The Distributive Justice of the Market - Part I

Written by Sam Vaknin

The public outcry against executive pay and compensation followed disclosures of insider trading, double dealing, and outright fraud. But even honest and productive entrepreneurs often earn more money in one year than Albert Einstein did in his entire life. This strikes many - especially academics - as unfair. Surely Einstein's contributions to human knowledge and welfare far exceed anything ever accomplished by sundry businessmen? Fortunately, this discrepancy is cause for constructive jealousy, emulation, and imitation. It can, however, lead to an orgy of destructive and self-ruinous envy.

Entrepreneurs recombine natural and human resources in novel ways. They do so to respond to forecasts of future needs, or to observations of failures and shortcomings of current products or services. Entrepreneurs are professional - though usually intuitive - futurologists. This is a valuable service and it is financed by systematic risk takers, such as venture capitalists. Surely they all deserve compensation for their efforts andrepparttar hazards they assume?

Exclusive ownership isrepparttar 132659 most ancient type of such remuneration. First movers, entrepreneurs, risk takers, owners ofrepparttar 132660 wealth they generated, exploiters of resources - are allowed to exclude others from owning or exploitingrepparttar 132661 same things. Mineral concessions, patents, copyright, trademarks - are all forms of monopoly ownership. What moral right to exclude others is gained from beingrepparttar 132662 first?

Nozick advanced Locke's Proviso. An exclusive ownership of property is just only if "enough and as good is left in common for others". If it does not worsen other people's lot, exclusivity is morally permissible. It can be argued, though, that all modes of exclusive ownership aggravate other people's situation. As far as everyone, barrepparttar 132663 entrepreneur, are concerned, exclusivity also prevents a more advantageous distribution of income and wealth.

Exclusive ownership reflects real-life irreversibility. A first mover hasrepparttar 132664 advantage of excess information and of irreversibly invested work, time, and effort. Economic enterprise is subject to information asymmetry: we know nothing aboutrepparttar 132665 future and everything aboutrepparttar 132666 past. This asymmetry is known as "investment risk". Society compensatesrepparttar 132667 entrepreneur with one type of asymmetry - exclusive ownership - for assuming another,repparttar 132668 investment risk.

One way of looking at it is that all others are worse off byrepparttar 132669 amount of profits and rents accruing to owner-entrepreneurs. Profits and rents reflect an intrinsic inefficiency. Another is to recall that ownership isrepparttar 132670 result of adding value torepparttar 132671 world. It is only reasonable to expect it to yield torepparttar 132672 entrepreneur at least this value added now and inrepparttar 132673 future.

Abortion and the Right to Life - Part I

Written by Sam Vaknin

I. The Right to Life

It is a fundamental principle of most moral theories that all human beings have a right to life. The existence of a right implies obligations or duties of third parties towardsrepparttar right-holder. One has a right AGAINST other people. The fact that one possesses a certain right - prescribes to others certain obligatory behaviours and proscribes certain acts or omissions. This Janus-like nature of rights and duties as two sides ofrepparttar 132656 same ethical coin - creates great confusion. People often and easily confuse rights and their attendant duties or obligations withrepparttar 132657 morally decent, or even withrepparttar 132658 morally permissible. What one MUST do as a result of another's right - should never be confused with one SHOULD or OUGHT to do morally (inrepparttar 132659 absence of a right).

The right to life has eight distinct strains:

IA. The right to be brought to life

IB. The right to be born

IC. The right to have one's life maintained

ID. The right not to be killed

IE. The right to have one's life saved

IF. The right to save one's life (erroneously limited torepparttar 132660 right to self-defence)

IG. The Right to terminate one's life

IH. The right to have one's life terminated

IA. The Right to be Brought to Life

Only living people have rights. There is a debate whether an egg is a living person - but there can be no doubt that it exists. Its rights - whatever they are - derive fromrepparttar 132661 fact that it exists and that it hasrepparttar 132662 potential to develop life. The right to be brought to life (the right to become or to be) pertains to a yet non-alive entity and, therefore, is null and void. Had this right existed, it would have implied an obligation or duty to give life torepparttar 132663 unborn andrepparttar 132664 not yet conceived. No such duty or obligation exist.

IB. The Right to be Born

The right to be born crystallizes atrepparttar 132665 moment of voluntary and intentional fertilization. If a woman knowingly engages in sexual intercourse forrepparttar 132666 explicit and express purpose of having a child - thenrepparttar 132667 resulting fertilized egg has a right to mature and be born. Furthermore,repparttar 132668 born child has allrepparttar 132669 rights a child has against his parents: food, shelter, emotional nourishment, education, and so on.

It is debatable whether such rights ofrepparttar 132670 fetus and, later, ofrepparttar 132671 child, exist ifrepparttar 132672 fertilization was either involuntary (rape) or unintentional ("accidental" pregnancies). It would seem thatrepparttar 132673 fetus has a right to be kept alive outsiderepparttar 132674 mother's womb, if possible. But it is not clear whether it has a right to go on usingrepparttar 132675 mother's body, or resources, or to burden her in any way in order to sustain its own life (see IC below).

IC. The Right to have One's Life Maintained

Does one haverepparttar 132676 right to maintain one's life and prolong them at other people's expense? Does one haverepparttar 132677 right to use other people's bodies, their property, their time, their resources and to deprive them of pleasure, comfort, material possessions, income, or any other thing?

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