Chapter

The Role of the State

Ian Malcolm David Little

in Ethics, Economics, and Politics

Published in print October 2002 | ISBN: 9780199257041
Published online August 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191601293 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199257043.003.0004
 The Role of the State

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Public policy requires the state to make distributional judgements, but there are moral constraints on its authority. Individuals’ rights as well as state rights have evolved through social interaction. General human rights are the corollary of wrongs, things that neither the state nor any person may do to them. The acquisition of property rights is discussed. It is concluded paradoxically that although the state has a general obligation to protect property, it also has a right to take it away from some to give to others.

Keywords: distribution; property; restitution; rights; social contract; the state; wrongs

Chapter.  5013 words. 

Subjects: Public Economics

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