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.