The Justificatory Argument for Redistribution and Welfare State

  •  Yixin Chen    


There is a dispute between welfare liberals and libertarians about whether redistribution of wealth is a rights violation. Welfare liberals believe that a state should redistribute income and wealth. In contrast, libertarians think redistribution is an intervention and a rights violation to the people who earn money in a free market by their inheritance or gifts. In the debate between Rawls and Nozick, there are two main disagreements about the liberty of whom and to what extent natural talents should be considered a shared asset by a state. MacIntyre thinks that Rawls and Nozick’s moral debate is meaningless since there is conceptual incommensurability of the rival arguments in it. His resolution offers a virtue ethics perspective to be a reconciliation, which fails to provide a universal moral principle in a multicultural world. However, a new way to understand the concept of labor seems to give a justificatory argument for redistribution and welfare state.

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