Arthur Brooks: The right must reclaim social justice
New Hampshire’s liberals desperately hope you say they do. They’ve built their entire 2014 campaign around a slew of traditional social justice issues — the minimum wage, entitlements, and more taxes on the wealthy. Their argument is simple: Their social justice policies will make a dent in the state’s 10 percent poverty rate and make the economy more fair. It’s the right thing to do.
The simple fact is that intentions don’t equal results. The left’s policies aren’t working — which means it’s time for conservatives to step up to the social justice plate.
Take the example of two men, identical in age, education, race and income. The first is religious. He’s married with two kids. He also works more and participates in his community more than 90 percent of the rest of the country. The other man meets none of these qualifications.
In other words, real social justice must encourage people to participate in faith, family, community and work. Their chances of happiness — and success — are inextricably linked with these moral institutions. But these very things are in decline in most of the country’s marginalized communities — and cultural elites try to discourage reformers from reversing this trend.
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