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Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 July 2015

Douglas Mackay*
Department of Public Policy, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Abernethy Hall 217, CB 3435, 131 S. Columbia St., Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA. Email: URL:


In Rescuing Justice and Equality, G.A. Cohen argues that the incentive inequalities permitted by John Rawls's difference principle are unjust since people cannot justify them to their fellow citizens. I argue that citizens of a Rawlsian society can justify their acceptance of a wide range of incentive inequalities to their fellow citizens. They can do so because they possess the right to freedom of occupational choice, and are permitted – as a matter of justice – to exercise this right by making occupational decisions on the basis of a wide range of values and preferences.

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