Providing a thorough examination of distributive justice, Distributive Justice and Taxation presents and discusses different theories of what constitutes a just society, and how goods should be distributed in such a society.
The distribution of goods in society has direct and serious consequences on the lives of the people. There are therefore important questions to be asked regarding the justice of that distribution: Is it just that some people inherit large fortunes while others inherit nothing? Do rich people have additional access to political power because of their wealth? If so, is that just? And should the ambition for economic policies be to combat poverty, or to reduce inequality? This book explores these questions and a number of others through the analysis of related theories, spanning from strong egalitarian theories on the left to right-wing libertarianism. The chapters also explicitly examine the case of taxation – one of the most important and controversial measures of distribution of goods in society. Placing emphasis on the case of Norway and using data from both the UK and USA as a point of comparison, the work details and explores the key features of the tax system. It concludes by presenting and evaluating arguments for and against taxes such as income tax, wealth tax, and inheritance tax.
This book is essential reading for those interested in distributive justice, as well as students and scholars of philosophy, law, political science, and economics.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Inequality, justice and redistribution
Part 1. Theories of justice
1. Justice as fairness: John Rawls
2. Libertarianism: Robert Nozick
3. Equality of resources: Ronald Dworkin
4. Equality and community: G.A. Cohen
5. The capability approach: Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum
Part 2. Controversies
6. What is the value of equality?
7. Equality– a distributive ideal or an ideal of social relations?
Part 3. Intervention: Just taxation
8. Foundational philosophical issues
9. The Norwegian tax system
10. Inheritance tax
11. Taxation of wealth
Jørgen Pedersen is Professor of Practical Philosophy at the Department of Business Administration, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Norway.