By John Baker
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Additional resources for Arguing for Equality
The only kind of solidarity likely to emerge from this process is a certain arrogant esprit de corps of the successful and a shared depression among the unsuccessful. Neither is of much value in itself, nor is either likely to advance egalitarian aims. Even in its own terms, equality of opportunity faces a very serious problem. How can you give children equal opportunities if their parents have completely unequal resources? -46Do you take children out of families altogether? If you do, where do you put them?
In other words, inequalities of status are used to justify inequalities of income. One egalitarian reply is to attack the connection between them, the more radical approach is to attack both inequalities at once. Compensation in an Egalitarian Society Desert can't be used to defend the way things are. But would it justify inequalities in a good society? The rest of this chapter addresses that question. This section looks at two central issues of compensation -- different levels of pay to compensate for different kinds of work, and the 'own-fault' clause which -64denies you compensation for losses which are your own fault.
And having contributed nothing, you've done nothing admirable. You deserve, in return, absolutely nothing. Of course, the 'rewards for contributions' argument doesn't have to be put in terms of desert. You might put it like this: I made this product; therefore I ought to get it or its equivalent back'. There's nothing especially to do with desert here. You're asserting a property right over what you have made. It's a good question, discussed in Chapter 7, to ask for the basis of such property rights; the point here is that desert is not the answer.
Arguing for Equality by John Baker