An Egalitarian Argument Against Reducing Deprivation
Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, Volume 20, Issue 5, pp 957–968, doi.org/10.1007/s10677-017-9842-x.
Deprivations normally give rise to undeserved inequality. It is commonly thought that one way of improving a situation with respect to equality is by reducing the incidence of deprivations. In this paper I argue that there is at least one respect in which reducing the incidence of deprivations can make things worse from the point of view of equality. While eliminating deprivations leads to the elimination of inequalities, reducing the incidence of deprivations leads to an uneven distribution of the pairwise relations of inequality of a population, which leads to the concentration of pairwise relations of inequality in the worse off. If my argument is correct, egalitarians have reasons to broaden their dimensions of concern: egalitarians should not only be concerned about the unequal distribution of goods, but also about the unequal distribution of pairwise relations of inequality of a population.