The West has progressively sought income equality as a moral goal through the use

The West has progressively sought income equality as a moral goal through the use of the state. How is this justified, and has it worked? The ethic of income distribution in a free society is "to each according to what he and the instruments he owns produce." If one man prefers to produce less and spend more time in leisure, and another the opposite for more income, equality of treatment is also important. Paying them the same amount exhibits unequal treatment.

Differing tastes for risk result in income inequality too. Redistributing the winnings of a lottery so that no one loses effectively denies all entrants the opportunity of entering the lottery in the first place; redistributing through taxes the earnings of investors who take risks to those who did not or who did and lost similarly deny people's ability to take risks. "The girl who chooses to become an actress rather than a civil servant is deliberately choosing to enter a lottery."

Progressive taxation is much like redistributing lottery winnings; "taxes are imposed after it is already largely known who have drawn the prizes and who the blanks in the lottery of life.”

Inequality stems from inheritances also, raising ethical difficulties. The distinction is untimely untenable. What's the difference between inheriting a beautiful voice from a large estate? A wealthy man can pay for his son's training, set him up in business or make him a trust fund. Does it matter ethically that the child receives wealth from, respectively, his capabilities, his earnings or his inheritance, when he is likely to be wealthy regardless? It's illogical to say a man may not pass what he has earned onto his children as he pleases; that is his freedom. This does not make the capitalist ethic right. "I am led to the view that it cannot in and of itself be regarded as an ethical principle; that it must be regarded as instrumental or a corollary of some other principle such as freedom."

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