CHAPTER 20 INCOME INEQUALITY AND POVERTY 451 now taking. Would you imagine yourself behind a veil of ignorance and choose a grade distribution without knowing the talents and efforts of each student? Or would you ensure that the process of assigning grades to students is fair without regard for whether the resulting distribution is equal or unequal? For the case of grades at least, the libertarian emphasis on process over outcomes is compelling. Libertarians conclude that equality of opportunities is more important than equality of incomes. They believe that the government should enforce individual rights to ensure that everyone has the same opportunity to use his or her talents and achieve success. Once these rules of the game are established, the government has no reason to alter the resulting distribution of income. QUICK QUIZ: Pam earns more than Pauline. Someone proposes taxing Pam in order to supplement Pauline’s income. How would a utilitarian, a liberal, and a libertarian evaluate this proposal? POLICIES TO REDUCE POVERTY
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