Taxation, the Private Law, and Distributive Justice
Kevin A. Kordana
University of Virginia - School of Law
Michigan State University College of Law
Social Philosophy and Policy, Vol. 23, pp. 142-165, 2006
We argue that for theorists with a post-institutional conception of property, e.g., Rawlsians, there is no principled reason to limit the domain of distributive justice to tax and transfer-both tax policy and the rules of the private law are constructed in service to distributive aims. Such theorists cannot maintain a commitment to a normative conception of private law independent of their overarching distributive principles. In contrast, theorists with a pre-institutional conception of property can derive the private law from sectors of morality independent of distributive justice. Nevertheless, we argue, this does not entail that the private law, for pre-institutional theorists, must be sanitized of equity-oriented values. Non-libertarian pre-institutional theorists holding principled commitments to equity-oriented values are free to invoke either tax and transfer or the rules of the private law to attain them.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 24
Keywords: Tax, Distributive justice, Ripstein, Rawls, Simmons, equity-oriented values, Kaplow, Shavell, nagel, murphy, private law, bankruptcy
JEL Classification: H20
Date posted: February 10, 2008
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