Some of my more malicious students ask impertinent and libelous questions such as: "To what extent are we responsible for assisting the poor and the vulnerable?"
Well...aside from removing any possibility of getting a passing grade, such questions also require legal action that holds these "students" (traitors, really) personally liable for damages. And, yes, this is a remarkably stupid question, completely beneath my stature to answer, and an incredibly inefficient use of my massive brain power.
Let's start with a state of nature, where wealth can be measured on a scale. Let's say that the poorest person is a "0" and the richest person is a "10". We, as a society, as a community, and as a nation, collectively decide to follow the advice of our moral leaders
who decide that no person shall have a wealth beneath a "3".
At that point, people from "3" to "10" are asked to voluntarily contribute money to the impoverished "0" to "2" crowd in order to avoid imprisonment. And we use democratic principles to ensure that most people do not pay this tax; preferably, only the "8" through "10" people will pay it. And with any luck, these richest people (formerly "8" to "10") will become "7" people, as no one has the right to be rich in the presence of so much human suffering.
Now, after this transfer, our improved society has a wealth distribution of "3" to "7" instead of the original "0" to "10".
Do you know anything about scales? Probably not. So pay attention: The "3" people are rescaled to "0" because they are the poorest, and the "7" people are rescaled to "10" because they are the richest. That brings us back to an unjust "0" to "10" society.
And because injustice requires justice, and since we as a society, a community, and a nation have already declared that "0" to "2" is unacceptable (to say nothing of the unequal distribution of wealth), we repeat the process to eliminate poverty -- and spread the wealth -- once again. And, again, it is done in a democratic fashion, since the majority of people, "0" through "7", will either get a well-deserved government check in the mail, or are unaffected.
Rescale the old "3-to-7" to the new "0-to-10".
Does a "0" still look different from a "10"?
In the end, we will achieve social and economic justice when everyone has the same "wealth number".