Theories of Justice
Utilitarian theorists would view this ban on the use of AirbnB unfair because the approach of utilitarianism postulates that individuals should strive to act in such a manner that produces the greatest possible balance of good over bad for everyone affected by their decisions (Shaw & Barry, 2016). The lawmakers that propagated the ban failed to consider the welfare of those who had been benefiting from renting out their apartments. The trade enabled them to supply their basic needs. Moreover, the trade between the apartment owners and the would-be customers was contractual hence based on utmost good faith. The renters only agreed to apartments that suited their preferences. Assuming that the Airbnb system ensured that both renters and hosts had access to information, then each renter acquired a suitable apartment while each host got a suitable client. As such, the claim by the lawmakers that the firm running “illegal hotels” was not subject to the usual hotel health and safety regulations is not valid.
Libertarian theorists would concur with their utilitarian counterparts concerning the ban. However, their reasoning would be different from that of the utilitarian theorists. Libertarianism advocates strongly for individual freedom and sees the need to justify and protect it (Vallentyne, 2011). It is often against distributive justice. According to this school of thought, the ban is unjust since it meddles with the renter’s freedom to rent out their apartments to whomever they choose under a contract of utmost good faith.
Rawls theorists would also disapprove of the ban on Airbnb since, according to them, every person ought to have an equal right to rent out his or her apartment regardless of the hotel health and safety regulations, provided the renter has access to this information. Secondly, Rawls theorists postulate that policies should be structured in such a manner that they offer the greatest benefit to the least advantaged individuals (Pogge, 2007). The ban is structured for the benefit of the most advantaged persons since they can attain the prescribed hotel health and safety regulations.
Pogge, T. W. M. (2007). John Rawls: his life and theory of justice. Oxford University Press on Demand.
Shaw, W. H., & Barry, V. (2016). Moral issues in business. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
Vallentyne, P. (2011). Nozick’s libertarian theory of justice.