It is not the intent of this brief discussion that economists need to become ethicists also, or that the principles of economics textbooks need to give a full and adequate treatment to the ethics of the distribution of income and wealth, but that at least some brief discussion is needed to make students aware that the usual textbook marginal productivity theory of distribution cannot properly be taken as automatic, sole, and sufficient justification for its being treated as normative. It does not suffice simply to say so in so many words, because it is likely to be taken as a norm unless at least a few of its difficulties are presented. And since distribution is so important to everybody, and such concepts as the ability concept tend to be tied to the marginal productivity concept, a word about such is also needed to stimulate students to think about parts of accepted ideology-not to provide a different normative answer, but to disabuse them of the notion that economics has given a definitive answer to a question that involves a variety of ethical issues.