"What’s “just” has been debated for centuries, but let me offer you my definition of social justice: I keep what I earn and you keep what you earn. Do you disagree? Well then, tell me how much of what I earn “belongs” to you -- and why?"
Walter E. Williams
(1936- ) Columnist, Professor of Economics at George Mason University
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Reader comments about this quote:
 -- Sam Weaver, Sherman, TX     
     -- Kevin, Portland      
    Been reading Walter for years and always will.
     -- Cal, lewisville, tx     
    You did not earn all that you have, much of that came to you due to the environment which society prepared for you (an educated workforce, fiscally capable consumers, infrastructure to bring you raw materials and distribute your goods, air waves to advertise your goods over, etc). You do indeed owe back to society for those enabling capabilities and environment. Anything less is to just return to the caves to live by the rule of might makes right.
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA, US     
    (-; I like it a lot, absolutely ! ! ! ;-) The 'A' from Reston, I recognize your progressive religion and its enslaving dogma, but its just not true, lawful, or just. It is a religion of ignorance, lies, and enslavement. Can you please provide me society's address so that I might subpoena him / her / it / ? into court for its enslavement of me, my family, and each and every other free sovereign. I'm sure you, in a progressive abstract kinda way, consider yourself a patron of society. Society did not create or prepare the tree (air waives, raw materials, etc.) for man to use, God did (nature, if you like - beyond society's ability to create ). All existence and rights did not come from society, all such are a gift from my / our God (or derive from outside man's domain - if you will) When the lumberman extended his own labors to cut down the tree, why does he owe you? When the lumberman labored to exchange the tree for a medium of exchange that was easier to barter with than a tree, why does he owe you? When the carpenter turned the tree into furniture, why does he owe you? The individual that put in the road, and exchanged his labors for a medium of exchange, that the lumberman and carpenter then used, why does he owe you? I just defined infrastructure, a pay-as-you-go free system. Infrastructure was put into place by individuals united because certain individual wanted it (they were already paid, no debtors, slaves, or otherwise encumbrances to be controlled by progressive / neocon religionists). Why do those certain individuals owe you? What did "society" give or do that it needs to be paid back? Where did "society" enter the picture, as an owner and master of each of the individuals? What did society do that already hasn't been done by individuals, that it must be paid (or paid back)? Again, give me society's address and what it did beyond what the individuals got paid for, that it needs to be paid back. Where is the lawful nexus, or the just operation of law that my, the lumberman's, the carpenter's, etc. labors, or the fruits there of, belong to you? It does not exist. It is a malignant religion that enslaves the noble individual under a vague dogma of society ! ! !
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Dear, Anonymous, Reston, VA, US Is this not the same equal opportunities that ALL IN THIS 'FREE' SOCIETY possess? Why should the person that chooses to work to earn their way in this society be expected to SHARE when others are FREE to do the same?
     -- Diana, Decatur, AL     
    Walter Williams always produces sound, clear and rational statements, unlike Reston who fails to understand that this nation was built on the fruits of individual labor and free enterprise...and not through the taking of anothers labor through government legalized plunder.
     -- Mary - MI     
    Mike Norwalk - since I cannot place a "like" to your comments I will instead post WELL STATED!
     -- Mary - MI     
    I totally agree with Mike also and Diana especially, and to "anonymous" I would say that if under that principle that I owe society, why do so many others not owe at all and are permitted to not pay a dime for what I'm supposed to hand over my dollars to support? I know there are those who CANNOT support themselves and need help, but I refuse to support those who CHOOSE NOT to support themselves.
     -- Robin, Spokane     
    Reston demonstrates the key difference between socialist dogma and republican foundations. As Mike well explains, Liberty is a natural born state of humankind starting with the 'right' to live and defend oneself from aggression. This Earth was here before we were born and will be here after we are dead. Societies vary from region to region each with their own codes, customs, and mores that have evolved over the eons. The republican recognizes that all life is a gift -- some say from 'God', others from 'Nature' or our 'Creator' -- it matters not so much what we call it, the point is that it is not from our fellow man, who historically give not life and liberty but who kill and enslave. True republicans (not the political party but those that follow the ideals of republicanism) recognize that we must live in harmony with Natural Law, that there is a natural consequence of not doing so that results in servitude and ultimately destruction. Socialist acts on the other hand are dictatorial in nature -- they endeavor to tell 'society' what it must do to remain part of society -- it is a man-made creation ruled by the passions of men, not the laws of nature. Socialism is a power structure that does not acknowledge nature as supreme but man's supremacy over all -- and thus the need for someone to control it, dictate to it, and ultimately to lay claim to all of the Earth as 'society's' and thus subject to the rules of society. Reston demonstrates this quite well by laying claim to the air, the land, the labors of inventors and their inventions in a single swoop. They say it is because 'society' has 'permitted' them to live and work that society has a claim to everything they achieve in this world. Socialism may not officially be a religion but it is a structure that worships the collective power of man and ever seeks absolute control of it. Individualism seeks security from these collective mobs who have transformed themselves into Titans. Socialist thought requires a good bit of double-think, hypocrisy and the misuse of the word "we" in almost all cases. "Them" almost always refers to those competing Titans or the pitiful individuals who dare to provide for themselves, their family, and their future instead of 'serving' a society that never stops laying claim to what it did not do, does not own, and cannot produce. Socialism is legalized rape and plunder.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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