It seems that one of the first things children learn to say is “that’s not fair”. Our sense of fairness is very strong. But fairness is a slippery concept, as discussed here. It seems that our sense of fairness is easily manipulated. And fairness must be weighed in light of other virtues.

Consider this thought experiment. You are asked to choose between scenario A or B. In scenario A, you and your neighbors each get $1000. In scenario B, you get $2000, but your neighbors each get $5000. Scenario B is clearly unfair but more profitable. Which would you choose?

This is, I believe, a good representation of the “income inequality” problem.


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