America produces the greatest amount of excess in the entire world. Hundreds of millions of American laborers and businesses work to produce and consume a larger quantity of wealth and surplus than the world has ever seen. Meanwhile, about 40 million of those laborers live below the poverty line.
A developed, productive society should produce adequate living conditions for all its citizens. John Rawls’s veil of ignorance offers a useful analogy for deciding what level of inequality a society ought to tolerate. Essentially, he argues that we should structure society so that we would be willing to accept the position of its lowest member. That is, even the poorest or least favorably endowed member would still live a life with acceptable living conditions.
The views expressed above are solely the author’s and are not endorsed by the Virginia Policy Review, The Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, or the University of Virginia. Although this organization has members who are University of Virginia students and may have University employees associated or engaged in its activities and affairs, the organization is not a part of or an agency of the University. It is a separate and independent organization which is responsible for and manages its own activities and affairs. The University does not direct, supervise or control the organization and is not responsible for the organization’s contracts, acts, or omissions.
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