Is Income Inequality a Problem?

The word inequality is seen everywhere today especially in the context of income inequality. You probably encounter it discussed on the news, adults talking about it, and notice how it seems to be a very popular subject today. Which most likely means you’ve heard people say statements such as these: “ income inequality must be abolished!” Or, “the reason why the world is so unfair is because of inequality!” But is income inequality an actual issue or not? 

Something that I must note is that abolishing inequality is practically impossible, and the only way to achieve doing away with inequality is with a communist or socialistic economy, which happens to cause a more problematic issues worse than inequality. Because this idea of “getting rid of ” income inequality is impossible, then why do so many people think it is such an issue? Poverty is a terrible thing, and it is tragic to see people who live in these poor conditions, but is the actual inequality the issue?

The truth of the matter is that income inequality is not the problem. Though there are differences in the income rates for different jobs or careers, would it make sense for everyone to make an equal amount of money? Should a top doctor make the same amount of money as someone who works in a fast food restaurant? Absolutely not, we can all agree that would not be right or fair. Which is one of the reasons why income inequality exists, because different jobs make different amounts of income. 

In short, income inequality is not an actual problem, even though many think it is today, regardless of the truth that it is nearly impossible to abolish inequality. If it was achieved it would not be necessarily right, since it implies that people who have higher level jobs should make the same amount of money as someone who works a lower level job. 

What are the Arguments for and Against Government Science Funding

Science is a very important field that has affected many of our lives in the long run. Especially today with more technological advances than ever before, science continues to play an even more important role in our lives. In the world of science there are two main forms, government funded science, and science that is not funded by the government. This is still very much debated upon, but regardless what are the arguments for and against government science funding?

The first argument that people most likely will state when discussing the topic of government science funding is that of: “without government support science will not have the funds.” Another similar argument to this is: “private firms cannot claim exclusive profits from scientific discoveries, which means that they will not get involved in funding scientific research in the first place.” With these two arguments in mind here are some of the arguments that go against the first claim or argument. Historically Britain spent very little money funding scientific research in the 19th century. But regardless of this lack of funding from the state they were still ahead in this area than countries such as France and Germany, who spent a large amount of money on scientific research. Also look at the examples of past scientists: was their research funded by the state? The majority were not funded by the state and were instead funded privately. 

Some of the arguments that go against the second claim I stated is that again the majority of scientific research is funded privately, this is because firms are known to exchange laboratory space to scientists in exchange for the scientists to keep up with the latest new knowledge within science. This saves time and money because it keeps the scientists doing their work. As a side argument, government funded institutions in general usually push out the agenda of the government which is a risk to the government funding of science.

To conclude, regardless of the claims that back up government scientific funding, historically the majority of scientific advancements were funded privately. Also the involvement of the state in scientific research historically did not exactly bring forth more scientific advancement. Thus, these are the arguments for and against government science funding.

The Process by Which the Market Economy Tends Toward an Improvement in the Standard of Living?

The standard of living is a very important and discussed topic, with some countries with lower standards of living than others. Regardless of whether a country has a lower standard of living than another, the overall standard of living as a whole has improved dramatically in the last one hundred years. But what is the process by which the market economy tends toward an improvement in the standard of living?

The free market encourages the increase of capital goods, which is possible because the free market enables one to invest and save their money. Because this increases capital goods this leaves a greater amount of capital goods for people to consume, for a cheaper price. This leaves people to be able to pursue other interests, to create different consumer goods. This has become much less tedious today because of the technological advances of our time that involve less people to create more things, which increases production, and reduces prices in comparison to wage rates. 

What Are Some of the Problems With the Concept of Public Goods

A public good is a service or commodity that is provided to all the members of the society, without gaining profit, it is usually started by the government, but can also be started by a private individual, or organization. When the government decides to create a public good they must obtain the funds somewhere, so they use the money that they obtain from taxes. Once this public good is built the citizens can enjoy and use this public good. Public goods like most things have their issues or flaws; what are some of the problems with the concept of public goods?

The first problem with the concept of public goods is the fact that it leaves an opening for the government to use it as an excuse for higher taxes. Probably one of the biggest issues is the fact that the difference between a private good and a public good is not a very distinct one. For example if one passes by a privately owned house that has a nice exterior design that does not mean you will not enjoy looking at it. Another large and important issue that goes along with the concept of public goods is the fact that it does not exclude anyone from enjoying the public good even though they didn’t necessarily pay for it by taxes. For example children can enjoy a public park even though they didn’t pay for the park whatsoever. It’s impossible to know if one person did not pay or paid for the creation of the public good. The “rules” for a Public Good are rather vague, unlike a private good in which the main rule is that the owner of the private good sets the rules. A public good is public and is considered to not really be owned by anybody.

