Every human being has an inherent right. This inherent right is endowed in him as a natural right from the moment of his birth. Hence, everyone is created equal and no one has the privilege of a higher right over the other. This right must not alienate man. This is a gift that must be cherished. Common to this inherent right is the right to own property- the right on which every individual clamors, in as much as the complex society demands its full extent.
The Indespensable Right to Ownership In as much as every person has the basic necessities consisting of food, shelter and clothing, the right to ownership becomes indespensable for survival. As a means of acquiring his basic necessities in the modern society, he must have at least property to commensurate with his needs (i. e. to use in exchange for acquiring them, or at least as a form of security in getting them).
This situation as seen by some famous philosophers and economists may be quite oppressive to those who have less and to those who perform less (as societies’ principle lies on the premise that he who performs best gets the best, while he who performs less gets less and worse, gets what is left). Entitlement Theory: A Theory on Equality on Right to Ownership Entitlement Theory is basically a theory of justice. More specifically, it is a theory of how society ought or ought not to regulate the distribution of goods (money, property, and the like).
In this vein, it is a theory of justice that follows some rather memorable contemporary theories of justice such as John Rawls; “Theory of Justice” and Marx’s theory of distribution but on different context. It is based on three principles: the principle of transfer, the principle of just initial acquisition and the principle of rectification of injustice. The first one deals with the context on whatever is justly acquired may be freely transferred, the second one is based on an account of how people first come to own common property and the third one is based on how to deal with holdings if unjustly acquired or transferred.
Nozick classifies theories of justice as (1) either end-result or historical, and (2) either patterned or not patterned. The entitlement theory as not patterned and historical does not demand that the distribution resulting from just acquisitions, transfers and rectifications be patterned or correlated with anything else (i. e. moral merit, need and usefulness to society). In this regard, people may be entitled to things by chance or by gift. Any distribution, irrespective of any pattern is just, provided, it has the appropriate history, which means it came about in accordance with the rules of acquisition, transfer and rectification.
Thus, a person who have come into possession of something as form of gift or donation have properly acquired such by virtue of the gratuitous heart of the donor whom the prerogative of giving such gift or donation primarily lies. The Concept of Distribution in Relation to Entitlement In understanding the deeper meaning of entitlement, one should understand the concept of distribution of property. Distribution is the process of allotment or arrangement by which each individual or group of individuals acquire or possess something (i. e. property, money including rights).
It is the process by which goods and/or services are being allotted to each entity. Simply stated, it is the process by which every individual acquires ownership or title. It is noteworthy however that distribution, though a process and a method, is not centralized in relation to the concept of entitlement. There is no such central distribution. No person or group is entitled to control all the resources, jointly deciding how they can be sparingly distributed. What each person gets, he acquires it not only onerously but gratuitously as well, in a form of a gift or donation or even by chance.
In a free society, different groups of people control different resources resulting in new holdings which arise out from such voluntary and unilateral actions of individuals. The total result is the product of each individual decision, which each is entitled to make. Entitlement: A Justice to Holdings To use the word “distribution” though previously explained in the light of entitlement, may tantamount to a biased opinion based on a set of criterion (i. e. the one who is more deserving shall deserve to have more or the one who is better intellectually, shall be given more), hence the use of a more neutral term, holding.
The justice to holdings is consists of three parts: the first is the original acquisition to holdings, the second is the transfer to holdings, and the third is the non-entitlement to holdings which pertains to holdings acquired not in accordance with the original acquisition and transfer to holdings. The first one deals with the issues on how not held things can be held, the process or processes by which something is held, the things that may come through such processes and the extent of what comes into such processes. Stated differently, it contemplates how one comes into possession of something.
It speaks more of justice in acquisition in as sense that what has been taken has a corresponding value in the form of a money or property given up in exchange. The second one deals with the transfer of holdings form one person to another. It refers to the modes by which a person transfers holdings to another. It also refers to how a person may acquire the property of another who holds the same. Hence, embraced in this topic is the general idea of voluntary exchange, as well as reference to conventional methods of exchange given in a society.
