Anderson's Objections To The Luck Egalitarian Position

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Anderson criticises the luck egalitarian view on several grounds. In order to evaluate her objections to the luck egalitarian position, I will concentrate on her main objection that she makes against luck egalitarianism with respect to victims of bad brute luck as well as victims of bad option luck. Anderson considers objections to luck egalitarianism on the basis that it is incompatible with the requirements of social equality and as such she consider it to be a flawed position. On Anderson’s account, the luck egalitarians’ emphasis on distinguishing voluntary from involuntary inequality results in a disrespectful pity towards the ones that “deserve” their bad outcome (due to option luck) and paternalistic intimidating of the “undeserving”…show more content…
By compensating people who are suffering from bad luck, this risks undermining the self-worth and self-respect of the recipients of assistance. Instead of “compensating” people in a monetary way, Anderson argues that we should alter our public spaces that make it difficult for the disabled to make use of public spaces and as such exclude them, for example by making more public spaces accessible by providing electric stairways instead of normal staircases. Anderson endorses this because individuals should be treated as equals, without imposing demeaning judgments on them. The idea that everyone should stand as equals to one another is also reflected in the tax system: if someone is taxed to support a social welfare state, the justification is that it is good for everyone to relate to each other as equals in society; hence, it is for instance good for every individual to have an insurance against the risk of unemployment in order to have standing of equal citizenship. (Tan, 2008, 667-668; Anderson, 1999) Moreover, the policy implications of luck egalitarian principles are too harsh in how they deal with people who suffer from imprudent choices, because they are considered personally responsible for their suffering. Therefore, luck egalitarianism expresses a failure to treat these with equal respect and concern by refusing to come to the aid of the victims of bad option luck. If someone is badly off due to the fact that this person has made imprudent voluntary choices, then she should not be treated poorly by judging them on the basis of these choices. Hence, a just society must assure to all citizens effective access to the social bases of equal standing as citizens, regardless of any outcomes that are due to brute luck or option luck. (Anderson, 1999; Tan, 2008,

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