Justice in a Market Economy

Justice in a Market Economy

Robert A. Schultz (Woodbury University, USA)
Copyright: © 2006 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-779-9.ch005
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Abstract

As we saw from the last two chapters, the ethical IT professional is embedded in contexts of management, organization, and society. Ethical behavior for the IT professional is, therefore, impacted by the ethics of people and institutions in his or her environment. The primary term for ethical institutions is justice.1 In the next three chapters, we will examine the justice of institutions impacting the IT professional. The framework used will be that provided by the works of John Rawls (1999, 2001). Rawls’ work is based on the idea of a social contract, that a justly ordered society is one to which individuals can freely decide to obligate themselves. But our decision will very likely be biased if we base it on our current situation. So Rawls’ major addition is to say that the decision must be made prior to being in society, without knowledge of what our position will be in society, and it will be a decision we will be obligated to stick to and expect others to make and stick to as well. The basic principles for society chosen in this position (which Rawls calls the original position) will be the Principles of Justice. According to Rawls (1999, 2001), there will be two: 1. The First Principle of Justice or Greatest Equal Liberty: Society is to be arranged so that all members have the greatest equal liberty possible for all, including fair equality of opportunity. Each individual has basic liberties which are not to be compromised or traded off for other benefits. Besides the basic freedoms such as freedom of speech, assembly, religion, and so on, it includes equality of opportunity. Thus society’s rules are not biased against anyone in it and allow all to pursue their interests and realize their abilities. 2. The Second Principle of Justice or the Difference Principle: Economic inequalities in society are justified insofar as they make members of the least advantaged social class, better off than if there were no inequality. The social contract basis for this principle is straightforward: If you are entering a society with no knowledge of your specific place in that society, the Difference Principle guarantees that you will be no worse off than you need to be to keep the society functioning.

Complete Chapter List

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Table of Contents
Foreword
Douglas J. Cremer
Acknowledgments
Chapter 1
Robert A. Schultz
Most discussions of ethics and information technology focus on issues of professional ethics and issues of privacy and security.1 Certainly these... Sample PDF
Ethical Issues in Information Technology
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Chapter 2
Robert A. Schultz
In this book, “ethics” is a general term for concerns about what people should do. The term “ethics” comes from the Greek word ethike, which means... Sample PDF
A Backgroun in Ethical Theory
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Chapter 3
Robert A. Schultz
A few other background issues deserve clarification before I examine specific ethical problems of information technology. IT always appears in the... Sample PDF
The Context of IT Ethical Issues
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Chapter 4
Professional Duties  (pages 44-59)
Robert A. Schultz
It is perhaps easiest to begin the application of ethics to information technology with the ethical responsibilities of IT professionals. Several... Sample PDF
Professional Duties
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Chapter 5
Robert A. Schultz
As we saw from the last two chapters, the ethical IT professional is embedded in contexts of management, organization, and society. Ethical behavior... Sample PDF
Justice in a Market Economy
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Chapter 6
Robert A. Schultz
In a competitive market economy, one is required to serve the interests of one’s employer or corporation. As we saw in Chapter IV, Professional... Sample PDF
Trust Issues in a Market Economy
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Chapter 7
Robert A. Schultz
Removal of jobs from one country to another to exploit lower paid workers tends to raise objections from those whose jobs are removed. However... Sample PDF
Offshoring as an Ethical Issue
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Chapter 8
Privacy and Security  (pages 107-118)
Robert A. Schultz
Privacy and security are the first topics involving the interface of the individual with information technology. The two topics of privacy and... Sample PDF
Privacy and Security
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Chapter 9
Copyright and Piracy  (pages 119-132)
Robert A. Schultz
As I noted in Chapter II, information technology’s basic feature of easy reproduction of digital information gives rise both to new benefits and to... Sample PDF
Copyright and Piracy
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Chapter 10
E-Problems  (pages 133-143)
Robert A. Schultz
In Chapter I, I observed that new uses of IT will be built on four basic features of information technology: • Speed of information processing •... Sample PDF
E-Problems
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Chapter 11
Robert A. Schultz
Besides being of interest in its own right, the question of the value of information technology (IT) has ethical implications, primarily for... Sample PDF
Valuing Information Technology
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Chapter 12
Robert A. Schultz
In the previous chapter, we saw how difficult it was to determine the value of information technology, even with a clearly defined point of view... Sample PDF
The Ultimate Value of Technology
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Chapter 13
Robert A. Schultz
In order to conclude our discussion of the value of information technology, we need to answer these questions: What characteristics does IT share... Sample PDF
The Ultimate Value of Information Technology
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Chapter 14
Conclusion  (pages 196-200)
Robert A. Schultz
Writing this book was very much a learning process for me. I began with the idea that the theories of John Rawls might be able to illuminate ethical... Sample PDF
Conclusion
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About the Author