How should we design our economic systems? Should we tax the rich at a higher rate than the poor? Should we have a minimum wage? Should the state provide healthcare for all? These and innumerable related questions are the subject of distributive justice.
Different theories of distributive justice provide different ways to think about and answer such questions This book provides a thorough introduction to the main theories of distributive justice and reveals the underlying sources of our disagreements about economic policy. It argues that the universe of theories of distributive justice is surprisingly simple, yet complicated. It is simple in that the main theories of distributive justice are just four in number, and in that these theories each occupy a well-defined space in the universe of theories of distributive justice; yet complicated in that the main theories disagree at several distinct levels of theory, and in that it is possible to spin innumerable new theories from the elements of the four main theories.