Classical conservatives, classical liberals, and socialists all have different understandings as to what constitutes economic justice. For the conservative, the market should provide the material needs of the community, with the understanding that those needs are defined by objective, traditional values that transcend the individual.
For the liberal, the market should provide the material needs of the individual as he subjectively defines his needs for himself. Anything that is agreed to voluntarily, between adults, without taking the life, liberty, or property of a third party, is necessarily just.
For the socialist, the market itself is the problem. Economic justice would provide universal equality of condition, and market forces, as we know them, cannot do this.
It then follows that classical conservatives, classical liberals, and socialists have different understandings as to what constitutes illegitimate economic activity. For the conservative, it is when market forces cause social change. For the liberal, it is only when a business harms people. For the socialist, markets are inherently illegitimate and the primary source of human misery. Though these seem like mutually exclusive perspectives, most people hold a mixture of all three of these approaches to economic justice, depending on the circumstances of a particular case.
Eric Shierman lives in Salem and is also the author of We were winning when I was there.