Libertarianism and the Welfare State

Jason Brennan, Bas van der Vossen, and David Schmidtz, eds., The Routledge Handbook of Libertarianism (Routledge, 2016), Forthcoming

22 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2016

See all articles by Matt Zwolinski

Matt Zwolinski

University of San Diego; University of San Diego School of Law

Date Written: March 7, 2016

Abstract

Most libertarians regard the welfare state as morally illegitimate. This paper will examine why opposition to the welfare state is the default libertarian position, and why some libertarians have deviated from this default in certain political and historical circumstances. Through a combination of intellectual history and philosophical argumentation, this paper aims to show that opposition to the welfare state is neither as universal nor as fundamental to libertarianism as has generally been assumed. Both moderate classical liberals and more radical libertarians can and have supported various forms of state-based welfare, though they generally differ both regarding their reasons for supporting redistribution, and regarding the kind of redistribution they favor.

Suggested Citation

Zwolinski, Matt, Libertarianism and the Welfare State (March 7, 2016). Jason Brennan, Bas van der Vossen, and David Schmidtz, eds., The Routledge Handbook of Libertarianism (Routledge, 2016), Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2743935

Matt Zwolinski (Contact Author)

University of San Diego ( email )

5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492
United States
619-260-4094 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.sandiego.edu/~mzwolinski

University of San Diego School of Law ( email )

5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492
United States

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