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The theories of economic justice and the justification for employing utilitarian principles to support the economic development of society

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  1. Introduction
  2. In Defense of Utilitarianism
    1. Even though it seems fair to argue that maximizing the total well-being of society could carry with it a number of challenges, the specific argument that this situation permits an unfair distribution of burdens and benefits does not appear quite accurate.
    2. As such, your rules or regulations should be put in place to restrain the individual's access to the free market
    3. Overall, it is quite evident that the utilitarian view of economic justice is one that is not without its problems.
  3. Application of Utilitarian Thought to Affirmative Action
    1. Arguably, the basic theoretical premise of affirmative action policies is quite definitive overall.
    2. Now that the specific context of the problems associated with affirmative action have been clearly elucidated, it is now possible to consider these issues in the context of the utilitarian views on economic justice.
    3. In an attempt to address the faulty assumptions utilized in the policy of affirmative action broader, more universal social changes are necessary in order to ensure that all candidates applying for a specific job have the same qualifications.
  4. Conclusion

Throughout the course of history a number of notable scholars have stepped forward to offer their views on how society should create a utopian existence. Although each of these scholars has been able to address the fundamental issues facing the development of social and economic discourse, subsequent reviews of their work have yielded notable problems and controversies with each proposed theory. As a direct consequence of this process, individuals reading the works of these philosophers are left to their own devices to synthesize the research of these scholars and decide which ideology, when put into practice, would come closest to achieving the desired utopia. While the specific scholar and theory chosen in this situation will be heavily influenced by existing social, economic and political conditions, it is possible to select a theory and provide a salient argument for its development and application to broader social issues.
Utilizing the three theories of economic justice?utilitarianism, libertarian and Rawls' theory on economic justice?as presented by Shaw and Barry (2005), this investigation provides a clear overview of these theories and a justification for employing utilitarian principles to support the economic development of society.

[...] In order to begin this examination, it is first helpful to consider the historical development of affirmative action and the specific problems that have been generated as a direct result of the implementation of this policy. Without a clear understanding of the problems that exist in the context of affirmative action and equal opportunity employment, it will not be possible to adequately address these issues in the context of utilitarian ideologies. A historical review of the development of affirmative action demonstrates that this policy was created as a direct result of the government's desire to create equity with respect to employment. [...]


[...] This is because the specific laws that are put in place under the utilitarian conception of economic justice would seek to maximize happiness on all levels of social discourse. As such, policymakers would be forced to create legislation that would not just maximize happiness, but also ensure that those who cannot attain maximum happiness are at least afforded some degree of satisfaction. Under Rawls' theory of economic justice their must be some degree of social disadvantage. He therefore seems to assume that under a theory that maximizes happiness, there must be an equal amount of pain or burden. [...]


[...] According to Shaw and Barry the libertarian approach to economic justice is one that focuses on liberty as the central issue for the development of the social discourse: liberty is a prime value, and justice consists in permitting each person to live as he or she pleases, free from the interference of others? (p. 109). Under this philosophy, the libertarian would argue that economic and social policy should be developed as loosely as possible in order to allow the individual to ensure personal liberty is achieved. [...]

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