Thought Provoking Post::Stumbling and Mumbling: The state and equality

Sam Seaborn
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I’m a big West Wing Fan, and in someways it has shaped how I view things. I still remember a scene where Sam Seaborn‘s  declarations, I pay a lot of taxes and I love it! I may have an unhealthy regard for my abilities but I have no doubt that in the crucial ways I am me because i was fortunated enough to be born to my parents. I was lucky, this was no fault/act of mine. Taxation is a transfer, I love paying taxes, just hope there was more ways to ensure that the transfer is not a transfer to the swiss bank acounts of government officials! .read the whole thing!

But of course, these are only a part of the link between the state and inequality. Tawneyite socialists claim that spending on (say) health and education are forces for equality.

But are they? Julian Le Grand famously argued in a book in 1982 that the rich actually got more than the poor from these services – a claim supported more recently by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

In the case of healthcare, the claim is also supported by this paper (pdf). One reason for this is that the poor under-estimate their ill-health and so are less likely to make claims on the health system. Another reason is that the rich live longer (pdf) than the poor, and the bulk of health spending on most individuals comes late in life.

via Stumbling and Mumbling: The state and equality.

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