My remarks about Rawls sparked a quite interesting flurry of comments. There is one point I want to make in response. LFC says, “if in fact there are no inequalities that will work to the advantage of 'the least favored', or no inequalities that are necessary, for example, to induce talented people to take certain jobs, then his principle(s) will yield an equal distribution of income and wealth. “ That is correct, and it explains why some people have chosen to read Rawls as proposing, or at least legitimating, a radically egalitarian alternative to contemporary society.
It is clear that Rawls does not think no inequalities are required to induce the right people to compete for the jobs for which they are superbly suited, but then, it is often the case that philosophers argue for theses whose implications and applications are other than what they expected. For me, inasmuch as it is the logic of Rawls’ argument that interests me, the important point is that Rawls’ argument for the Two Principles requires that there be significant inequalities. I do not want to go too far into the weeds to show that, but those interested can take a look at paragraph 6 of section 26 of A Theory of Justice and try to figure out why what Rawls says there has the consequence I say it does.