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Western University
Political Science
Political Science 2102A/B

Economic Justice – Hahnel • Wealth inequity and income inequity has been growing since WWII • Gini Coefficient: statistic used to measure inequality o 0  perfect equality o 1  perfect inequality o Huge increases towards 1 after WWII • Different conceptions of economic justice o Maxim 1: to each according to the value of the contribution of her physical/human capital  People should receive what they put into the economy  Inheritance makes this system not work  Loses power because the more wealthy have more power  rich have the upper hand in any negations/better able to tolerate failure  Unless people acquire more productive property through personal hard work  property is unjustifiable and unfair • 4 ways to achieve productive property unfairly: inheritance, good luck, and unfair advantage, purchasing more than others o Maxim 2: Each according to the value of the contribution of only her human capital  “fruits of your own labour”  Having strong traits doesn’t mean a person is more productive than someone who works as hard and sacrifices as much  genetics influences how valuable a person’s contribution is (just as unfair)  Talent requires training  time  sacrifice that deserves reward • Training does not equal personal sacrifice  Garbage man vs. surgeon (who deserves more if schooling is free)  People have control over their own labour vs. no control over physical capital o Maxim 3: to each according to her effort/person
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