Government & Politics

Soros: Economic Rights Versus Human Rights


Social justice is not the same as simple justice, said billionaire Holocaust survivor George Soros in an interview with The Lens.

According to the Hungarian-born American investor and currency speculator, there is a distinction between judicial rights rights of freedom and rights to particular amenities or services, such as housing.

“There is a legitimate objective of reducing inequality and social justice, but that is not quite the same as just simple justice,” explained Soros, a philanthropist who fled communist Hungary after surviving the Nazi regime and eventually made a name for himself internationally through his support for the development of democratic institutions in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.

Soros told The Lens that while he does not know enough about the specifics of New Orleans to comment on whether the city can rely on the market alone to take care of providing housing for displaced residents, he believes that the slow recovery may be a “blessing in disguise.”
“Now you have the beginnings of an engaged electorate and the inspector general and so on, and so maybe when [recovery] happens it will be less corrupt than it would have been,” he said.
Soros went on to say that President Obama’s position on government’s role in social welfare mirrors his own.

Soros and other members of the foundation he supports, the Open Society Insitute, are in New Orleans for a meeting of its grant-making board, and to review his investments in the city. The Lens is financed in part by a grant from the institute.

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  • Jett

    It is disingenuous to call Soros an holocaust survivor and/or to permit him to hide behind such a description–he was and remains a collaborator and profiteer of tyrants and tyranny. He evaded the holocaust by denying his heritage and assisting Nazi efforts to “round up” Jews and to seize their property. He fled Hungary because of his past (remember, the Soviets and Europe hated the Nazis and their collaborators vastly more than we in the U.S. did) and the lack of profit opportunities under communism. His support for anything resembling democracy should be viewed cynically–he has not attained his fortune by sharing. His philanthropies have motives. He is a smooth, venal, sharply intelligent operator–like Lucifer, interesting and compelling, but not one to be trusted.

    Moreover, his concept of “rights” is non-American and deeply flawed. Rights pre-exist individuals and governments. Privileges and property must be earned or conferred. Housing, medical care, and other “amenities or services” are not and cannot be “rights” in a free and just society. The free and just society must operate on the fundamental principle, “If you don’t work, you don’t eat.” Everyone must be subject to the same laws and that same principle. Ergo, no one is permitted to live off the work of another and no one is forced to work to support another who won’t. But there is no profit, nor power for Soros and his ilk in that.

    Be careful who you lie down with–you know the one about dogs and fleas.