Advertisement

Chance, Merit, and Economic Inequality

Rethinking Distributive Justice and the Principle of Desert

  • Joseph de la Torre Dwyer
Book

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Joseph de la Torre Dwyer
    Pages 1-8
  3. Just Principles

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 9-9
    2. Joseph de la Torre Dwyer
      Pages 11-45
    3. Joseph de la Torre Dwyer
      Pages 47-77
  4. Just States of Affairs

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 79-79
    2. Joseph de la Torre Dwyer
      Pages 97-113
    3. Joseph de la Torre Dwyer
      Pages 115-129
  5. Just Public Policies

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 131-131
    2. Joseph de la Torre Dwyer
      Pages 133-140
    3. Joseph de la Torre Dwyer
      Pages 141-149
    4. Joseph de la Torre Dwyer
      Pages 151-158
    5. Joseph de la Torre Dwyer
      Pages 159-170
    6. Joseph de la Torre Dwyer
      Pages 171-189
    7. Joseph de la Torre Dwyer
      Pages 191-211
    8. Joseph de la Torre Dwyer
      Pages 213-222
    9. Joseph de la Torre Dwyer
      Pages 223-224
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 225-248

About this book

Introduction

This book develops a novel approach to distributive justice by building a theory based on a concept of desert. As a work of applied political theory, it presents a simple but powerful theoretical argument and a detailed proposal to eliminate unmerited inequality, poverty, and economic immobility, speaking to the underlying moral principles of both progressives who already support egalitarian measures and also conservatives who have previously rejected egalitarianism on the grounds of individual freedom, personal responsibility, hard work, or economic efficiency. By using an agnostic, flexible, data-driven approach to isolate luck and ultimately measure desert, this proposal makes equal opportunity initiatives both more accurate and effective as it adapts to a changing economy. It grants to each individual the freedom to genuinely choose their place in the distribution. It provides two policy variations that are perfectly economically efficient, and two others that are conditionally so. It straightforwardly aligns outcomes with widely shared, fundamental moral intuitions. Lastly, it demonstrates much of the above by modeling four policy variations using 40 years of survey data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics.

Keywords

distributive justice moral desert desert theory luck egalitarianism egalitarianism macroeconomics inequality progressive politics welfare John Rawls Rousseau wealth redistribution contemporary philosophy ethics moral philosophy ethics of desert applied theory responsibility agency tax

Authors and affiliations

  • Joseph de la Torre Dwyer
    • 1
  1. 1.Independent ScholarBrooklynUSA

Bibliographic information