, good luck with the world.

    You should be allowed to define “marriage” for yourself and you should not need anybody or bodies permission to get that way; it should be a setting-apart commitment between you and your partner of choice. You should also independently be allowed to enter with other people into various contractual relations defined and regulated by the state, such as co-ownership of property, co-fostering of children, etc.

    If Voss Lighting is just using religious language to paper over the usual exploitationist greed  taught in the MBA schools that would be grounds for question, but it hasn’t been shown and nothing in the linked article suggests it. Believe it or not, for some of us it isn’t all about money all the time, but everybody needs to feed the kids.

    I know about the Civil Rights Act. Much about it is good, but in this instance it goes to far, unsurprisingly; destruction of local community is an empowering goal of larger social units. Basic “divide and conquer” stuff.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    I think that a lot of these people are taking a rather twisted view of the Golden Rule.  The idea that, “If I wasn’t a Christian, then I would want people to discriminate against me and make my life more difficult, so that I was better encouraged to join the Right path,” is something they seem to have taken to heart.  

    It would be nice if they applied the rule after they learned how to imagine another person’s point of view.  

  • Nirrti

    Speaking as a future special ed teacher (knocks on wood), this has been the Rethuglicans’ plan from day one. Although those that passed NCLB initially meant well, the Repubs saw it as an opportunity to undermine the public schools.

    All they had to do was ensure that public schools were set up for failure. Part of the stipulation of NCLB is to give less funding to schools with low scores on the standardized tests. Of course the schools with the lowest scores were usually the ones who had a low-income tax base in the first place, therefore having the least amount of funding to begin with.

    It’s common sense that a school that has low-achieving students needs more funding  than the one that scores well since there’s the matter of extra tutoring, extended hours, and accommodating those with special needs. But of course that would’ve made actual sense and lord knows we can’t have that. to

    And then to top it off Jindal waives the NCLB stipulation from these podunk private schools that are eligible for receiving students with vouchers. So he can’t even keep the pretense of “accountability” anymore. Tell me what the hell is up with the double standard of the  public schools having to meet accountability standards “or else” and the privates schools that receive vouchers not even having to have a functional curriculum? When the hell did that become okay in any supposed developed nation?

    God god our citizenry is so frickin’ obtuse…..*goes and tears hair out-beats head on wall.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chrisalgoo Chris Algoo

    Yes, the Civil Rights Act goes too… no, I can’t do it. I can’t finish that sentence, even in sarcasm. It’s too stupid.

  • Nirrti

     Too late…..Most schools down where I live are already as segregated as they were in the 50s. White people who can afford it send their kids to private schools. And those that can’t just high-tail it to the farthest suburbs. Our city’s school system is about 80-90 percent minority.

    It’s also about to merge with the mostly white county system.  And some of the neighborhoods where the white county schools are are trying to declare “special school districts” so they won’t have to be tainted by us dark folk.

  • Johnsmithofamerica

    “Which side are you on?”

    As a patriotic American, I’m on the side you aren’t.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     

    the State reserves unto itself the right to discriminate between “businesses” and “churches”

    Actually, I basically agree that this is a problem, and would be in favor of the government giving up that habit. Of course this involves getting out of the habit of giving churches the kind of special treatment they have historically received, since the government can’t very well keep providing privileges to some organizations and not others, if it no longer is permitted to discriminate between those organizations.

    In which case the question becomes, as you suggest, when is a private organization permitted to discriminate against members of group X, regardless of whether it’s a church or not.

    In general, my answer is:
    a) whenever such discrimination is not pervasive, or
    b) whenever it’s OK for a society to voluntarily impose upon members of group X burdens or penalties that it doesn’t impose on non-members.

    That is, if members of group X are in general barred from a significant fraction of available resources because of such discrimination, and it’s not OK for them to be so barred in general, then the particular act of discrimination isn’t OK either.

    Sacred and secular don’t have a blessed thing to do with it.

  • http://jesustheram.blogspot.com/ Mr. Heartland

    Ayyyy.  I live in Lincoln.  Pretty evenly split politically, a college town with an old “town vs gown” divide between academics, union workers, and immigrants in the core and white collar real estate and financial workers on the suburban edge.  Still we have ever so slowly been tilting leftward over the years.  Highly diverse by Nebraska standards.  Racial and religious tensions are relatively low and there is a general air of polite, mellow tolerance.  I had come to assume that my town was above this Christianist rank-pulling horseshit. It’s very disheartening indeed to learn otherwise.  Go fuck yourselves Voss Lighting. 

