Why justice requires transfers to offset income and wealth inequalities

Social Philosophy and Policy 19 (1):172-200 (2002)
Abstract
If an array of goods is for sale on a market, one’s wealth, the tradeable resources one owns, determines what one can purchase from this array. One’s income is the increment in wealth one acquires over a given period of time. In any society, we observe some people having more wealth and income, some less. At any given time, in some societies average wealth is greater than in others. Across time, we can observe societies becoming richer or poorer and showing more or less equal distributions of wealth among their members. Does it matter from an ethical standpoint whether some people have more income and wealth than others? Does securing a more equal distribution of income and wealth either constitute the achievement of something that is intrinsically morally desirable or serve as a reliable means to the achievement of some intrinsic moral value? If we suppose that justice demands equalizing the income of wealth of persons in many circumstances, what principles of justice generate this demand?
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Dov Fox (2007). Luck, Genes, and Equality. Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 35 (4):712-726.
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