Government Redistribution Of Income Is Theft

1124 words - 4 pages

If a person obtains something fairly, the government should not take it away from them. The government would be stealing if they were to take from people when the goods were obtained fairly. If the person had stolen something then it would be fine for the government to take it back and return it to the original and proper owner.
Nozick feels that inequality is fine as long as the inequality was fairly made. If one person works to become rich and another person does not work, Nozick sees it as just for one to be rich and the other to be poor. This can be shown in the family example.
In the family example there is a family with two children, one child is eighteen and the other is eight . One child is ten years older and has a job, unlike the younger child. According to Nozick the older child having more than the other because the younger child has no source of income is fine. The older child should be able to have more and make choices that benefit them without considering the younger child. The older child's choices do not need to reflect the younger child's interests. The parents who are representing the government in this example, have no right to tell the older child to consider the younger child in all the older child’s choices. The older child is fairly making an inequality between themselves and their sibling. If the older child was stealing from the younger child to make the inequality, then the parents would have a duty to step in to correct the inequality because that would be unfair.
Nozick has another aspect to his theory called the Lockean Proviso. Originally the proviso was about land and property rights. One person could not justly take all the fertile land in an area. They could only take a portion of land so that everybody else would be able to take some for themselves.If the person were to take all the land, the government could go in and take how ever much land was deemed fair and redistribute it to those who did not get enough land. Going back to the family example, if the older child were taking work away from the younger child that would be unjust. The parents would then be right in taking from the older and giving to the younger. The older child needs to make sure that if the younger child could work, then there would be enough quality work left for them. However, the younger child is not legally old enough to gain employment. Therefore, it would be unjust for the parents to take from the older child and give to the younger.
Rawls theory supports redistribution because he feels that inequality is innately unfair. It is unfair because one person is not more deserving of stuff than any other person is regardless of any factors. It does not matter how hard one person works compared to another it only matter that everybody is equal. He supports this with the hypothetical example of the original position. In the original position behind the veil of ignorance people will chose a system of rules that makes...

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