I am currently working on an exercise for young adults and public school age children that involves exploring “the difference principle” as articulated by John Rawls in A Theory of Justice. I find this to be an especially interesting exercise as it has me thinking about how to conduct a group activity where each child/young adult has to imagine a society where the social benefits that accrue to those most well off must also improve the position of the worst off or most vulnerable. I am led to what is, for me, the inevitable question:
Do social goods like health care and public education improve the position of the most vulnerable in our society?
My answer, drawing from personal observation and experience, will have two categories: 1.) Canada. 2.) United States.
On another note, what I am interested to know is whether children & young adults find Rawls’ “difference principle” to be fundamentally fair or not. Will they find it necessary for the creation of a just society?