Distributist Approach to the State

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Excerpted from Nicholas C. Hosford:

"How should the state enforce morality within the economy?

Distributists propose a better system by rewriting the ground rules. This “third system,” is not based on the state hoarding all economic power, as in communism, nor does it propose to remove the state from the equation, leaving all economic power in the hands of a wealthy few. Instead, it seeks to distribute economic power to all members of a society.

Just as a democracy seeks to decentralize the political power, a distributist society decentralizes the economic power. This does not mean taking from some to give to others, which would have the unscrupulous effect of violating property rights. Rather, it means organizing a society’s economy around a set of principles that would lead to a distribution of economic power. Yes, it takes lawmaking and law enforcement powers of the state to accomplish this.

Some of these principles are:

   * a just wage for a man’s labor;
   * workers having ownership in the means of production;
   * the use, not mere ownership, of land and private property;
   * fair lending practices;
   * localizing the supply of goods and services;
   * limiting the cost of government and its participation, as both a spender and borrower, in the economy; and
   * barring immoral markets and behavior within the economy.

Others are included, but those are some of the basics. Yes, let’s apply these just and moral principles to our society by way of the government’s lawmaking powers and enforce them via the justice system. Government fails in its role and responsibility if it ignores the sins inherent in a “free market” economy by either assuming that the market will regulate itself or pretending the economy is devoid of moral corruption. Translated into simple, flippant language, it boils down to two choices: a moral economy or an immoral economy. Until governments begin to support moral economies, we can expect little more than continued injustice, instability, and depravity." (http://distributistreview.com/mag/2011/06/the-role-of-the-state/)