One of the most insidious tools in the collectivist toolbox is the one called “fairness.” When someone in a political or financial situation tells you to “be fair,” you generally need to hold onto your money really tightly.
Fairness is one of those concepts that we learn as children and that everybody can agree is a good thing. The problem starts when some people get the arrogant notion that they should be the artibers of what’s fair — instead of the people who would otherwise be on the two sides of a mutual agreement.
People also use the word to intimidate people into agreeing with them. An example that irritates me is that of some non-profit organizations — most notably United Way, in my experience — pre-define the amount of money they say you should give to them as your “fair share.” I refuse to give to an agency such as that, and I’ve had a couple of confrontations with bosses in the distant past when they tried to intimidate me by saying that I was keeping a department or a company from having “100 percent participation.” This type of thing is implied extortion in which your boss and an agency collude to take money out of your pocket. But at least it’s still your choice in that case.