segunda-feira, 29 de outubro de 2012

"Além do Estado de Bem-Estar": Rawls e os EUA

Artigo de Martin O'neill e Thad Williamson na Boston Review sobre justiça social nos Estados Unidos e a crítica de Rawls ao modelo redistributivo de Welfare State. Radicalismo rawlsiano em tempo de eleições.

O'neill & Williamson - "Beyond the Welfare State: Rawls' radical vision for a better America"

Rawls maintained that American welfare-state capitalism not only threatens the “fair value of the political liberties”—his first principle of justice—but it also violates the first part of his second principle of justice—a commitment to “fair equality of opportunity.” This is understood as genuinely equal opportunity for individuals to develop their abilities and compete for “offices and positions of authority and responsibility.” Inequalities of property directly impact equality of opportunity in numerous ways; here we mention only three.
First, in the United States, the right to attend a good public school has become a sort of property right that attaches to the neighborhood in which one grows up. As a general rule, the higher the neighborhood’s home value, the more likely it is that its public school will provide students with a quality education and the opportunity to succeed in life. Families without sufficient wealth to acquire a home in an affluent neighborhood are thereby consigned to schools that are more likely to be under-resourced and of lower quality, with predictable harm to its students’ learning and opportunities for advancement.
Second, the children of the wealthy are better able to gain acceptance to an elite college and attend without having to take out loans. Many students from middle-class families today are acquiring crippling debts to gain a college degree—debts that constrain what kinds of careers they are likely to choose and that create a burden that may take decades to escape. Other capable students, of course, fail to enter college, let alone complete it, because of financial burdens.
A third disadvantage has to do with home ownership—the traditional linchpin of middle-class prosperity in the United States. Young adults with access to wealth—their own, or wealth passed down from parents—can afford a down payment on a home in a desirable neighborhood on manageable terms. Those who do not have access to capital either cannot acquire a home (and begin building further equity), or can do so only through subprime loans that can lead to exploitation and financial ruin.