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Freedom and the Redistribution of Resources*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2009


Much of social policy involves a redistribution of resources. Such redistributive interferences with the market are often said to sacrifice freedom for the sake of competing goods such as humanity or social justice. The thesis of this paper is that this simple opposition of freedom and redistribution is mistaken. If freedom is defined empirically, redistributive transfers cannot simply remove freedom but must either transfer freedom from some to others or leave it unaffected. If freedom is defined normatively, it may be opposed to redistribution but that opposition then rests upon the value that gives freedom its meaning and not upon freedom as an autonomous value.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1982

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