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Read e-book online Against Equality: Readings on Economic and Social Policy PDF

Posted On March 14, 2018 at 1:15 am by / Comments Off on Read e-book online Against Equality: Readings on Economic and Social Policy PDF

By William Letwin

ISBN-10: 0333353137

ISBN-13: 9780333353134

ISBN-10: 1349171751

ISBN-13: 9781349171750

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Extra info for Against Equality: Readings on Economic and Social Policy

Example text

But this is absurd. The right of free speech does not mean that anybody need talk all the time, or that everyone should talk the same amount of time, or that nobody may remain silent.

Suppose, for instance, a community of three citizens whose incomes are £4000, £5000 and £5400 respectively; on a vote to redistribute those incomes absolutely equally, the middle-income earner would do better for himself by voting against the measure (so keeping his £5000) than by voting for it (which would reduce his income to the average of £4800). The easy supposition that in democracies a majority would always have good economic reason to support redistribution is accordingly false. Ifpeople's votes were determined exclusively by a desire to get the highest possible income for themselves - the supposition made by those who believe that democracy entails redistribution - then whether a majority supported or opposed a given scheme of redistribution would depend entirely on whether the majority stood to gain or lose by it; and redistribution can go from the poor to the rich just as easily as from the rich to the poor, or it can easily go from both the rich and the poor to a majority in the middle.

Except in so far as government could replace private incentives to work and to invest by forcing or inducing individuals to act contrary to their separate, foreseeable private interests, equalised consumption allowances would result in equal economic misery . Worse still, from the egalitarian's point of view, the differential effects of coercion applied to some persons and of non-pecuniary rewards conferred on others would create new forms of inequality as the price of equalising consumption. 10.

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Against Equality: Readings on Economic and Social Policy by William Letwin


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