What is a “Fair” Amount of Income?   3 comments

That’s a serious question, by the way, and I would love it if readers answered it. I hear this talked about on social media a lot these days, mostly in connection to Bernie Sanders.

So, what is a “fair” amount of income and how do we as a society determine that?

Posted October 15, 2015 by aurorawatcherak in economics

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3 responses to “What is a “Fair” Amount of Income?

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  1. “Fair” is a subjective concept that has NOTHING to do with justice. When it comes to things such as income and material wealth, only people seeking power and control over others speak in terms of ‘fairness.’

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    • Okay. Not seeking power or control over others. Don’t think anyone owes me anything that I didn’t earn through my own efforts or what intrinsically belongs to me as a human, which is the same for you and anyone else.

      So maybe the question should be what is a “just” income, but how is justice also not a subjective term?

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      • Look to Scripture. Christ repeatedly told parables in which ‘rich’ landowners are portrayed as having a right to their property. The only thing Scripture condemns wealth is when it is amassed by exploiting others (or when it is allowed to become our god).

        Now jump to Natural Law. If we earn our income without exploiting others, then ‘fair’ or ‘just’ is only limited by the amount of labor we are willing to expend and the value others place on that labor. If I am willing to work 80 hour weeks, and my customers think I am worth $500/hour, then who is to tell me I have earned more than I deserve?

        Now, here is the question you tried to paint yourself around:

        Why does what others have bother you unless you are seeking to enforce your idea of what is ‘fair’ or ‘just’ on them? If you are not seeking to control others, then your only concern should be that they are not exploiting others. If a law is passed so that one person or business has an unfair advantage, then you have grounds to question what they earn because you are really questioning the law. But if someone amasses great wealth without exploiting others and you still look at their wealth and say it is too much, then you are coveting and it is causing you to seek control/power over them by trying to justify taking away or limiting what is theirs.

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