The answer depends on how risk-averse you are.
The problem is to identify the arrangement that maximizes the minimum share of the society’s resources. An unequal distribution of wealth would be to everyone’s advantage if the least advantaged person in the distribution were better off than the least advantaged person in any other possible distribution.
In the case of a benefit to the least well off that requires a sacrifice by those in the middle, a risk-averse person behind the veil of ignorance would choose the benefit on the grounds that he or she might end up being the worst off on the other side of the veil. But a less risk-averse person might figure that the chances of winding up at the bottom are low, and decide that withholding the benefit was a reasonable gamble. Continue reading