Constitution and its Bill of Rights

There have been some attempts to find a compromise between thesepositions. Michael Zuckert’s version of the Straussian positionacknowledges more differences between Hobbes and Locke. Zuckert stillquestions the sincerity of Locke’s theism, but thinks that Lockedoes develop a position that grounds property rights in the fact thathuman beings own themselves, something Hobbes denied. Adam Seagravehas gone a step further. He argues that the contradiction betweenLocke’s claim that human beings are owned by God and that humanbeings own themselves is only apparent. Based on passages fromLocke’s other writings (especially the Essay Concnerning HumanUnderstanding) In the passages about divine ownership, Locke isspeaking about humanity as a whole, while in the passages aboutself-ownership he is taking about individual human beings with thecapacity for property ownership. God created human beings who arecapable of having property rights with respect to one another on thebasis of owning their labor. Both of them emphasize differencesbetween Locke's use of natural rights and the earlier tradition ofnatural law.

Equality (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

The role of Natural Rights in the history of the United States of America.

What Does Equality of Opportunity Mean? - The Daily …

These factors play an essential, albeit varied, role in thefollowing alternative egalitarian theories of distributive justice. Thefollowing theories offer different accounts of what should be equalizedin the economic sphere. Most can be understood as applications of thepresumption of equality (whether they explicitly acknowledge it ornot); only a few (like strict equality, libertarianism, andsufficiency) are alternatives to the presumption.

Human Knowledge: Foundations and Limits

Hannah Pitkin takes a very different approach. She claims that thelogic of Locke's argument makes consent far less important in practicethan it might appear. Tacit consent is indeed a watering down of theconcept of consent, but Locke can do this because the basic content ofwhat governments are to be like is set by natural law and not byconsent. If consent were truly foundational in Locke's scheme, wewould discover the legitimate powers of any given government byfinding out what contract the original founders signed. Pitkin,however, thinks that for Locke the form and powers of government aredetermined by natural law. What really matters, therefore, is notprevious acts of consent but the quality of the present government,whether it corresponds to what natural law requires. Locke does notthink, for example, that walking the streets or inheriting property ina tyrannical regime means we have consented to that regime. It is thusthe quality of the government, not acts of actual consent, thatdetermine whether a government is legitimate. Simmons objects to thisinterpretation, saying that it fails to account for the many placeswhere Locke does indeed say a person acquires political obligationsonly by his own consent.

Statistics and Indicators - United Nations

The equality required in the economic sphere is complex, takingaccount of several positions that — each according to thepresumption of equality — justify a turn away from equality. Asalient problem here is what constitutes justified exceptions to equaldistribution of goods — the main subfield in the debate overadequate conceptions of distributive equality and its currency. Thefollowing sorts of factors are usually considered eligible forjustified unequal treatment: (a) need or differing naturaldisadvantages (e.g. disabilities); (b) existing rights or claims(e.g. private property); (c) differences in the performance of specialservices (e.g. desert, efforts, or sacrifices); (d) efficiency; and(e) compensation for direct and indirect or structural discrimination(e.g. affirmative action).

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Since the nineteenth century, the political debate has increasinglycentered on the question of economic and social inequality (thisrunning alongside the question of — gradually achieved —equal rights to freedom and political participation) (Marshall1950). The main controversy here is whether, and if so to what extent,the state should establish far-reaching equality of social conditionsfor all through political measures such as redistribution of incomeand property, tax reform, a more equal educational system, socialinsurance, and positive discrimination.

Equality Act 2010 - legislation

(iii) Equality distorts incentives promoting achievement in theeconomic field, producing an inefficiency grounded in a waste ofassets arising from the administrative costs of redistribution (Okun1975). Equality and efficiency need to be placed in a balancedrelation. Often, pareto-optimality is demanded in this respect— for the most part by economists. A social condition ispareto-optimal or pareto-efficient when it is not possible to shift toanother condition judged better by at least one person and worse bynone (Sen 1970, chap. 2, 2*). A widely discussed alternative to thePareto principle is the Kaldor-Hicks welfare criterion. Thisstipulates that a rise in social welfare is always present when thebenefits accruing through the distribution of value in a societyexceed the corresponding costs. A change thus becomes desirable whenthe winners in such a change could compensate the losers for theirlosses and still retain a substantial profit. In contrast to thePareto-criterion, the Kaldor-Hicks criterion contains a compensationrule (Kaldor 1939). For purposes of economic analysis, suchtheoretical models of optimal efficiency make a great deal ofsense. However, the analysis is always made relative to startingsituation that can be unjust and unequal. A society can thus be (closeto) pareto-optimality — i.e., no one can increase his or hermaterial goods or freedoms without diminishing those of someone else— while also displaying enormous inequalities in thedistribution of the same goods and freedoms. For this reason,egalitarians claim that it may be necessary to reducepareto-optimality for the sake of justice if there is no moreegalitarian distribution that is also pareto-optimal. In the eyes oftheir critics, equality of whatever kind should not lead to somepeople having to do with less even though this equalizing down doesnot benefit any of those who are in a worse position.