Chapter 3: Do we own ourselves/ Libertarianism (Sandel 2009) (The minimal…
Chapter 3: Do we own ourselves/ Libertarianism (Sandel 2009)
Vast amount of wealth at the top of America's economy. Richest 1% possess over 1/3 of the countries wealth, more than the bottom 90%
Is inequality unjust, should we tax the rich more?
Wealth redistribution? Utilitarian logic- transfer money from rich to poor to hurt the rich and help the poor.
Do high tax rates reduce the incentive to work and invest, decline in productivity? Reduce the amount you can redistribute to the needy
Violates people's liberty to do what they want with their money- libertarians. Favour unfettered markets and oppose government regulation in the name of human freedom
The minimal state
Enforces contracts, protects private property, and keeps the peace- fundamental to libertarian rights
Libertarians reject- paternalism laws, the state has no right to dictate the risks people take with their bodies and lives
No redistribution of income and wealth, distributive taxes are a form of theft.
Libertarian ideas found traction in Reagan and Thatcher, Freidman accepted state activities as illegitimate infringements on individual freedom.
Examples include the welfare state, minimum wages, anti-discrimination laws.
Free market philosophy
Any more extensive state violates persons rights to be forced to do certain things so is unjustified
No one should be forced to help other people
Nothing wrong with economic inequality
Provided everyone starts out without any ill-gotten gains, any distribution that results from a free market is just
If those at the op landed there because of past injustices, then a case can be made for remedying the situation through taxation . About redressing past wrongs, not equality
Michael Jordan's money
Nozick- problems with distributive justice- Liberty upsets patterns, to reduce inequality you have to intervene in the free market, violates Jordan's rights by taking his earnings, making a charitable contribution against his will
If the state claims some portion of my money, it claims some portion of my time and forced work, the state is part owner of him
Do we own ourselves?
Favouring the redistribution of income for various objections to the libertarian logic
1) Taxation is not as bad as forced labour- forced to labour no choice, taxes- choice
2) The poor need the money more- . However stealing from the rich to give to the poor is still stealing, needs don't trump my fundamental rights to do what i want with the things i own
3) Michael Jordan doesn't play alone , he therefore owes a debt to those who contribute to his success. Basketball is a team sport, these people have been paid the market rate for their services , how does the homeless contribute to his success?
5) Jordan is lucky- if he cant exercise the rights of his talents, they really aren't their own , if he doesn't' own this, does he own himself
4) He has a voice in making the tax laws to which he is subject- However it is not enough because majority overrules minority
You can donate kidneys but not sell it on an open market- US
Libertarian notion of self-ownership, i do with my body parts as i please
Some argue supply would be increased if their was a free market
If we truly own our own bodies and lives, it should be up to us whether to sell our body parts and at what price and at what risk to ourselves