Saturday, 14 December 2013
Speakout Advanced p 75. Free to Choose / Who Owns Me? Extra Listening
"Free to Choose"
Libertarians believe the ideal state is a society with minimal governmental interference. Sandel introduces Robert Nozick, a libertarian philosopher, who argues that individuals have the fundamental right to choose how they want to live their own lives. Government shouldn't have the power to enact laws that protect people from themselves (seat belt laws), to enact laws that force a moral value on society, or enact laws that redistribute income from the rich to the poor. Sandel uses the examples of Bill Gates and Michael Jordan to explain Nozick's theory that redistributive taxation (taxing the rich to give to the poor) is a form of forced labor.
"Who Owns Me?"
Libertarian philosopher Robert Nozick makes the case that taxing the wealthy -- to pay for housing, health care, and education for the poor -- is a form of coercion. Students first discuss the arguments in favor of redistributive taxation. If you live in a society that has a system of progressive taxation, aren't you obligated to pay your taxes? Don't the poor need and deserve the social services they receive? And isn't wealth often achieved through sheer luck or family fortune? In this lecture, a group of students ("Team Libertarianism") are asked to defend the objections against Libertarianism.