Some progressives point to revolutionary socialist Karl Marx as the modern originator of the idea of “economic fairness.”
Also, late Harvard professor John Rawls, one of the most important philosophers of liberalism in the 20th century, named his own theory “justice as fairness.” Some have previously pointed to Rawls’ possible influence over Obama. Rawls calls for ensuring distributive justice of resources.
The headlines in scores of U.S. newspapers and news websites today stress the centrality of economic fairness in Obama’s speech last night.
“Obama makes pitch for economic fairness in State of the Union address,” reported CBSNews.com
“In Address, Obama Makes Pitch for Economic Fairness,” reads a New York Times headline.
“Obama’s Address Centers on Economic Fairness,” reported the Associated Press.
Indeed, the fairness theme permeated the president’s speech.
Stated Obama: “We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well, while a growing number of Americans barely get by. Or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share and everyone plays by the same set of rules.”
Obama argued that “no American company should be able to avoid paying its fair share of taxes by moving jobs and profits overseas.”
He called for a “return to the American values of fair play and shared responsibility will help us protect our people and our economy.”
Using the phrase yet again, Obama stated, “We need to change our tax code so that people like me, and an awful lot of members of Congress, pay our fair share of taxes.”
At another point in his speech, Obama stated, “When Americans talk about folks like me…..