24 terms

Distributive Justice

The Basic Structure of Society
the way in which the major social institutions distribute fundamental rights and duties and determine the division of advantages from social cooperation=the political constitution and the principle economic and social arrangements.
Social Contract
a conception of justice by which Rawls derives a lot for his theory of distributive justice
equally situated (free and equal persons)
The principles of justice for the basic structure of society are to be thought of as an agreement between
-the parties deciding in the original position are...

(equally situated)
Original Position
corresponds to the STATE OF NATURE in traditional SOCIAL CONTRACT theory; a purely hypothetical event to justify a conception of justice
-those present in the OP; choose the principles of justice to regulate the basic structure of society
-under the veil of ignorance
-"equally situated" = they all have an equal vote
-their objective: to gain the LARGEST SHARE OF PRIMARY GOODS POSSIBLE for themselves or for those they represent
I. Basic Rights and Liberties
II. Wealth & Income
- under the veil of ignorance
Primary goods
rights and liberties
wealth and income
-the parties in the oringial position want the largest share possible for themselves or for those they represent of primary goods
(primary goods)
Veil of Ignorance
in OP, no one knows their: social class, socioeconomic status, income, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, intelligence, talents, abilities...
First Principle of Justice
Each person is to have an equal right to the most extensive system of equal basic liberties compatible with an equal system of liberty for all.
-basic liberties are, roughly speaking: -political liberty, freedom of conscious and thought, freedom of personhood and right to hold personal property, freedom from arbitrary arrest
Second Principle of Justice (THE DIFFERENCE PRINCIPLE)
Social and economic inequalities are to be arranged such that they are both:
-To the benefit of the least advantaged member of society.
-Attached to offices and positions under conditions of FAIR equality of opportunity.
Formal Equality of Opportunity
-all have the same rights of ACCESS to all advantaged social positions
-NO effort to preserve an equality, or similarly, of social conditions.
-[Laws against discrimination on the basis of race, religion, etc., are the essence of formal equality of opportunity].
-: Formal equality of opportunity concerns the principle of careers being open to talents, but it in no way concerns the idea that persons who have the same natural talents and the same desire to realize those talents should have the same changes of success regardless of socio-economic status (that is fair equality of opportunity)
Fair Equality of Opportunity
-Persons who have the same natural talents and the same desire to realize those talents should have the same changes of success
System of Natural Liberty
-system of equality as in the first principle of justice
-free markets
-careers open to "talents"
-permits distributive shares to be improperly influenced by factors that are so arbitrary from a moral point of view.
Liberal Interpretation
Careers open to talents + fair equality of opportunity
-What is wrong with it?
it still permits the distribution of wealth and income to be determined by the natural distribution of abilities and talents (that you are born with); and this outcome is arbitrary from a moral perspective
Democratic interpretation
the liberal interpretation (basic rights and liberties + fair equality of opportunity) with the difference principle.
Difference Principle
Rawl's principle of distributive justice which asserts that economicinequalities are permissible (just) only to the extent that they are to the advantage of the least advantaged member of society.
A: 1000, 7, 5, 3
B: 40, 30, 20, 20
C: 13, 13, 13, 13
Utilitarianism favours A
Egalitarianism favours C
Rawls' favours B.

-put another way, the principle asserts that all in society are to gain from economic inequality and that persons can have more wealth and income ONLY if their having more results in the least advantaged member of society having more.

(the Difference Principle)
The least advantaged
Economic inequality is only justified to the extent that it is to the advantage of _____________________.
-part of the Difference Principle
-The Diff. Principle is VIOLATED as soon as the most advantaged person's share of wealth and income increases while the least advantaged person's decreases. In a situation like this, the most advantaged having more is no longer just and society can no longer be characterized as a fair system of cooperation in which all benefit from inequalities in wealth and income.

(the least advantaged)
It is not that everyone is guaranteed largest share of goods possible, only such that ensures that the least advantaged can have more (some will be better off, but no one will be worse off)
San Antonio School District c. Rodriguez
The natural lottery
the natural lottery of wealth and income and of native endowments....NO ONE DESERVES THIS (no one deserves to be rich or poor, black or white, smart or stupid, talented or untalented)
Fundamental component of Rawls' justification for the difference principle that NO ONE DESERVES HIS POISITON in either the socio-economic lottery (no one deserves to be rich or poor) or in the natural lottery of native endowments.
-Given this assumption, to the extent that our distributive shares of wealth and income are profoundly influenced by such random facts, they are unfair.
people can be entitled to what they earn in a just economic system (regulated by the difference principle) but they do NOT DESERVE what they have
Legitimate Expectations
People are entitled to what they earn in a just economic system (one regulated by the difference principle).
Redistributive Taxation
Taxes whose aim is transferring wealth from the rich to the poor
(redistributive taxation)
Money, Power, and the American Dream (movie)