Uncategorized November 28, 2022
Would the fact that a practice involves redistribution in the form of taxes and a transfer or violation of rights have a fundamental moral significance? Most seem to agree. Indeed, the debate between Nozick and his egalitarian critics has generally focused on whether the redistribution of a policy in one of these directions provides a crucial moral reason to reject it. Nozick (1974, p.ix) argued (with other libertarians) that this is the case, arguing that “the state must not use its coercive apparatus to induce some citizens to help others.” Nozick`s egalitarian critics insisted that such practices could be an unfortunate necessity. Thomas Scanlon (1981, pp. 199), for example, argued: “It may be true, as Nozick claims, that there is a continuum of interference from taxation to forced labor, each excluding a few more options than the last. But the fact that there is such a continuum is no reason why we should be indifferent between two points. Thomas Nagel (1981, p. 201) adds: “There is a big difference between the sudden expropriation of half of savings and linking monetary conditions in advance to activities, expenditures, and income—the usual form of taxation. The latter is a much less brutal attack on the person. Two types of questions on redistribution can be distinguished: it will not always be easy to determine whether redistribution has taken place in this direction, because the objectives of those who choose and implement policies are often opaque, and also because changes in policies and institutions are the result of collective decisions involving many actors with different and often contradictory objectives. Former U.S.
President Clinton`s 1996 minimum wage law, for example, appears to have slightly increased inventories of workers in the bottom quintile of the income distribution. It is less clear whether this was a deliberate diachronic redistribution. This may have been part of an overall plan to improve the situation of as many beneficiaries as possible. Or, rather than reflecting a systematic attempt to intervene on behalf of those at the bottom of the labour market, the purpose of the legislation might have been to appease unions and a generally dissatisfied public. Still other policies can be taken to bring about changes in corporate structures, but do not do so, either because of internal deficiencies in the policy itself or because of counter-pressure from other factors. We could begin to answer these questions by taking a closer look at the structure of the concept of redistribution. Fifteen small clauses could regulate redistribution, despite Mr Turnbull – if only Mr Daubeny were in a good mood. One way to think about this is this pre-distribution and redistribution. Let`s first look at the baselines defined in subjunctive (1) through (3). It can be extremely difficult to determine whether there has been a redistribution from each of these baselines, as the counterfactual factors on which they depend are quite complex.
This is not always sufficiently recognized. For example, it is sometimes assumed that the reference scenario (2) is identical to the gross income model (before taxes), so that the difference between gross and net income is considered redistributive income. But that`s not true. The presence or absence of income taxes will itself have a significant impact on many market outcomes, including the availability of economic opportunities for individuals with different abilities and personal characteristics, as well as the gross income that can be earned in different occupations. If there had been no income tax, there would probably have been very different jobs and economic opportunities, and gross revenues would most likely have been very different.  Indeed, it is extremely difficult to guess what income sprinkling would have been obtained if there had been no income tax.  It is even more problematic to identify the group of stocks that would be preserved in the subjunctive reference scenario cited by (3). Indeed, there is no obvious way to determine the extent to which an individual has contributed to production. Even examples where a person makes something from a range of raw materials without the help of others are not obvious how to separate the amount of good produced due to Crusoe`s contribution and that due to the materials themselves. In cases of interdependent production, this becomes even more difficult, since there is usually no non-arbitrary way to determine the contributions of the various factors of production (e.g., labor, capital, raw materials, so-called public goods, etc.) that together lead to total production. It is sometimes argued that using a person`s marginal product as a substitute for what they have contributed to production can circumvent these problems. But that, too, is not true.
First, under conditions where economies of scale increase or decrease, not everyone will be able to maintain their contribution. For example, if there are more and more economies of scale, it will be impossible for people to get what they contribute to the margin because the marginal return is above average. Second, while marginal productivity assessments of different inputs can be useful in deciding how to use additional resources to maximize profits, they do not show how much each resource produced relative to total output. It is difficult to imagine how redistribution could have a fundamental moral meaning in any of the diachronic senses. This means that some social reforms include a redistribution in this sense would not count as such for or against. Different institutional arrangements, policies, conventions and individual behaviours tend to produce different stock models. Each group of operating models produced by the evolution of these factors can be seen as redistributive in relation to the others, and the redistributive character of a policy depends solely on when it is adopted and the policies that have prevailed previously. Certainly, some will fare better after a political or institutional change than before, but that in itself is not an objection to that. While we may, of course, have reason to criticize the particular types of models that public servants want to introduce or to view these policies as reprehensible for other reasons (for example, when they seek to arbitrarily discriminate against minorities or other socially disadvantaged groups), the mere fact that a policy is pursued with the aim of bringing about changes in the way things operate matters. Neither for nor against.
Redistribution is often understood more narrowly and refers only to socially conditioned changes in farm structures over time, which are carried out (at least in part) because they are likely to bring about these changes.  Let us call redistribution in this sense “deliberate diachronic redistribution”. Sometimes the baseline used for claims that redistributive measures are being implemented is the totality of farms that would have received if they had received what they were entitled to.