In today’s capitalist economy, where economic transactions and business in general is centered on self-interest, there is a natural tendency for some people to make more than others. That is the basis for the “American Dream,” where people, if they worked hard, could make money proportional to their effort. However, what happens when this natural occurrence grows disproportional in its allocation of wealth within a society? The resulting issue becomes income inequality. Where a small portion of the population, own the majority of the wealth and the majority of the population own only a fraction of what the rich own. This prominent issue has always been the subject of social tension
The difference in this property idea forms, as Rawls states that social and economic differences must meet two requirements to be just. Positions that bring grater benefit and advantage should be open to all, the opportunity or chance of getting a certain job, house or car should be equal to all people. This is where his theory contradicts Nozick. According to Nozick all people entitled to their property as long as the have not violated any Lockean rights and that people can do anything they want with their property or advantages as long as its justified. Rawls argues that this will only favor rich people, as the opportunities for them to gain more properties or advantages are much higher than for those with no property. Property and wealth gives people power, which maximizes the gap between the rich and the poor.
Likewise, the beneficiaries give the contract flexibility by adapting the way in which it can continue the unequal system of burden and benefit for other socio-economic classes. I believe this is unintentional as it would follow the epistemology of ignorance that constructs an illusion of reaching equality by taxing the one percent, but similarly allows furthering the inequalities by establishing loopholes and policies aimed at maintaining equilibrium. Starting from moral ground zero in the complexity of this issue appears impossible, but I agree with you that this issue has enormous ontological depth that seems impossible to penetrate. Implementing a Rawlsian notion of distributive justice is opaque and obscure as it doesn't necessarily follow the concrete evidence presented by NYT. However, I believe the TF article perpetuates this example of an invisible formal contract with agreements that allow for the replication of this issue among socio-economic
Today, we all live in a society of different social classes at different levels. The social classes are (in order) the lower class, the working class, the middle class, and the upper class. With such a diverse range of people with different social and economic statuses, there is a controversial issue on whether or not we should have economic justice. Economic justice is defined as a concept; which would allow equal opportunities for everyone to receive an equal amount of pay for the equal amount of work. Many believe that not only is it possible but also desirable, practical and necessary to have economic justice, while many others believe just the opposite. I for one don’t think it’s fair that in today’s world the poor get poorer and the rich get richer. After comparing both arguments though, I’ve come to the conclusion that economic justice is not possible, desired, practical or necessary.
Inequality and inefficiency are universal issues plaguing society that countless economists have attempted to understand and address. Distinguished economists such as John Rawls, Amartya Sen, Robert Nozick, and Milton Friedman have developed their own theories of to achieve distributive justice, or a fair allocation of resources for all members of society. In Rawls’ justice as fairness and Sen’s capability theory, the economists come closest to achieving plans of distributive justice that retain the output-promoting effects of compensating differentials and recognizing the costs of Okun’s leaky bucket, but a plan that retains Rawls’ social contract and Sen’s capability focus would come closest to achieving justice.
Income redistribution refers to the concept of transferring income from the wealthy individuals to the less wealthy individuals through social mechanisms such as monetary policies, charity, welfare, land reforms, and taxation among others. Income redistribution affects the entire economy rather than selected groups of individuals. The concept of income redistribution emanates from the existence of income inequalities within an economy. Income inequality depicts a gap between the highest and the lowest income earners in an economy (Tullock 13). Income inequality is sometimes considered appropriate in societies since it acts as an incentive in free market economies, whereby in the absence of inequality, elements of economic stagnation and lack of enterprise would emerge. Conversely, income inequality is criticized on the basis of introducing contributing towards the development of key problems in the society, including progression of poverty levels. This paper seeks to explore the concept of income redistribution and its key pros and cons.
