Defining Economic Justice
Economic justice, which touches the individual person as well as the social order, encompasses the moral principles which guide us in designing our economic institutions. These institutions determine how each person earns a living, enters into contracts, exchanges goods and services with others and otherwise produces an independent material foundation for his or her economic sustenance. The ultimate purpose of economic justice is to free each person to engage creatively in the unlimited work beyond economics, that of the mind and the spirit.
The Three Principles of Economic Justice
Like every system, economic justice involves input, output, and feedback for restoring harmony or balance between input and output. Within the system of economic justice as defined by Louis Kelso and Mortimer Adler, there are three essential and interdependent principles: Participative Justice (the input principle), Distributive Justice (the out-take principle), and Social Justice (the feedback principle). Like the legs of a three-legged stool, if any of these principles is weakened or missing, the system of economic justice will collapse.