[OPE-L] Primary goods.

From: Alejandro Agafonow (alejandro_agafonow@YAHOO.ES)
Date: Sun Apr 29 2007 - 10:37:17 EDT

Dear Jerry:
Jerry on 04/22/2007: What is the definition of primary goods that you are using? This is a controversial topic.
I have not read Arnerson’s paper yet. But I think that a minimal definition is sufficient until we have to confront real policy issues.
Primary goods are those that we would choose in an ‘original position’ subjected to a ‘veil of ignorance’ and assuming that representatives are risk averse. The John Rawls’ model. I have restated principles implied in this king of analytical constructions in a sort of maxim. It is proposed in a paper of mine entitled: The Limits of Economic Efficiency in a Democratic Commonwealth, forthcoming in Spanish at Revista de Economía Institucional. An approximate and bad translation to English is as follows:
‘The difficult task of equilibrating the two freedoms is the purpose of a democracy. It pretend to guarantee not extending negative freedom –excessive non intervention guarantees in the peoples ways of being and doing that would risk the existence of an equitable regulation principle– until the monopolization of socially valuable resources preventing a reasonable participation in this mass of values. Also it must guarantee that an excess of positive freedom –the liberty of a regulator instance that would be the State to stop free wills­– does not damage reasonable being and doing initiatives.’
Best regards,
Alejandro Agafonow

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