E. In All Fairness: Equality, Liberty, and the Quest for Human Dignity, edited by Robert M. Whaples, Michael C. Munger and Christopher J. Coyne, with a foreword by Richard A. Epstein (Independent Institute, 2019)
In All Fairness draws on economics, philosophy, religion, law, political science, and history to answer a perennial question, especially with the coronavirus pandemic shutdown and the protests after the killing of George Floyd: Can the coercive powers of the state be used to achieve a just kind of arithmetic equality? Growing concerns over inequality has led to proposals to remake American society according to coercive “egalitarian” measures. Whether it be about the allocation of healthcare resources such as ventilators and personal protective equipment or wealth redistribution and “social justice,” the quest for “equal outcomes” in history has repeatedly proven to be a recipe for human misery.
“The authors of the timely book, In All Fairness: Equality, Liberty and the Quest for Human Dignity, dig creatively into the roots of inequality, going way back in human history. This fascinating book shows that realizing proposed egalitarian wealth or income distributions requires a great deal of coercive power, unfairly affects ‘The Forgotten Man,’ and breeds unintended consequences. The book rightly stresses equality of opportunity achieved through economic freedom over equality of outcomes.”
—John B. Taylor, Mary and Robert Raymond Professor of Economics, Stanford University
“Fairness counts among humankind’s most fundamental social desiderata—demanded even by small children on the playing field. The difficulty is that it is easier to say what fairness is than to determine what is fair. The many faceted book In All Fairness does justice to the complexity of the topic in its historical, philosophical, and economic dimensions. Anyone who has ever been inclined to say ‘but that’s just not fair’—which includes just about all of us—will find enlightenment and information in this thoughtfully compiled, instructive, and constructive book.”
—Nicholas Rescher, Distinguished University Professor of Philosophy, University of Pittsburgh; Founding Editor, American Philosophical Quarterly