February 02, 2005

Markets producing deserved outcomes

There's an interesting discussion going on between various parties in the blogosphere on the notion of markets producing outcomes that are deserved by the parties involved. The debate was sparked by Elizabeth Anderson on the left2right blog who refutes the idea that incomes are 'deserved', thus making taxation to some extent unfair. The various trackbacks on that post provide further reading. To summarise the general consensus on the issue, here is a quote from Hayek's 'Law Legislation and Liberty' provided by Stumbling and Mumbling.

The idea that we have morally deserved what we have earned in the past is largely an illusion. What is true is only that it would have been unjust if anybody had taken from us what we have in fact acquired while observing the rules of the game.

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