Does the American public believe that economic inequality is just? The results of our analyses in Chapter 4 argue that in one sense the answer is “yes.” In general the American public believes that unequal economic status is primarily earned by the efforts and talents of individuals: that economic outcomes on the whole are equitable relative to individual merit. Equity relative to individual merit, however, is but one aspect of economic justice. Justice also involves the evaluation of equity relative to the collectivity (i.e., the fairness of the average incomes earned by incumbents of different social positions relative to the differential worth of their contribution to society).