  • Tonio

     Dumb question – why wouldn’t the government treat churches like other non-profit organizations, instead of like for-profit businesses? Offhand I don’t know if the Kiwanis or Rotary clubs are covered by anti-discrimination laws, or if they have to pay property taxes on their buildings.

  • Tricksterson

    In re the Louisiana lawmakers and the congressthings who apparently don’t think the head of the Air Force is fit to run his branch of the armed forces;  AAAAHHHHHHHH!!!

    It just needed to be said.

  • Tricksterson

    Ammit if modern corporations are going to act like Shadowrun megacorps we should at least get dragons, elves, dwarves and magic.  And cyberware, lots and lots of cyberware.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Alan-Alexander/502988241 Alan Alexander

     Part of me worries that I’m being unfair by instantly suspecting the
    Louisiana lawmakers of proposing this as a back door to resegregation.

    I would say you are being painfully naive if you don’t think the purpose of this is to facilitate resegregation. This is the state, after all, where small-town whites formed posses to harass and threaten blacks who were walking through their communities to try to escape post-Katrina flooding on foot.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Alan-Alexander/502988241 Alan Alexander

     I’ve said for years now that it is especially exasperating to be condemned to live in a cyberpunk dystopia without even the cool implants to show for it. The Mayan apocalypse can’t get here soon enough.

  • mud man

    @Dave, quite right, the secular government should not be in the business of licensing churches. Right about the privileges; for-profit or non-profit, they can play by the usual rules. (That would be best for the health of the churches as well as basic good governance.) When does the secular state have an interest in acting against discrimination? Exactly when actual civil harm can be shown to an individual or demographic group. Making somebody feel bad doesn’t count (if it doesn’t rise to the level of bullying). Right, faith is not a special category here; applies to race, wealth, education, health status, favorite sports team, … 

    The thing about this school stuff is that control of local schools is being taken out of the hands of the parents, who can be expected to be the ones most interested in good educational results, by the feds (NCLB) and by the Louisiana gov’t, which can be expected to be most interested in self-preservation (… segregation…), in order to put control into the hands of for-profit companies (MBA graduates) that can be expected to be most interested in extracting cash from those previously mentioned parents. You guys don’t get that that’s the same thing I’m talking about … destruction of local community in support of the self-interest of larger social units. Industrialization wants homogeniszation.

    Turn about is fair play, right?

    And Ellie, if you want to make a retraction of that pre-emptive “fuck off”, I’m here … if not, just more mud. No biggie.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    I see no reason for the government not to treat non-profit churches like other non-profit organizations, nor for the government not to treat for-profit churches like other for-profit organizations.

  • Beleester

     This guy didn’t get a job.  That falls under “actual civil harm,” I’d say.

    And I really don’t follow your homogenization vs. community argument.  You’re saying that it would promote community by allowing groups to *exclude* others?  I fail to see why we should promote that kind of community.

  • hapax

     

    When does the secular state have an interest in acting against
    discrimination? Exactly when actual civil harm can be shown to an
    individual or demographic group.

    So only allowing taxpayer money to go to educational institutions that demonstrate the “right beliefs” is not a civil harm?

    So requiring a prospective employee to come in for extra, UNPAID hours of religious indoctrination is not a civil harm?

    Can you give us a Real Life Example of what you are talking about?  Because every time the government ignores discrimination, it always seems to ME to result in somebody trying to inflict pretty tangible harm on somebody else for no good reason.

    Ellie, I’d leave that expletive out there for a while if I were you.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     

    control of local schools is being taken out of the hands of the
    parents, who can be expected to be the ones most interested in good
    educational results

    They can?
    Huh.
    I guess I’m just too much of a cynic… the people I expect to be most interested in good educational results are the ones who have incentives for good educational results. Which is sometimes the parents, and sometimes the school system, and sometimes nobody.

  • redsixwing

    if modern corporations are going to act like Shadowrun megacorps we should at least get dragons, elves, dwarves and magic.

    Yes.

    Can we skip the cheesy sorta-expletives, though? I just can’t get over Shadowrun’s use of “hoop.”

    That said, I’ve got a character or three I’d love to be, given magic, cyberware, and/or technotelepathic cars.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    Lori- lol. and I offered no judgement on either our or their handling of immigrants, just noted what I thought was a bit of an elephant in the room.

