Fleecing the Young

INDEPENDENT REVIEW 21.1 (2016): 5-28

Abstract: Moral philosophy’s concern with the justice of the basic framework of society stands in need of rebalancing. Theorists have devoted considerable attention to injustices committed across lines of race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, and, especially, economic position. Far less attended are concerns of intergenerational fairness. That omission is serious. Unemployment, debt, retirement age, social welfare programs, pension law, labor market regulation, minimum wage, and the like are components of institutional structures that bestow benefits and burdens on citizens. I contend that these benefits and burdens do not fall willy-nilly on people of various ages but rather overwhelmingly tip the generational balance in favor of the old.