This presupposes the principle of justice in transfer, which embraces the principle on how may a person divest himself of his holding passing it into a not held state. The third one is just a reiteration that anyone who may acquire a holding other than the application of number one or two above is not entitled to such holding. Entitlement as an opposition to Marxism Nozick’s “Entitlement Theory” argues against social and government policies that redistribute wealth. These programs and policies include, among others the conventional power of taxation by the government.
As a result, theory would then be in opposition to Marxist’ or socialist’ theories which advocate a redistribution of wealth (i. e. through taxation). Marx is famous for saying, ‘from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs’ meaning that members of a society should toil and what they get is what they deserve, that is what they get is from what they do best. Some people have the ability to be doctors, some lawyers. Others may have lesser abilities to be housekeepers. However, the theory at hand postulates that everyone, regardless of abilities should have their needs met.
This would mean everyone, inferior or superior (according to the standards on abilities set by the society) should have his needs met especially those which are essential for his survival such as food, shelter, clothing, education and health e, that is what they get is from what they do best. Some people have the ability to be doctors, some lawyers. Others may have lesser abilities to be housekeepers. However, the theory at hand postulates that everyone, regardless of abilities should have their needs met.
This would mean, education and health e, that is what they get is from what they do best. Some people have the ability to be doctors, some lawyers. Others may have lesser abilities to be housekeepers. However, the theory at hand postulates that everyone, regardless of abilities should have their needs met. This would mean everyone, inferior or superior (according to the standards on abilities set by the society) should have his needs met especially those which item or service is arranged by the mutual consent of sellers and buyers.
The key idea of a free market is voluntary exchange. Thus, if an exchange takes place under coercion or fraud, then that exchange is not considered a free market exchange. For instance, if the government legally prevents a merchant from selling his goods at any prices he wishes which the sellers agree upon, the concept of free market is distorted. It is the element of voluntariness of the free market that is somewhat consistent to the first element of justice to holdings. Entitlement as an opposition to Rawl’s Theory of Justice
Entitlement is sharply opposite to Rawl’s theory which states that each person has an equal claim to basic rights and liberties, and that inequality should only be permitted to the degree that it helps the people on the bottom. It is an end-result theory compared to that of Nozick which is either a history or an end result or patterned or unpatterned. In effect, the choice of principles behind a ‘veil of ignorance’ must be based on calculations about what people are likely to end up with under the various possible sets of principles.
This would ultimately lead to the idea that there is no choice at all in a sense that those who are at the bottom may largely submit to the inequalities so long as they may be benefited therefrom. The question then lies on what is deemed to be beneficial to those who are at the bottom which in effect makes the process of Rawl filled with infirmities. Justice in holdings: A summary Based on the foregoing, the justice in holdings (entitlement theory) forwards the following principles: A person or entitity who acquires a holding in accordance with the principle of justice in acquisitions (i. . giving up something in return) acquires such holding; A person who acquires a holding by virtue of the principle of justice in transfer, (i. e. by virtue of donation or by chance) from someone entitled to the holding is likewise entitled to the holding;A person who acquires a holding not in accordance with number (1) or two (2) above is not entitled to such holding.
Entitlement therefore puts everyone in equal footing. The foregoing only strengthens the principle that every person has a right to acquire property i. e. right to entitlement, since what may be acquired may not only be by means of an onerous transaction which is the giving up of something in return to what is taken, but by gratuitous advantages based solely on the will of the donor or the giver such as in cases of donations or gifts. It also contemplates of acquiring something by chance and opportunity. Hence, entitlement does not only refer to the ‘ability’ to acquire properties or rights such as intelligence, social status and monetary advantages, but also to the ‘capability’ to acquire such by virtue of gifts or gratuities or even by chance.
Hence, in this concept, those of lesser abilities (as defined by the society) are placed in equal footing with those who have more in a sense that both are entitled to holding in accordance with the circumstances enumerated above.
http://www. econ. iastate. edu/classes/econ362/hallam/documents/Nozick_Justice. pdf
http://owl. english. purdue. edu/owl/resource/557/01/
http://www. humanities. mq. edu. au/Ockham/y64l17. html
http://economics. about. com/cs/economicsglossary/g/free_market_e. htm