    Matt Yglesias’s analogy is a little strange. I’ve never heard of there being 8.2 percent inflation and less than 2 percent unemployment. less than 2 percent would imply an amazing amount of growth, but economic growth itself doesn’t cause inflation, so it’s hard to imagine the 8/2 scenerio.

    This whole badger the Fed to inflate more is just a short term tactic to make people look like they are pushing for an end to the downturn.  The idea that the dollar is TOO strong is ridiculous on it’s face.

  • Tonio

    There are for-profit churches? I mean congregations, not organizations like Joel Osteen’s.

  • Jessica_R

    On cyberpunk dystopias Blade Runner has been on cable a lot recently and I agree that if we have to live in an environmentally collapsing corporate ruled society it at least could feature some gorgeous production design, and noodle bars, to make up for it.

  • Dan Audy

    Technically there aren’t any for-profit churches because churches are explicitly deemed non-profit by the government.  However Megachurches in particular are money generating enterprises the disposition of the profits of which are not publicly known.  However their pastors make up to $400,000 a year and they along with the wealthiest members of the congregation often own ‘associated’ services like DVD production/sales which direct more of the congregations wealth into their pockets.  Because of how non-profits are structured they are forced to direct the profits out in salaries, disbursements, and ‘services’ to the congregation rather than generating profits by removing capital from the business like traditional enterprises.

  • arcseconds

    Mud man:

    If you think the government is going
    to do a better job of taking care of you than your friends … well,
    good luck with the world.

    Well, for many people in the world, their government does actually take better care of them than their friends do.

    Take Stephen Hawking, for example.  He has a crippling disease and a great gift for mathematical physics.     The UK government has provided:

    *) a lifetime of high-quality, expensive care through the NHS
    *) education to graduate level
    *) employment for many decades as a university lecturer.

    Do you have friends who would better that for you?

    And do you think everyone can get friends like that?

    If so, could you tell me where to get some?

    I mean, if you’re right about this, I’m missing out on a great deal.

  • http://loosviews.livejournal.com BringTheNoise

     To be totally fair, the government hasn’t given Hawking a job. Universities in the UK are private entities, although they do receive a lot of government funding. Of course, just the treatment and education is a lot more than any of my friends could provide, even if they wished to.

  • arcseconds

    This is kind of splitting hairs, though, isn’t it?  I mean, yes, Hawking isn’t a government employee, but he is an employee of an institution which is largely funded by the government, not Hawking’s friends (and nor his clients).

    For that matter, Hawking studied at Oxford and Cambridge, so we could argue on similar grounds that the government wasn’t educating him, either.  The government nevertheless provided for his education.

     

  • http://loosviews.livejournal.com BringTheNoise

    This is kind of splitting hairs, though, isn’t it?  I mean, yes,
    Hawking isn’t a government employee, but he is an employee of an
    institution which is largely funded by the government, not Hawking’s
    friends (and nor his clients).

    Only if you consider, say, someone working for a firm that gets most of its revenues from governmant contracts to be government employee – particularly at Cambridge where a lot of students will be paying for themselves completely, far more than at most UK universities.

    For that matter, Hawking studied at Oxford and Cambridge, so we could
    argue on similar grounds that the government wasn’t educating him,
    either.  The government nevertheless provided for his education.

    The government paid his tuition and then gave him further money to live on. That’s a lot closer to educating him than they are to employing him.

  • Nirrti

     I will most definitely be referring to my state politicians as “congressthings” from now on.

  • Lori

    If Voss Lighting is just using religious language to paper over the
    usual exploitationist greed  taught in the MBA schools that would be
    grounds for question, but it hasn’t been shown and nothing in the linked
    article suggests it.

    Greed is bad, but it’s not the only bad attitude. Religious bigotry isn’t OK simply because it’s not based on greed for money.

    I know about the Civil Rights Act. Much about it is good, but in this
    instance it goes to far, unsurprisingly; destruction of local community
    is an empowering goal of larger social units. Basic “divide and conquer”
    stuff.  

    Spoken like a person who feels confident of always being part of the in-group instead of the out-group when folks use discrimination to form a nice cozy community. Once the Those People have been cut out in the first cull though the group will have to look within for a new Other to exclude in order to bind the nice, cozy community together. And so on, and so on. Good luck surviving all the rounds of You’re Not One Of Us.

