Heritage Events Podcast


Economic Equality is Unjust

Conservatives, classical liberals and libertarians celebrate the fact that people have unequal (or diverse) talents, preferences, risk averseness, attachments and cultures because these are the central element to the rich tapestry of an enlightened, humane and prosperous society. These differences will inevitably lead to economic differences. And those differences are not objectionable. Any political system that mandated economic equality would be unjust. It is unjust to treat unequal situations equally. Instead, we should seek equal protection of the law or equal justice under law. Government should not enforce a pre-determined distribution of income or wealth. Individual effort, merit, preferences and values matter morally. An unplanned distribution is just if the distribution is the result of individuals acting freely in accordance with just rules. However, because poverty hinders the ability of the poor to flourish and to lead a fulfilling life, public policies, private charity, education and other initiatives to address poverty and improve opportunity are warranted. But the pursuit of economic equality is not. In fact, the pursuit of economic equality can be extremely damaging to social welfare and manifestly unjust. For a complete list of speakers, topics, and dates of the Free Markets: The Ethical Economic Choice speaker series visit heritage.org/free-markets.

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