>>>>Let’s consider Rawls’ ideas of distributive
justice with an example. Imagine there’s a family, the happy family, and there’s a husband
and a wife and two boys. And they are twins but they’re fraternal twins, they’re not identical.
And let’s say that one of the fraternal twins, little boy, is a beautiful kid. He’s smart,
he’s polite, he’s everything you’d want your kid to be. Let’s say the other kid is everything
you wouldn’t want your kid to be. He’s rude, he smells awful, he’s ugly, everything about
him. He’s really, really stupid. And the parents have raised the kids the same, they’re born
at the same time, and they simply have these different qualities. People are biologically
different. Look, some people are beautiful. Some people are ugly. You can say that everybody’s
pretty but they’re not. You can say everybody’s smart, but they’re not. Some people are smart.
Some people are stupid. And so, image in this family, the happy family, you have two brothers
that are just by the lottery of nature very, very different in what they receive. Now imagine
it’s Christmas time and the happy parents have bought ten toys to give to their children.
They give nine of the toys to brother number one, and they give one of the toys to brother
number two. Is that fair? Does he deserve more because he’s better, because he’s given
the qualities we admire by nature or not? Now let’s imagine a second scenario. It’s
Christmas time, and the happy parents have told their boys that they want each of them
to go into the world, it’s their 18th birthday, and to have a fair shot. And so they realize
that one of them is endowed by nature with all the qualities that are likely to make
him succeed. And so they have $100,000 to give their kids, and so they give him $10,000.
And they realize that this other poor kid doesn’t have much of a shot, and so they give
him 90,000. Is that fair? Imagine a third scenario, that they create a set of rules
and they tell their kids, come Christmas time based on the set of rules that we create,
we are going to give you the number presents you deserve. And so we have ten presents to
give you ten toy trucks and we will give them to you not five and five, but rather we’re
going to give you however many earn, however many you deserve. Would the rules be fair
if it said simply how hard you work on your chores, how many hours you spend doing chores?
And so if each of them spends ten hours a week doing chores they get five and five,
but if one of them spends twice as many hours doing chore work the other one gets twice
as many goods? Would that be a fair set of rules? Imagine that they created a set of
rules, they’ll distribute the gifts at the end of the year and it depended on their success,
that the kids had to go out and, let’s say, sell cookies. And whoever sold the most would
get the most gifts. Well, what if brother number one sold lots of cookies should he
get all the presents even though brother number two clearly didn’t succeed because of the
natural lottery? These kinds of questions help us get at the logic of Rawls’ principle,
the difference principle. Is it a just principle?