Monday, 10 December 2012

Fairness and greed

We hear a lot about "fairness" from politicians these days.

Often this seems to boil down to something not much more sophisticated than what parents often hear from their infants. "He's got more than me - not fair! Not fair!".

In other words, in these situations, what the world calls "fair" is what the Bible calls "selfishness", "greed" or "covetousness".

If someone has more than me, is that fair? If they or their ancestors earned it through legal enterprises then yes, perfectly. And it's none of my business. All the best to them. As Paul wrote, love wishes no ill to its neighbour.

If they gained it through illegal enterprises then the remedy is not for politicians to redistribute their wealth to me. I still haven't earned it, and it's still not mine. It's for policemen and judges to prosecute and confiscate and return to those who did earn it (still not me!) as the law demands.

But where the law contains no such demands, then all your or my whining about "fairness" is nothing more than an infant tantrum. In such cases, we need to grow up and mind our own business, as our mummies and daddies hopefully informed us.