Reflection on Rawls' Concept of Justice essay sample

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Reflection on Rawls' Concept of Justice


The society comprises of different social classes of people whereby there are those who are extremely rich, and there are also those who are extremely poor. In the middle of the hierarchy, there are those who are neighed rich nor poor. A possible explanation to the differences in social class is access to resources; while wealthy individuals are able to manipulate and acquire resources, the poor and slightly the middle class struggle with accessing those resources due to lack of financial capability and stability.

This explains why CEOs of big companies continue to get rich while low-level workers languish in low wages to the extent that they depend on intervention from the government to uplift their standards of living. In order to explain why this is so, one could focus on John Rawls’ second principle of justice, which seeks to promote social and economic equity. However, as a theory of social justice, Rawls’ principle is superseded by the idea of ethical egoism, which is majorly what big corporations use, especially when it comes to compensation packages. In order to provide evidence for the argument in question, which places ethical egoism on a supreme level above Rawls’ concept of justice, particular consideration will be on how McDonald’s and Walmart treat their employees as far as compensation is concerned.

In truth, CEO’s of big companies such as McDonald’s and Walmart go home with hefty payment packages on an annual basis. These individuals are also provided with other allowances, which are added onto their salaries. Based on the wage differences between low-skilled workers and company CEO’s, there is need to understand whether big corporations have any ethical obligation towards their workers when it comes to compensation. In order to assess the situation at hand, particular attention will be on identifying the meaning and assumption of a concept, ethical egoism; focus will be on what it entails and how it applies to the case in question. According to David Shoemaker (n.d.), ethical egoism argues that the rightness or wrongness of an act is solely dependent on the facts about an individual’s self-interest. It is good to keep in mind that organizations are also considered as entities with self-interest and hence their actions can be judged based on an ethical egoistic perspective.

On the other hand, Rawls’ second principle of justice posits that:“Social and economic inequalities are to be arranged so that they are both: To the greatest advantage of the least advantaged... (“arranged to everyone’s advantage”)b) Attached to offices and positions open to all under conditions of fair equality and opportunity (1971, p. 302)Therefore, according to Rawls, there should be equal distribution of wealth, in this case, compensation, regardless of what rank one holds.

In the case at hand, the dilemma that exists is whether companies like McDonald’s and Walmart should reduce the amount of money that they pay their CEOs, in order to, at least, provide …

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