Defending The One Percent? Poor Arguments For The Rich?

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Harvard Review Of Philosophy


This paper discusses the philosophical view proposed by Gregory Mankiw in his recent article “Defending the One Percent” (JEP 27-3, 2013): the just deserts view in application to income distribution. Mankiw’s view suffers from three unsolved problems: the Criteria Problem, the Measurement Problem, and the Problem of the Missing Desert Function. The overall conclusion is that Mankiw’s normative “Defense of the One Percent” fails quite drastically.