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August 31, 2006

Comments

dearieme

Would you also reject "Political action purporting to be for the sake of Equality was discredited with the fall of communism"?

chris

Yes - but only if the sentence were preceded by the word "some."

dearieme

Can't argue with that, especially since I didn't define in whose eyes the discrediting happened.

james higham

The state's primary function does not appear, to me, to be to create the conditions for the redistribution of income but to:

provide a healthy business climate
provide defence and other services
restrain monopolies
give succour to the incapable

The Pedant-General

James,

Close but not quite there:
1. "provide a healthy business climate"
Nope. The states role is to keep out of the way of doing anything that would obstruct a healthy business climate. It does not provide it. We must be clear that the state has no positive role and that it should be more worried about interfering.

2. "provide defence"
Yup

" and other services"
nope. Unless this is defined and circumscribed you will get the same crap we have today.

3. "restrain monopolies"
Fair enough

4. "give succour to the incapable"
Why? Why does this have to be done by the State? Why can it not, except in the most dramatic of circumstances, be handled at a really microscopically local level, where it is much more likely to be successful at identifying the truly needy? This is an invitation to the existing welfare state.

Chris,

"you've got to meet the calls for income equality"
Why? I'll give you equality of OPPORTUNITY but not of outcome. Equality of income denies the central tenet of economics - that incentives matter.

Remove the hope of personal gain resulting from personal sacrifice (be that through labour, frugality or the preparedness to take risks - financial or physical) and you remove, well, hope. Hope of making a better life for yourself and those whom you support.

This is also the central problem with the CBI which I have not seen adequately addressed:
Either the CBI is sufficient to support an individual who does not work (for whatever reason) or it does not. In the former case, I would suggest we would encounter a fairly serious problem with the undermining of the work ethic needed to keep the whole thing ticking over and sufficient tax revenue to pay for it all and in the second, you still have a problem with supporting those who genuinely cannot help themselves.

PG

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