Particularly noteworthy with respect to the social question is William Stanley Jevons's belief that social progress would entail a continual shrinkage in the social services as people became ever better at making their way in modern society. To the contrary, the social services are expanding and not contracting. Equality is a vexatious topic for any theory of political economy because it quickly induces some taking of sides in a dispute that seems to go nowhere. It is surely plausible to claim that some measure of equality is necessary for a well-ordered society. It is easy to appraise equality through such monetary measures as Gini coefficients. This attractiveness surely reflects the materialism that dominates modern economics. This chapter, to the contrary, explores equality from inside an immaterial orientation where people are engaged principally in constructing their lives, and with people varying in their abilities and opportunities to do that.
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