* Enforcement is required, if it is necessary to assure peoples' lives and they should be assured were there a person who does not consent that. There are at least two reasons for this kind of enforcement. First, without such enforcement, it would be difficult to assure peoples' lives under the current circumstances. Second, it must not be permitted that each person's life is assured only by the voluntariness of those around that person, in other words, by their arbitrary discretion. If one calls an organization making such enforcement within a certain geographic domain "the state" and only the state can do it, the state is required. (See my Equality of Freedom, ch. 3 "On Bases," sec. 3.2 "Rights and Obligations: Consent to Enforcement."* Here I am not saying that such an organization should be called the state, which is a matter I do not address here.)
* One of the things for the state to do is to prohibit harm to others. Another is, though it cannot be distinguished from the former, to distribute goods. (I have long argued for this. I refute the positions against distribution in, for example, my "The Idea of Freedom Does Not Support Libertarianism" in On Hope. I propose my own position with arguments for it in On Private Property and Equality of Freedom. For my arguments about the distinction between what should be distributed and what should not, see On Private Property, ch. 4 "The Others," sec. 2 "Borders.") Exchange would be reciprocal, if every person had enough resources to exchange. So the market where such exchanges occur would not be denied.
* Especially goods-distribution should not be geographically limited. There are at least three reasons for this. First, there is no reason why a place where one lives should be a crucial factor in how well one lives. To say more, it ought not to be permitted that a place where one lives is such a crucial factor. Second, if goods are distributed only within each state, goods and the wealthy flee from where more just goods-distribution is enforced. Third, under global competition such as one seen now, the states give priority to investment and production rather than distribution. Which makes distribution more difficult. (See ex. my "Enjoy to the Boundaries" in On Hope, where I argue both that various local, cooperative, and voluntary associations must not be denied and that their limits also should be acknowledged.)
* Therefore, the geographic domain of goods-distribution should not be divided into each state's domain. Though it is difficult, goods ought to be distributed globally, and we should do what is possible to realize it. (See my Equality of Freedom, Introduction, sec. 3 "Restricting Borders.")
I have used the term "Goods-distribution" or simply "Distribution" in the above, but we can distinguish distributions of many kinds of goods. Here I mention just three kinds of goods: production goods, labor, and money. (See Equality of Freedom, Introduction, sec. 3.4 "Distribution of Labor" and sec. 3.5 "Distribution of Production Goods and Production.") Distribution may be done in all these three goods. I argue for distribution of labor in "The Reasons Why Distribution of Labor Is a Correct Answer" in On Hope. For distribution of production goods, see my "Transformation of Modes of Ownership and Production" in ibid.
While it is certain that there are difficulties with distributions of these goods, the system doing only money-distribution would be much simple. If the systems for distributing the other two kinds of goods are introduced, it might make the market less efficient. Such worry is not groundless. However, take the validity period of a patent on production goods as an example for a mode of production. In order to change the validity period of patent, it would be enough to change its rules. It takes little administrative costs. (Sometimes we forget that the rules about ownership are already enforced in most cases. The market is not "natural." The structure of the market depends on what rules about it are enforced. The issue is what rules should be enforced. There is no a priori judgment about whether administrative costs of another set of rules are more than that of the present one.) We can do something with caution.
* Avoid doing the other things than prohibiting harm to others and distributing goods. Or, we can think that we need not do the other things. What is good to do, what should be enforced, and what may be done by the state are all different. This quite simple and big difference is often ignored. One should question whether what the state is doing now need to be done by the state. Affirming distribution is neither affirming everything the state is doing now nor affirming the present "welfare state." The state can retreat from many of what it is doing now, and it might have to retreat from them.
