448 PART SIX THE ECONOMICS OF LABOR MARKETS to the other without cost, it would maximize total utility from water by equalizing the amount in the two places. But suppose that the government has only a leaky bucket. As it tries to move water from one place to the other, some of the water is lost in transit. In this case, a utilitarian government might still try to move some wa-ter from Peter to Paul, depending on how thirsty Paul is and how leaky the bucket is. But, with only a leaky bucket at its disposal, a utilitarian government will not try to reach complete equality. LIBERALISM A second way of thinking about inequality might be called liberalism. Philoso-pher John Rawls develops this view in his book A Theory of Justice. This book was first published in 1971, and it quickly became a classic in political philosophy. Rawls begins with the premise that a society’s institutions, laws, and policies should be just. He then takes up the natural question: How can we, the members of society, ever agree on what justice means? It might seem that every person’s
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This note was uploaded on 07/30/2010 for the course ECON 120 taught by Professor Abijian during the Spring '10 term at Mesa CC.