Stephen,
I apologize for taking a couple of days to reply. Rather than try to respond point by point here, I read your essay “An Undeniably Universal Rule of Conduct” and provided some highlights and comments there. In at least one case you touched upon one of my concerns after I had commented, but I was commenting as I went in an effort to raise my questions as they arose. That said, the issue of civil/criminal justice as it relates to acts that you define as “disrespect” in your essay — meaning instances where the impacts of our actions on others were not considered — is still an area where I think there’s something of a devil hiding amongst a lot of details. However, I realize time and space undoubtedly didn’t allow you to elaborate on that aspect at length.

I’m still digesting the economic implications of your view of justice, at least as you see them. It sounds like wages would be universal, meaning the same for everyone. However, you allow for in kind benefits such as housing. If a clerk working at the universal wage must pay for his/her housing, but the CEO working for the same wage gets a big house, and maybe a company car to boot, I fear all that’s accomplished is a change in the economic mechanisms used to distribute resources unjustly. I think for this to work it may be necessary to go into some greater detail regarding workplace governance. Specifically, I’m thinking employee ownership. Workers would then have a say in the size of the house their CEO gets, if he/she gets one at all. They would also have some say in potential housing benefits for themselves.

We would need to rethink the use of stocks and what role if any they would play under the conception of justice you articulate. Otherwise, I think a class would rather quickly emerge that could survive quite well off dividends and successful stock sales. You did indicate shares of company stock as a form of executive compensation/bonuses wouldn’t be allowed. The question of inheritance is also something that I think needs to be considered. Again, the transfer of wealth from one generation to another could result in an upper class and a wage class, with little opportunity for what we currently define as the middle class to emerge. Regardless, I’m a huge supporter of a universal basic income. I am convinced that any reasonable view of justice must concede that everyone is entitled to life’s basic requirements at a minimum. However, I’m just throwing out some thoughts/questions that occur to me. I haven’t had any coffee yet, so they may not be worth much.

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US citizen residing in British Columbia, Canada. Degrees include anthropology and environmental studies. Activism, politics, science, nature.

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