When choosing between theories of distributive justice, Rawls' "Justice as Fairness" and Tomasi's "Free Market Fairness," Tomasi's theory best expresses the democratic ideal of society as a system of social cooperation between free and equal persons. In the 21st century global economic landscape, a very popular and profitable trend is "going green." Going green includes making improvements to operations of organizations that promote conversation of various forms of energy, reusing and/or recycling materials and products, as well as reducing the carbon footprint of the organization in general. Green technology and the trend of going green are worldwide phenomena that prove itself extremely financially rewarding for those who implement those strategies effectively. With regard to competitors, peers, and consumers, going green increases loyalty and augments reputation. Going green is an example of free market fairness. Green companies absolutely are in business to generate capital revenue; these companies also participate in rectifying social injustices, including those inflicted upon the local and global environments. This is just one example of free market fairness at work in today's world. Trends such as going green and other examples of free market fairness are becoming increasingly abundant in the 21st century. Free market fairness appeals to a great deal of companies and consumers for many reasons. The paper performs a comparative analysis upon the opposing theories of distributive justice, ultimately concluding that free market fairness is the superior theory with greater potential for successful international applications.
Rawls' distributive theory of justice, "Justice as Fairness," is altruistic, positive, and well-meaning, yet the theory lacks practicality in relation to a capitalist system though Rawls acknowledges "the fundamental social and economic differences are the differences in citizens' life prospects (their prospects over a complete life)." (Rawls, "Justice as Fairness," Page 40) Inequality is an implicit element of capitalism. There will be class stratification. There will be portions of the population that are a significantly greater advantage than the vast majority of remaining population. The top percent of the population will amass the greatest percentage of wealth. That is how capitalism works. Though America is a democracy, it is very much capitalist country. There are democratic elements to capitalism, but it is not a democratic system as a whole. Our political system may be a democracy, but again, capitalism reigns more so in the U.S. than democracy, as per the example of the recent bail outs of several large corporations including banks. Therefore, there are too many requirements for equality without regard to capitalism in Rawls' theories.
There cannot exist as much equality as Rawls' calls for within a capitalist system. Yes, every citizen should be guaranteed a series of rights. Yes, some of those basic guaranteed rights should be economically relevant. The paper does not disagree with Rawls' theory in those respects. The Constitution of the United States of America, which begins with notions of truth and freedom for all, was completed during an era of slavery in America. There is contradiction present already within the young capitalist country, America. How can there exist freedom for all men (and women) when a significant portion of the population is enslaved? It cannot. How can there exist equal rights in a patriarchal society? They cannot. How can freedom for all exist in a country with a (capitalist) system predicated on inequality? It cannot. His theory calls for each person to have freedoms and for offices & inequalities to be arranged to the advantage of the under privileged. That is moderately impossible, particularly in the United States. The United States speaks of freedom in its most valued documents, but the differences between what is written and what is lived are vastly different. Rawls' theory of distributive does not fit well in the reality of the United States, not now, and not then.
Furthermore, Rawls' theory of distributive justice, "Justice as Fairness" lacks practicality from a politically conservative viewpoint. In modern times, democrats and liberals are accused of being soft hearted and irresponsible with money while republicans and conservatives are accused of being unfeeling, cold, and excessively frugal. "Justice as Fairness" is a liberal theory that does not acknowledge, confront, or compromise between the opposing sides of the American political perspective spectrum. Theories that integrate a multitude of perspectives and addresses the needs from all sides of a debate achieve a greater success and assimilation by citizens and governments, or at least the likelihood of success increases a great deal more.
One-sided arguments and one-sided theories are unsatisfactory as well as impractical. Certainly, it would be ideal to live in a world where every person on Earth was equal in every way and everyone experience and retained the same set of guaranteed rights across a variety of issues. That would be a global utopia, but that is not the reality in which the world functions. That is a dream or a fantasy, or an aspiration for the future. In the mean time, humans must face the realities of wealth distribution, economic systems, rights, and justice. "Justice as Fairness" does not address conservative viewpoints, demands, or goals. "Justice as Fairness" is an ideal that cannot exist as is in the world today. There is always heated debate within the realm of politics; opposing sides will always disagree about some issue or policy. The paper does not suggest that Free Market Fairness solves all the country's political disagreements, but the paper does contend that in comparison with Justice as Fairness, Free Market Fairness proves more effective and is more of a (political) crowd-pleaser overall.
Free Market Fairness is a hybrid concept, quite indicative or characteristic of the 21st century indeed. 21st century consumers and producers are more in tune with global issues because of the digital technology revolution and most significantly, because of the advent of the Internet. There is an increase or raise in the general level of awareness of others and the struggles of others around the world in this time in history. There is an increased consumption, production, and distribution of goods among numerous countries and cultures around the planet. It is clear that capital is an integral part of the world's daily operations; in other words, it is evident now more than ever that money makes the world go round. People know this. People want to spend money and they want to make money.
Changes to the world such as the Internet or industrialization before it, affect the world in many ways requiring changes in perspective regarding topics such as economics, equality, politics, and justice. Tomasi states: "Many philosophers saw these changes as requiring a shift in the liberal understanding of justice as well. The first wave of Western industrialization ran roughly from 1750 to 1880. The birth of industrialization brought wealth but also new challenges for ordinary working people." (Free Market Fairness, Page 32) As part of the world's newfound ability to know more about itself via the Internet, there is a greater awareness and sensitivity to the obstacles and plights of others around Earth. This translates into a desire to promote equality, fairness, and other altruistic ideals. Free Market Fairness effectively engages a necessary shift with regard to economics and justice, effectively integrating these two philosophies into a seamless principle that satisfies citizens' desire for justice, equality, and guaranteed rights for all that also confronts the issue of the necessity for material wealth in a straight forward manner.
Just as with the philosophy of going green, Free Market Justice does not see why earning money and living in a just world must be mutually exclusive and not coexistent. Tomasi sides with both sides of the American political spectrum, as many other Americans do. Politics is not always black and white or very straightforward and simple for people. Tomasi writes: "Actual societies never conform neatly to philosophical ideals: when adopted as a governing ideal, the chalk of political philosophy must always write across the rough slate of historical peculiarities." (Free Market Fairness, Page 11) Some people have the ability to see an issue from a multitude of perspectives, making them sympathetic and in agreement with more than one view. Tomasi's personal position and perspectives on issues of economics completely inform his theory of distributive justice, Free Market Fairness in a direct way. This theory is a modern, practical, yet more humane approach toward the intersection of economics, politics, issues of justice, and issues of a social nature in general.
In terms of the solutions Free Market Fairness offers to global poverty, there are a few that are noteworthy. In countries such as the United States, poverty could gradually diminish with Free Market Fairness. Free Market Fairness of market democracy takes social injustice quite seriously -- just as seriously as it takes economic liberty. What is both strikingly simple and simultaneously innovative about his idea is that it incorporates both. Thus far, theories are one-sided and neither side of the debate finds adequate satisfaction in the ideas proposed. Free Market Fairness differentiates…