Social Justice and Economic Development
Social justice and economic development are accepted goals of economic policy in all modern societies. In this respect, therefore, there is no difference between nations be they rich or poor, capitalistic or socialistic, believers in planning or otherwise. Indeed, even the urge for greater economic well-being in individuals as in nations is hardly separable from the desire to secure for oneself that which is already given to others. At the same time, professional economists at any rate are prone to think in terms of conflict and choice between these fundamental objectives. Is there really a problem of choice involved here? Is the concept of social justice capable of bearing a fixed and determinate meaning in terms of which we can speak of conflict and choice? Should all areas of choice between the two objectives be regarded as open issues requiring resolution, or are there some which ought to be considered as settled in terms of accepted human values? Where conflict or choice is real and cannot be settled ab initio, is there no way of reconciling social justice with economic progress at least over time? And finally, to what extent have we succeeded in India in grappling with this challenge of combining economic progress with justice?
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