Justice and Fairness in Labor and Job Market

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There would be many different answers contradicting each other if we polled a room and asked what the meaning of justice is and what people would perceive to be fair. It even happens when experts of the subject discuss the issue. In the world we live in today, there has been multiple studies by some brilliant minds to tackle the true meaning of what is justice and what is fair.

One scholar, named Adam Smith, believes justice lies within the division of labor. This means everyone in society has a certain job to do in order to benefit one another. Once an individual is mature, they become independent upon what they do. Therefore, Smith believes in “self -love” because if a person loves themselves and what they are doing, then they will focus more on their place in society which will benefit everyone. For example, we do not get our dinner all from one place. We get our food from somewhere else as we would our drink. When people are invested in themselves, they create a uniform society without intention (Adam).

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An American Political philosopher by the name of John Rawls also has an idea of justice. John tells us that there are two principles of justice. The first principle is the liberty principle; this is based upon the fact that every individual has an equal right to basic liberties such as voting. The second principle is the equality principle. This principle breaks down into fair quality of opportunity and the difference of people. Fair quality of opportunity explains that every person should have an equal opportunity in obtaining a job regardless of gender or ethnicity. The difference of people deals with the concept that wealth should be distributed to everyone’s advantage. Rawls views on justice are to create an equal opportunity for everyone to have a chance to obtain a potion and generate wealth to their advantage (Theory).

John Rawls had a fellow philosopher at Harvard University named Robert Nozick. Nozick states that the justice in holdings consists of three topics. The first topic would be the original acquisition of holdings. This means a person is entitled to that holding if it was obtained in accordance of the principles acquisition. The second topic is the transfer of holdings. This states, “A person who acquires a holding in accordance with the principle of justice in transfer, from someone else entitled to the holding is entitled to the holding.” The third topic is that without the approval of the first and second topics, then no one is entitled to the holding. Nozick believes that justice depends on how the person obtained the holdings and that distributive justice is not universal in understanding (Distribution).

Australian philosopher Peter Singer believes that the world should be ethical and fair. Singer’s outlook on fairness revolves around absolute poverty. He states that rich countries are responsible for some of the world’s absolute poverty. A way to solve this is to stop feeding animals with grains and soy beans; Singer says that this would save enough food to end world hunger. These countries that have hunger problems are filled with people that cannot afford to purchase food from rich countries and cannot afford improvement to their own farming systems. He states that there should be an obligation to assist these poor countries. Singer says that countries and individuals that have enough wealth for basic life necessities and have some left over for luxuries should help assist these other countries escape from poverty (Practical).

Irving Kristol, a former editor for The Public Interest, states that capitalist justice is based on equality before the law, political rights, and economic opportunity. Kristol says that in capitalism there are no official barriers in economic opportunity, therefore fairness plays a limited role in his thinking. It is all about the skills one possesses or learns to increase their chances of success. Therefore, when a person starts earning more wealth than another, it is not perceived as a problem, or unfair. Another factor is luck because the people can control how much money a person’s skills particularly makes. For example, NBA players are making millions of dollars to play a sport on television because of the high interest level in it. In contrast WNBA players make around seventy- thousand dollars a year due to the lack of viewers and interest in the sport (Capitalist).

Friedrich believes that social justice becomes a disruptive force. Within this society, many groups form that share a common interest, and look out for the other members interests. As a result, it would be unjust if a person was selling a ball for five dollars and someone else comes in and says they are selling a ball for three dollars. It is considered unjust because the second person is taking away income from the first. The group society deems that competition is unjust (Friedrich).

Garcia’s idea of fairness is based upon competition in the market and short-term gratification. People in business are so caught up in short term success that when a short-term goal is no reached, businesses have a quick turnover rate. Is it necessarily fair to punish someone for not completing short term goals when they are working toward a long term success of themselves and the company they work for? Well, this is all caused by the competition of short-term gratification; once somebody gets on top of their field, they immediately believe that they have the best service, so the person sticks with it. This could be problematic for that person because the very next day someone else could invent a better way of providing the same service, thus driving you out of business since all the immediate money earned was used to advertise the current product instead of developing a better one (Eduard).

McEntee points out the lack of fairness dealing with the pay grade of male and female workers. Many companies segregate against women and put them into lower paying, female dominated jobs. There are circumstances when a male should be paid more than a female and that is when the male has seniority, experience, and collective bargaining agreements. There are also other circumstances where the male and female are performing the same job and have the same level of experience, yet the male is getting paid more. The fair option would be to pay the employees, male or female, the allotted wage that corresponds with the quality of their work (Gerald).

Breining begins by saying that the rich get richer. Which is true to a sense, but how do a lot of people get rich. Most of it is by luck, they make a smart investment that gives back a high return rate, and then usually keeps trending upward. Then once at the top, these people have much more advantages of getting richer than the common people. The rich have many connections and means to increase their wealth. He finishes by saying that wealthy people are entitled to some of their money, but not all of it, so they should give a lot of their earnings back (Greg).

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