The flaw in the Libertarian position

Saturday, 03 July 2010 06:08
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In a discussion set up by a Marxist apologist, a neo-Libertarian asked, 'How is robbing Peter to pay Paul just because Paul is paid a pittance for the useless rubber ducks he make, considered "justice"? '

To answer this one, it is necessary to examine the assumptions behind this question. Why is Paul making useless rubber ducks? Is it because he is incompetent? Or is it because he has no access to the means of producing anything more useful, or what? And why does he accept a pittance for his efforts? And of course, in reality, people are paid a pittance for producing useful and valuable things, and neo-libertarians need to ask why.

The Libertarian went on to ask, 'How is robbing Peter's son just because the envious do not like the fact that his son didn't earn the money bequeathed to him, considered "justice"? '

If Peter's son just inherits money, he will need to get busy very quickly, because money falls in value at the rate of at least 3% a year, which means that its value has halved in 15 years. If he inherits a factory, or buildings, or other means of production, he will also have to get busy, because buildings decay and the means of production wear out and become obsolete. If on the other hand, he inherits land, he and his descendants can live off a rising stream of rental income for all eternity, or for as long as all the rest of us recognise, protect, and defend if necessary, his land title. And that is not all. The benefits that the landowner enjoys are something that continue in the here and now. Land value is sustained and enhanced by the presence and activities of the community today. Those who adopt a Libertarian stance need to ask questions about the justice and legitimacy of land ownership.

The Libertarian concluded, 'Anyone who recognises the veracity of humans' intrinsic inequality would realise that a commensurate disproportion in wealth is nothing but fair and just.'

"Nothing but" is an over-simplification. The question that has to be asked is whether the wealth was acquired through the work of the individual who claims it ie legitimately, or by some other means.
 

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