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Justice: “What’s the Right Thing to Do?”, Michael Sandel (Episode 03: “Free to Choose” & “Who Owns Me?”)

Part One: “What’s the Right Thing to Do?”

Individual rights. Should the government have the power to enact laws that:

  1. Protect people from themselves, such as seat-belt laws?
  2. Impose some people’s moral values on society as a whole? Or
  3. Redistribute income from the rich to the poor? (Sandel, explains the libertarian notion that re-distributive taxation is akin to forced labor with references to Bill Gates and Michael Jordan.)
Photo Uploaded by Harvard University

Part Two: “Who Owns Me?”

Re-distributive taxation. Is it a form of coercion to tax the wealthy so that the poor can pay for housing, health care, and education? Don’t most poor people need the social services they receive in order to survive? Do you have to pay your taxes, if you live in a society that has a system of progressive taxation? Do rich people often acquire their wealth through sheer luck or family fortune?

Video via Harvard University YouTube Channel

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