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Distributive Justice and Subsidiarity: The Firm and the State in the Social Order

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Abstract

This article discusses the classical concepts of justice from Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas and derives the implications for distributive justice used by and for the firm and the state. Distributive justice demands that the goods of a community be distributed among its members according to their standings in the community. Because this requires knowledge of the standings of the various members, the distribution of benefits within a community should be done by a member of that community. Distributive justice and subsidiarity together imply that (1) the firm should distribute a share of the profits among the workers, and (2) the use of taxand-transfer policies by the state to redistribute income is contrary to subsidiarity and the natural rights of the firm.

Joseph Burke, "Distributive Justice and Subsidiarity: The Firm and the State in the Social Order," Journal of Markets & Morality 13, no. 2 (Fall 2010): 297-317


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