Now, this is a good point. My calling these things injustices depends on how we define "justice." The notorious problem with defining "justice," as with such words as "good," "beauty," or "truth," is that it cannot be done without leaving an open question. So, the best we can do is point to it.Originally Posted by Henrin
I find myself persuaded that John Rawles has a fairly good method for figuring how to point to correct instantiations of justice--that is, at societies which embody and manifest just principles, and those that do not. The basic idea is this: everyone should imagine that they themselves have no idea what their standing will be in society. They do not know their medical condition, the socioeconomic class into which they will be born, which talents they may or may not possess, and so on. The society which those people agree to live in will be entirely just.
I also find myself persuaded that this means there is a real social contract. Consider: when a criminal breaks a law, we all think (usually) that he or she has violated something. But they (and we) almost certainly had nothing to do with the law being put into place. What, exactly, then, have they violated? The law, obviously, but from what does the law draw power?
So, with these in mind, I'll address your examples:
Well, perhaps, but within limits. The economy is so serious because it's how we survive. All the resources are now owned. In such a situation, when one group is unable to find work, that's unjust. Employers are part of the social contract; they have an obligation to hire people and give them reasonable wages. This is the trade off for the privileges of being the boss.Originally Posted by Henrin
Against those who argue against this sort of position, I would point out that there is a difference between the goal and the means. The goal is to have a society with maximized, fair employment, undisrupted production of goods, where people can enjoy the fruits of their labor. The laws we have enacted that regulate or shape the economy are done so on principles which address the means--free market principles are adopted because they are supposed to ensure that we actually instantiate the ideal.
This ignores the fact that where one lives is shaped by income. A person living in, say the lower 9th ward in New Orleans probably has little prospect for moving to the Garden District, where the schools are much better. And without access to good education, their children have little prospect for making such a move themselves.Originally Posted by Henrin
Ideally, the correlation should be 1:1, but it's not. Black people have higher conviction rates than white people out of total cases tried, which says something pretty important, IMO.Originally Posted by Henrin
I don't understand. People 'in play'? There seems to be plenty of evidence that race affects access to health care.Originally Posted by Henrin