Markkula Center of Applied Ethics

An Egalitarian-Libertarian Manifesto

Can liberty and free markets be made compatible with economic justice? Can egalitarian goals be achieved without such government interventions as the minimum wage, rent control, farm subsidies, antitrust regulations, protectionism, etc.? Can a leftist be a libertarian?

For our Ethics at Noon series on 16 May 2002, Bill Sundstrom (Chair and Professor of Economics at SCU) presented a "manifesto" for a highly redistributive but otherwise minimal state, and related the idea to some left-libertarian thinking authors like Sen and Van Parijs, and real-world political trends like the Basic Income movement in Europe. Although he pointed out some flaws in the manifesto, he also indicated its usefulness in thinking about liberty, justice, and what we really want the state to be doing.

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Bill Sundstrom's scholarly publications include "The Income Gap," Issues in Ethics 9 (Fall 1998), http://www.scu.edu/SCU/Centers/Ethics/publications/iie/v9n3/income.html, and "The Racial Unemployment Gap in Long-Run Perspective," American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings 87 (May 1997).

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