Is it fair to level the playing field of a free market? Rawls says yes to an extreme. I say: extremes are intangible and wind up hurting more than helping in almost every case. Rawls believes society at large can reach a point where redistributing the greatest amount of resources to the least advantaged people while maintaing an (at least semi) efficient system is an ideal to strive for. I object to this premise. I would argue it is more important to operate most efficiently while helping the least advantaged as much as possible in a manner that would not discourage accumulation of wealth.
I think the Nash point on Rawls’ OP curve is perhaps the best option to maintain a fully functioning society while helping out people to a reasonable degree. By forcing people give up potential for commonwealth, everyone is hurt. (cash) Incentives to prosper are the paramount driving force in society, when you remove these incentives innovation takes a huge blow. Sure, innovation can occur, but in a manner that is inefficient. I argue that by keeping the incentives in place, innovation that benefits everyone can happen in the most efficient manner. If say a biomedical technology company has an incentive to produce medical equipment that can help millions of people, rich and poor, than the technology will be produced faster and help more people sooner if one had something ($$$$) to gain. That is: statistically more people will benefit from these incentives than would otherwise by devoting those resources (essentially the cash incentives that drive innovation) to the least advantaged that will not have the ability to create those innovations in the present time.
The American dream is one of accumulating wealth in a society that fosters incentives that drive a society produce. America no longer produces the goods that it once did, as far as services, America produces roughly 90% of the world’s intellectual property. This is not a coincidence. Theoretically, while we dump off the less desirable jobs to other countries (production of goods) those jobs are replaced by the more desirable positions (services). A free market can provide the incentives that drive society, everyone benefits, even the least advantaged. Of course restrictions must be in place to prevent monopolies, these restrictions are in place to ensure that reasonable competition can exist that allows fostering societal growth. I am not advocating an unrestricted free market system, rather one that acknowledges varying socioeconomic groups, and is ok with disparities as long as it is theoretically possible to overcome structural bounds.