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The Harvard Review of Philosophy

Volume 21, Fall 2014

Peter Baumann
Pages 106-112

Defending the One Percent?
Poor Arguments for the Rich?

This paper discusses the philosophical view proposed by Gregory Mankiw in his recent article “Defending the One Percent” (JEP 27-3, 2013): the just deserts view in application to income distribution. Mankiw’s view suffers from three unsolved problems: the Criteria Problem, the Measurement Problem, and the Problem of the Missing Desert Function. The overall conclusion is that Mankiw’s normative “Defense of the One Percent” fails quite drastically.

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