Furthermore, the second law of the John Rawls’ Theory of Justice states that “social and economic inequalities are to be arranged so that they are both (a) reasonably expected to be to everyone’s advantage, and (b) attached to positions and offices open to all” (60). No doubt, John Rawls second principle of justice establishes social equality in the society and opens the door of opportunities to every single individual, who wants to rise from his/her present miserable situation. But this law, disrupts the socioeconomic balance in the society. In this case everybody wants to be in higher positions to be reputed in the society and no one wants to be a poor or miserable. Rawl is suggesting an equal distribution of wealth amongst the people to relish the freedom and equality. It disturbs the monopoly and make an imbalance in the economic growth of the country. For example; Andrew Gibson, in his political research finds that …. “Inequality of income and wealth is a driver of growth. Income disparities are part of the …...price system and they are a form of free speech - invest here!” (The Benefits of Wealth ……Inequality). Rawls is speaking about inequality which is absolutely about material wealth and designations. He is also seeking equality on the professional basis, whereas Socrates divide the
This is part of human nature always striving for more, and to be the best we can be, However we should not forget those in poverty through no fault of their own, are totally unaware of the opportunities available to them, so there aspirations are limited. If everyone was equal and earned the same amount of money, what would drive certain individuals to provide services we have all come to depend on as a society such as, out of hour’s medical care. Although as Rawls has outlined in one of his principles that in order to bridge the inequality gap things have to be favoured toward the poor, a certain amount of inequality may be necessary to allow society to function. He is not alone in this thinking “... inequalities are only unfair were there exists a distribution of opportunities (whether that is characteristics or finances) which unjustly favours some section of the population over the
Some argue that redistribution is theft from the rich because they either worked there whole lifetime or a generation of people before them to achieve the riches they have. This would leave the impression of the government taking their money and given it to someone less deserving. When actually in retrospect, the money big time CEO’s get is from consumers of their company. Most company’s biggest customers are the poor and middle class, now if you take money away from these groups there is going to be a decrease in sales and revenue. So in reality, the more money being given to the less fortunate the more money that can be invested back into companies and organizations. Another concern of redistribution is that the people receiving the money will become dependent on the money and grow lazy. While this is a valid point it can be easily compensated for by providing the poor with services to help them acquire legal employment which will help them start weaning away from social
Rawls states, "Social and economic inequalities are to be arranged so that they are both to the greatest benefit of the least advantaged, consistent with the just savings principle". The question now is what determines the least advantaged in a society? Rawls seems to consider them as members of the lower social class or those who have an income lower than the society's
second, they are to be to the greatest benefit of the least-advantaged members of society (the Difference Principle)” (Rawls, 63). This meant that there needed to be fair and equal opportunity for all to obtain the best jobs in the public and private sector of society. It also meant that education needed to be accessible for all people. He also made clear that the lower class of society or the ones with the least advantages should be compensated or concessions should be made for them in the quest for fairness. In other words economic inequalities were ok if they benefited society and especially the ones with the least advantages. Rawls concentrated on the
The question of inequality and redistribution is central to political conflict. Caricaturing only slightly, two positions have traditionally been opposed. The right-wing free market position is that, in the long run, market forces, individual initiative, and productive growth are the sole determinants of the distribution of income and standard of living, in particular of the least well-off members of society; hence government effort to redistribute wealth should be limited and should rely on instruments that interfere as little as possible with the virtuous mechanisms of the market. The traditional left-wing position, passed down from nineteenth century socialist theory and trade union practice, holds that the only way to alleviate the misery of the poorest members of capitalist society is through social and political struggle, and that the redistribution efforts of government must penetrate to the very heart of the productive process .
Inequality is perhaps the mother of all social issues. The distribution of wealth and other things is widely debated and covered in media, and many seek the find a ‘just’ way approaching the issue. Questions that are commonly considered are: How should society be structured to deal with inequality? Is some amount of inequality justifiable, and to what extent should it be allowed? John Rawls and Robert Nozick are two political philosophers who address this topic in very different ways. Throughout this paper, I will explain and analyze the arguments of Rawls and Nozick, and I will also argue against Nozick’s conception of a just society.
Scanlon gives five diverse reasons for the elimination of inequalities in societies (Scanlon, 1996: 2-5). The first reason is at base a humanitarian concern, for example to alleviate suffering. If some people are living under terrible conditions, the gap between the rich and the poor provides the opportunity to reduce the suffering of those people, without causing others to suffer a similar fate. The second reason for objecting inequality is that people should not be treated as inferior or made to feel inferior, for example through privileges of rank