Michael E. Marotta
CJT 120 Criminal Justice Ethics
Homework Lesson Week 5 September 26, 2005: “An Examined Life”
Assignment: Using Rawls’ theory of distributive justice, list and describe the rules you would want in your own ideal society.
The strictest Constitutionalists in the American political tradition say that government is necessary. Governments protect lives and property, and they adjudicate disputes between individuals.3 The fact is that today, public police represent only one-third of all protective services, measured either by dollar volume or manpower.4 Similarly, in real estate as well as many other sectors, contracts include clauses requiring arbitration in preference to suits in public courts. The American Arbitration Association is the largest such firm in the world.5 Organized as a non-profit corporation, the AAA is 80 years old, employees 775 people in 35 offices, and relies on a network of over 8,000 arbitrators and mediators worldwide. In 2004, they handled over 2 million cases. The AAA has assets (and liabilities) of about $117 million and income (and expenses) of about $75 million. Simple arithmetic shows that they garner about $30 per decision, far less than the cost of settling a traffic ticket.
In my perfect world, there would be no government. Like shoes and bread, protection and adjudication would be privately produced and consumed.
3. See the Wikipedia entry for Libertarianism and Objectivism http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarianism_and_Objectivism
4. William C. Cunningham, John J. Strauchs, and Clifford W. Van Meter, “Private Security: Patterns and Trends,” National Institute of Justice: Research in Brief (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, 1991). Cited in Why Crime Declines January 1, 2000 from Bruce L. Benson in The Freeman http://www.independent.org/publications/article.asp?id=210
5. For basic facts, annual report, etc., see http://www.adr.org/ the website of the American Arbitration Association.