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Luck egalitarianism is a responsibility-sensitive theory of distributive justice. Its application to health and healthcare is controversial. This article addresses a novel critique of luck egalitarianism, namely, that it wrongfully discriminates against those responsible for their health disadvantage when allocating scarce healthcare resources. The philosophical literature about discrimination offers two primary reasons for what makes discrimination wrong (when it is): harm and disrespect. These two approaches are employed to analyze whether luck egalitarian healthcare prioritization should be considered wrongful discrimination. Regarding harm, it is very plausible to consider the policies harmful but much less reasonable to consider those responsible for their health disadvantages a socially salient group. Drawing on the disrespect literature, where social salience is typically not required for something to be discrimination, the policies are a form of discrimination. They are, however, not disrespectful. The upshot of this first assessment of the discrimination objection to luck egalitarianism in health is, thus, that it fails.
Voters often face a complex information environment with many options when they vote in elections. Research on democratic representation has traditionally been skeptical about voters’ ability to navigate this complexity. However, voting advice applications (VAAs) offer voters a shortcut to compare their own preferences across numerous issues with those of a large number of political candidates. As VAAs become more prevalent, it is critical to understand whether and how voters use them when they vote. We analyze how VAA users process and use VAA information about their district candidates with original survey data from the 2019 Danish parliamentary election in collaboration with the administrators of one of the most widely used Danish VAAs. The results demonstrate that VAAs have substantively large effects on their users’ choices between parties and between candidates within parties.
According to luck egalitarianism, it is unjust if some are worse off than others through no fault or choice of their own. The most common criticism of luck egalitarianism is the ‘harshness objection’, which states that luck egalitarianism allows for too harsh consequences, as it fails to provide justification for why those responsible for their bad fate can be entitled to society's assistance. It has largely gone unnoticed that the harshness objection is open to a number of very different interpretations. We present four different interpretations of the harshness objection in which the problem pertains to counterintuitive implications, badness of outcome, disproportionality, or inconsistency, respectively. We analyse and discuss appropriate luck egalitarian replies. Disentangling these different versions clarifies what is at the heart of this dispute and reveals the point of the harshness objection. We conclude that only the inconsistency version involves a durable problem for luck egalitarianism.
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