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Philosophy Essay

  • Submitted by: pjiffy17
  • on October 17, 2013
  • Category: Social Issues
  • Length: 1,559 words

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Philosophy Paper
The distribution of wealth has recently become a very concerning topic here in the United States. Over the past few decades, it has appeared that the rich have gotten richer and the poor have gotten poorer. According to an article written by Pat Garofalo for the economy section of Think Progress, “Income inequality in the U.S. is currently the highest it has been since the 1920s, with the 400 richest Americans (who are all billionaires) having as much wealth as the bottom 50 percent of Americans combined.” This is a disturbing fact since we are currently trying to get out of a recession. Not only that, but this isn’t the most shocking statement from the article either. Garofalo also writes in the same article that, “Upon closer inspection, the Forbes list reveals that six Waltons—all children (one daughter-in-law) of Sam or James “Bud” Walton the founders of Wal-Mart—were on the list. The combined worth of the Walton six was $69.7 billion in 2007—which equated to the total wealth of the entire bottom thirty percent!” To think that here in the United States of America that one family could become so rich and powerful is almost unheard of. This is an example of what the famous philosopher Thomas Hobbes would call “psychological egoism.” The somewhat recent income inequality in the United States can be explained partially by Hobbs’ psychological egoism theory and the solution by his social contract theory.
Psychological egoism is described by Hobbes as “the view that humans are so constituted that they will always act in their own self-interest.” He believes that even if people are appearing to act in an unselfish way, that in the end it is because they believe that however they are acting my benefit them eventually. To argue whether or not this theory is true could go on and on for an eternity. A popular argument that can be used for both who agree and disagree with Hobbes’ theory is the grenade argument. In this argument someone who believes...

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