  • PJ Evans

     And at least one megachurch in Southern California went bankrupt, and in the process it was learned that several of its top people were living in multi-million-dollar houses on or very near the beach. (Which didn’t help the megachurch’s already-crumbly reputation any.)

  • PJ Evans

    I will most definitely be referring to my state politicians as “congressthings” from now on.

    I usually refer to mine as ‘congresscritters’. Some of them are – or were, since I lost the best one in redistricting – really people.

  • Lori

     

    The thing about this school stuff is that control of local schools is
    being taken out of the hands of the parents, who can be expected to be
    the ones most interested in good educational results,  

    This is true only if you define “good educational results” as “kids are taught exactly what their parents want them to be taught, no more and no less”. Even then it’s doubtful. There are plenty of school districts in this country where parents are more interested in making sure that their spawn are never taught the truth about science or about their own bodies than they are about the kids getting anything that resembles an actual good education.

    Also, “local control of school” is a dog whistle, like “states rights”. It mostly means segregation.

  • Lori

     

    I offered no judgement on either our or their handling of immigrants,
    just noted what I thought was a bit of an elephant in the room.  

    Yeah, you did offer a judgement. Saying that you’d scrap the DREAM act because it promotes war and illegal immigration is a judgement. So is saying that what the Israelis are doing is far worse than what’s going on in American and implying that anyone who wouldn’t discuss it with you is a bad person.

    You are either one of the most delusional people I’ve encountered in a long time, and therefore have no actual idea what you’re saying, or you lie without compunction whenever you find it convenient.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    I don’t think we need to INCENTIVISE those things, particularly the former with  53%  of our taxes going to the military. I never said people who would’t discuss the situation in israel were bad people. I was curious as to why it wasn’t being discussed when treatment of illegal aliens was the issue. I think it’s is conspicous. that’s right, I said it.

  • elusis

     I was asked illegal questions about religion by an academic program that takes a kind of New Age “Eastern religions are cool” approach to teaching their subject just a few weeks ago.  Twice I asked the interviewer “are you asking me if I’m PERSONALLY spiritual or religious?” and he kept saying “no, no…” but then asking me a question that made it clear that he did, in fact, want to know what my spiritual practices were.  Even though the “right” answer in this situation would have been to tell him I attend an ashram or go to a week-long Buddhist silent meditation retreat or a monthly pagan drum circle or something, it was still offensive and illegal and I was pretty stunned he was asking it.

  • Lori

     

    I think it’s is conspicous. that’s right, I said it.  

    Well aren’t you daring.

    You’ve been told several times why we aren’t discussing it. There’s nothing “conspicous” (sic) about it.

  • arcseconds

     

    Only if you consider, say, someone working for a firm that gets most of
    its revenues from governmant contracts to be government employee

    This is still all nitpicking. 

    It’s not particularly relevant exactly which legal entity employees someone if the money is all coming from the same source.  

    I said ‘provided him with employment’, not ‘employed him’, so I can pretend that I carefully worded that in order to protect myself from such pedantic objections  :-]

    The original context was what your friends will do for you. You can put me on the payroll as your cleaner for 40hrs a week, or you can obtain the services of arcseconds cleaning co. for 40 hrs a week.  Either way I get full-time employment out of your pocket.   Either way, you have provided me with a job.  I don’t think I get to say “I’m a self made man, entirely independent of BringTheNoise’s economic activity” in the later case.

    The case is a bit more difficult when an institution has more than one revenue stream,  so you have a point there, but I’m pretty sure even Cambridge is still mostly funded by the Government.   Because I really can’t be bothered working out how much credit the government gets to take for Hawking’s salary, how about I revise my claim to  “provides most of the revenue for the institution that employees Hawking, thus in a very real sense providing him with a job?” 

    (I imagine that theoretical physics is an area that doesn’t attract much in the way of private funding (the Perimeter Institute being a notable exception), so the connection of the government to Hawking’s employement in particular is probably closer than some other researchers)

  • GDwarf

     

    The whole point of justice is that everyone is treated fairly. That’s what the word means.

    If members of one group are treated differently than members of another group, then something is very, very wrong.

    Justice has to be fair, but it shouldn’t be without differences.

    Fining a billionaire $500 is very different from fining that amount from someone under the poverty line. Not that many legal systems recognize this.


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