* Suppose that distribution ought to be done. The next issue is the system of distribution. What goods should be supplied in kind by the state? If the state supplies goods in kind rather than money, the range of how to use what is supplied is much more limited. Since resources to distribute are limited, we have to choose how to distribute and use these resources through a certain political scheme. This would be criticized by those who think that how to use resources in one's own life should be decided by each individual. And, as it has been pointed out, goods and power are concentrated around governmental organizations, legitimately or illegitimately, if these organizations supply goods in kind. So the following system is supported. Under this system, not goods in kind but money is distributed to individuals; each individual decides how to use this money in their own lives; they choose from various (non-profit or for-profit) suppliers. We have to consider what difference is between this system and "privatization," which is often argued for and done without caution.
We can extend this system globally. Many "international aids" have been goods in kind, and many of them directed to some fixed projects of governmental or non-governmental organizations, not to individuals directly. Distribution to individuals is better, and distributing money to individuals is better if money assures a broader range of choices for those individuals than goods in kind do.
* The simplest way to decide how much each individual gets is to divide all goods and money in the world among all individuals equally. However, because of their different situations, each individual needs different kinds of goods and a different amount of money in order to live a sufficient life. So it is not desirable to adopt only that simple "equal share" scheme. Differentiated shares for each individual are required.
However, if differentiated shares of a certain good are required, it does not mean that eligibility for free supply of that good should always be limited. Sometimes it does not need to be limited. For example, in the case that demands for a certain good remain within a manageable extent if there is no limit on eligibility for free supply of that good, such a limit might not be required. "To each according to their needs" is possible, and realized in some areas. (See Freedom to Be Weak, ch. 7 "Distance and Encounter: On Personal Assistance," sec. 8 "Trying to Escape from Measurement of Needs." When standards or the upper limit for free supply of a certain good is not set, supplying that good in kind or coupons for it might have to be introduced. For it is not desirable to supply money in such a case because money can be used to buy the other kinds of goods than a good in question.)
* I do not deny that "public goods" may be supplied. Still one has not considered so much the question in what case we should choose one of the following options: giving money to individuals, giving goods in kind to individuals, and putting goods in kind in society. It is a quite stupid question which is better: big government or small government.
* There are many things which need not be done, or, which cannot be justified. They would include feeding the wealthy. At least in the states such as the present Japan, tax does not have to be used to produce more material goods. (See my "For Capitalism at a Standstill" in On Hope and Equality of Freedom, Introduction, sec. 3.3 "Refusing the Politics for eProduction,' " etc.) If policies for economic stability may be adopted because business fluctuations are necessary, the question might be raised how policies for economic stability is distinguished from those to produce more material goods. Though it would be impossible to distinguish the former and the latter rigidly, I think that distinguishing them does not matter in many cases, in which policies to produce more goods are not so unjust that it has to be prohibited strictly.
* The above is, I think, a basically desirable starting point. It is meaningful to set a starting point like this, though it is difficult to realize such a society. Part of the reasons why it is meaningful is that a stating point itself is unclear for many in the current situation. (See my "On Hope" in On Hope.)
* I do not take a position that what is agreed is right. However, persons' will should be respected, and cannot be ignored because it concerns making this society work. Democracy is sustained. Still I claim that the position should not be taken, position which, taking persons' current will for granted and not questioning it, admits only the options permitted by that will. (See Equality of Freedom, ch. 4 "Not Detouring Values." The same applies to the case of "euthanasia" or "physician assisted suicide." I argue this in several papers on theses issues collected in Freedom to Be Weak and On Hope.)
* It might be troublesome to change suddenly and drastically the present social institutions in some cases. Gradualism or piecemeal ways will be adopted sometimes. In these cases, it takes more or less long time to do what to do. However, if a basic direction is clear, it would not happen that it becomes halfway unclear what to do, and that change is unfinished. At the same time, the system by which no retreat occurs due to changing situations or opinions needs to be embedded into society once a more just scheme is achieved
* In the current situation, what can be done is very modest. For example, goods-distribution in global scale, which is done as compromise or charity now, is redefined as obligation. This is a very small step, but better than doing nothing.