Politics and Desert

Some key issues:

Scope of liberties:

> Consent to be governed

> Distributive Justice:

>Candidate desert-bases:

• Effort
• Ability (including Risk-bearing / Decision-making)
• Economic and Social contribution
• Historical and Promisery

>Candidate desert objects:

• Income
• Wealth + Consumption
• Job respect / Status / Pride / Dignity / Meaning
• Job interestingness
• Job fun
• Looks
• Popularity
• Virtue
• Lifespan
• Health (including mental)

-Are all goods commensurable? Some seem unredistributable
-Should we reward effort and gambling?
-Can we measure a particular entity’s desert?
-How should we account for heterogeneity of preference?
-How should the market influence distributive justice?
-Should we allow the liberty to give/receive gifts?
-How should we tax property?

Politician Incentives


Is politics a necessary process where conflict is resolved through rhetoric and power, rather than through divining cosmic justice?
Politics may be the continuation of war by other means.

Democracy may exist for placation as much as for deliberative decision-making.

Is egalitarianism codified envy?
Equality sounds good but people actually do value family and friends more and hold desert to be effort-dependent.
Serfs, laymen…they want what all people want throughout history: more.

The heterogeneity of individuals’ interests are significant; anyone still with hope for communism has never lived in a shared house.

It seems one strength of libertarianism is that greater autonomy minimises grievance, anger and the sense of injustice. And that’s worth something.
If you think “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs” encourages people to hide their abilities and exaggerate their needs, then you might have a libertarian streak.

Conflict, competition, disagreement, xenophobia, hypocrisy, laziness, gossip, suffering, death and taxes are ubiquitous.



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