In this case, “justice,” which doesn’t really mean what the left thinks it does.
An interesting experiment is about to be conducted in London. A public-housing authority has constructed exact replicas of elegant early-Victorian townhouses on one side of Union Square in Islington, of the kind much coveted by bankers and lawyers in the nearby financial center, the famed (or ill-famed) City. The authority will rent these houses to relatively poor families at a steep discount. The scheme is revealing from at least three points of view: architectural, social, and politico-economic.
But where justice is concerned, the effect is precisely the opposite. Under normal circumstances, people must make enormous effort and sacrifice to live in such accommodations. To grant them to people by political grace and favor, or even just to a lucky few, is the opposite of justice. There may be good reasons for doing so—despite such schemes’ tendency to devalue personal effort in favor of seeking political or bureaucratic influence—but justice is certainly not among them.
It also sets up all the wrong incentives, from both a governmental and a personal point of view.