Distributive Justice By Robert Nozick And John Rawls

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Distributive Property or distributive justice is the economic framework of a society that asserts the rightful allocations of property among its citizens. Due to the limited amount of resources that is provided in a society, the question of proper distribution often occurs. The ideal answer is that public assets should be reasonably dispersed so that every individual receives what constitutes as a “justified share”; here is where the conflict arises. The notion of just distribution, however, is generally disagreed upon as is the case with Robert Nozick and John Rawls. These men have different takes on how property should be justly distributed. Nozick claims that any sort of patterned distribution of wealth is inequitable and that this ultimately reduces individual liberty. Rawls on the other hand, prioritizes equality over a diverse group where the distribution of assets among a community should be in the favor of the least advantaged. The immediate difference between the two is that both men have separate ideas on the legitimacy of governmental redistribution of resources; however I intend to defend Nozick’s theory by pointing out significant weaknesses in Rawls’s proposition. Nozick’s central claim is that any sort of patterned distribution will have a significant effect on liberty. First, Nozick’s idea of a “patterned distribution” needs to be separated from the notion of “unpatterned distribution”. Obviously, patterned distribution adheres to an unspecific pattern. Nozick’s own theory in itself is unpatterned, a theory that suggests that each person acquisition of goods have been acquired through legitimate means. Nozick’s conception of “legitimate means” is manifested through his Entitlement Theory. The Entitlement Theory ... ... middle of paper ... ...e achieved when the Liberty and Difference Principle are enacted with the veil of ignorance. On the contrary, Nozick argues that Rawls’s theory is exactly the sort of patterned principle that infringes upon individual liberty. As an alternative, Nozick provides his unpatterned principle as the ideal distribution of goods in a society. To me, Rawls’s argues his theory in a manner where his principles of justice are not only difficult to achieve, but ultimately are exceedingly deficient in providing general utility. The veil of ignorance has proved to be almost impossible as well as unethical. The Difference Principle in itself is unable to justly distribute property since it clearly violates an individual’s liberty. Since Rawls’s method of distributive justice is rendered unreasonable and inefficient, it leaves us with a clear answer derived from two disjunctions.
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