Monday, October 13, 2008

Equality Under the Law

One of the main components of a liberal democracy is rule of law. A government must be able to enforce the law in order to maintain order within its borders. However, a more controversial but extremely important concept of rule of law is the notion of "equality under the law," or legal egalitarianism. America and France were the birthplace of this concept. As this goes, a free society cannot truly be free if the law is used to coerce people into material equality; thus, they must be allowed legal equality, even though this will inevitably lead to material inequality.

One of the places where equality under law is absent would be tax law. Based on your income (or other forms of wealth), you can be taxed more than someone less "well off" than you. Why are taxes an acceptable area to have inequality under the law? Should free speech not be the same for the rich? Should the rich not have a right to a fair trial? Why do laws against theft count for others trying to steal from the rich (unless of course that other is the government)?

The main questions that need to be answered are a.) Does redistribution of income create a net benefit to society? and b.) Regardless of the benefits, should redistribution of income be a legitimate facet of a free society?


usman said...

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Bulb said...

Being able to enforce law is irrelevant, if UNWILLING to enforce law. Political self-interest tends to trump national interest these days & that fact could well prove to be the undoing of the nation.

I fail to see that legal equality inevitably leads to material inequality & you have me wondering what grand universal truth or all-knowing poobah has revealed that desire for material equality is an admirable & perhaps innate goal in the evolution of civilizations. Practically any group of human beings will include maybe 20% who will intentionally do little or nothing to contribute to the common good. In the old days, they shot the b______s or let them starve --- or both.

"Why are taxes an acceptable area to have inequality under the law?" Politicians, who create tax law, need the rich man's money in order to have the means with which to "buy" the common man's vote with programs that dole out free medical, free food, free a/c & heat, free practically everything. What the hell! Usually, no one complains except the rich man --- and who cares about him anyway.

Does redistibution of income create a net benefit to society? I believe not!

Look at Europe & The United States. Half of the people work to support the half that doesn't work. We now have several generations of recipients who don't work; don't expect to work; don't want to work; & probably never will work. That fact, alone, has contributed to the disillusionment of those who possess the determination, self-respect, character or what have you to work toward an improved life for themselves & their families.

"Should redistribution of income be a legitimate facet of a free society?" If someone is redistributing your income, you are NOT living in a free society.

Not attempting to be a smart ass here but --- someone please tell me that this is Economics 101.