Economic Justice and the Internal Point of View
The West is in a tumult about money. In the United States, the Tea Party movement and the Occupy Wall Street movement have captured the public’s attention, sounding themes of fiscal irresponsibility and material inequality, respectively. In Europe, the protests are more dramatic, and dire economic challenges threaten incumbent administrations across the European Union, and perhaps even the Union itself. Unfortunately, all of the inflamed passions and earnest exhortations do not appear to be producing much understanding.
Reform proposals have focused almost exclusively on tax and regulatory reform. In other words, disputants are arguing about how much coercive power the state should exercise to address economic injustices. These debates are extremely important. But the discussion can advance in part by considering legal options other than coercion. The law sometimes promotes economic well-being most effectively not by using coercion to bring about external consequences but rather by supporting the internal attitudes that will make economic well-being more likely. The apparatus for achieving this can already be found in positive law, though it has fallen into disrepair for lack of use and attention.
Adam MacLeod. "Economic Justice and the Internal Point of View" Journal Jurisprudence (2013).
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/adam_macleod/18