Rawls recognizes that individual well-being is dependent on more than income and wealth, but he does not acknowledge the implications of the fact that the other dimensions of well-being are not fungible. Consider the following example.
One young man is healthy and handsome, spends his days on the beach, has his pick of young women companions, and makes $10,000 a year by busing tables in the evening. Another young man is confined to a wheelchair, has congenital body odor, has never had an intimate relationship, and, with no other life, makes $100,000 a year as an expert computer programmer. In this case, who is worse off? Who should redistribute what to whom and how?
If the very rich got that way through special access to government power, then why is the solution to tax them more, and not just to reduce government power?
And if the very rich got that way through hard work and innovation, then why the hell are we proposing to take resources out of these people’s hands?
Update: Much more from Mark Perry.