Corporations like Uber and Amazon are the byword for innovation and technological advances - the app to connect drivers with passengers, the ability to obtain virtually anything under the sun within minutes, and ultimately, of course, the driverless car. Such corporations do not make it easy to regulate work. It's almost as if they're so busy innovating, and creating opportunities for many workers to earn a wage and hence be less poor, that they haven't taken a moment to spare a thought for the regulatory challenges.
The 'deep pockets theory of justice' states that when there is a social cost, the person who should pay is the person who's got money. According to that theory, assigning legal liability is easy - you just look around and pin the liability on the guy who has the most wealth. As for justice and fairness, the deep pockets theory states that if the guy can afford it, then it's fair and just to make him pay.
It is not easy to distinguish between self-interest (virtue) and selfishness (vice). In Adam Smith's philosophy self-interest is a virtue that underpins industry, self-reliance, and individual responsibility. It would be difficult to support and defend yourself, your family, and your friends, if you didn't care about your own interests including the welfare of those you love. Selfishness is a different matter, because it implies being ok with the suffering of others who are not connected to you, and caring nothing for the welfare of those not in your own intimate circle.
Explorers and adventurers from long ago had no phones to call anyone if they got lost or stuck. There was no wifi and no google maps to see where you were - perhaps you were the first person to try and map the terrain. I say terrain because there were no roads as we understand the meaning of a 'road' today; just a dirt track across the wilderness. Sounds risky, and it was. This is a helpful analogy for what happens if you let markets distribute wealth: you are in unchartered territory and you have no idea what will happen. Things could go in any direction. What happens when free individuals, with no safety nets or minimum wage laws whatsoever, are left at the mercy of untidy and chaotic markets when it comes to earning a wage?
Markets are not very neat and tidy. They are smelly, chaotic and full of poor people hustling for their next dollar, selling produce for slim profits that will never bring them closer to the salaries earned by bankers.
In thinking about the role of law in redistribution, taxation offers a natural starting point. More and higher progressive income taxes would be the most obvious and direct way to achieve the goal of wealth equalisation. As every good billionaire offering to pay more taxes knows, if you have a good heart you will be keen to pay more and more taxes to bring the masses up to your own level, so if equality is our goal then presumably nobody will complain about having to pay for it.
Scholar, Writer, Friend