You most likely enjoy going to public parks, public leisure centers, and you most likely drive on public roads. All of these things are public goods; created and built by the government, but paid by tax money, which is from the taxpayers. These public goods, though convenient and nice, have a set of flaws that do point out how misleading the term “public goods,” is. There are always two sides of the story. 

The Difference Between Positive and Negative Rights

Human rights is a widely discussed and debated concept, with a wide variety of views on both sides. Each country has its own concept of human rights regardless of whether it goes against the concept or not. With the western view of human rights there are two sides: negative and positive rights. What is the difference between the two?

Negative human rights are the rights that have to do with not infringing on others. For example: the right to have your things not stolen from you. These rights are the basic rights that the majority of people agree upon, you have a right not to be murdered after all. Positive rights on the other hand become a slightly less straightforward topic. Positive rights are not exactly human rights since they involve plunder and infringing on the negative rights. Positive rights place an obligation on others to bestow certain benefits to you; an example of this is, the right to a home. 

To conclude, the difference between positive and negative rights is that negative rights involve not infringing on others, for example the right to not be murdered. Positive rights infringe on these negative rights, place an obligation on others to bestow certain benefits to you. 

Is There a Right of “Free Speech,” in the Abstract, or is the Question of Free Speech a Root Matter of Property Rights?

Free speech is a highly talked about and essential human right. There is much debate still on the following points: is free speech acceptable in all situations? Should it not be allowed in certain situations? Etc, but overall regardless of all the debate and controversy surrounding it most people can agree that it is still an essential human right. A question that comes into regard is that: is the question of free speech a root matter of property rights?

Before answering this question I will give this scenario. Say if you were at a restaurant enjoying your meal and a bunch of protestors came into the restaurant to protest, would that be acceptable? Well you most likely would be appalled in that situation, and hope that either the restaurant kicks them out or the police are called. But does this situation violate the right of free speech? This restaurant is owned by somebody, it is private property, and has its own set of rules, which most definitely does not include allowing a bunch of angry protestors in. These protestors would be kicked out of the restaurant for being disruptive and loud, not for what they were protesting for. Which is why I believe that the right of free speech is a root matter of property rights, and would be inconsistent if it was separate from the concept of property rights. Free speech and property rights go hand in hand.

This answer I gave, being that free speech and property rights go hand in hand, if more individuals understood that concept the concept of free speech would be far less controversial and more straightforward to understand. Thus, this is why free speech is a root matter of property rights.

How Does Rothbard Defend the Idea of Self-Ownership

Murray Rothbard(1926-1995), was an American economist and political theorist, who founded the Mises Institute. Rothbard discussed quite in depth the idea of self-ownership, and defended it greatly. How does Rothbard defend the idea of self-ownership?

He believed quite strongly that 100% self-ownership is the only defensible philosophical idea. He showed and explained three alternative examples which he used to explain the reason why he was defending the concept of self-ownership, that it truly was the only defensible philosophical idea. In short, this was how Rothbard defended the idea of self-ownership.

How Does the Age of Discovery Provide an Opportunity for Spanish Thinkers to Reflect on the Idea of Rights?

During the Age of Discovery the Spanish were now interacting with the Indigenous peoples of the Americas, which brought forth many questions on rights. There were definitely Spanish explorers who did not treat the Natives right and justly. For example they took their land, sold them into slavery, and with the introduction of diseases and other hardships these people began to die off. Back in Spain there were many prominent thinkers who completely disapproved of what was happening in the New World; but how exactly did the age of discovery provide an opportunity for Spanish thinkers to reflect on this idea of rights?

Because of all the wrongdoings done to the Natives of the New World, many of these prominent thinkers reconsidered and thought about the idea of rights. They realized that these things were being done to human beings which shared the natural fundamental rights. Also they concluded that it did not matter that these Natives had different views or beliefs than the Spanish because regardless they were rational human beings that shared the same natural rights as the Christian Europeans. This in turn brought forth the conclusion that there was a set of fundamental rights shared between all humans, regardless of religion, race, etc.

To conclude, though there were many individuals who believed that the Natives of the Americas should be treated as any other human being, that did not end the mistreatment and persecution of the Natives, which continued for many centuries.

Is There a Difference Between State-Subsidized Churches and State-Subsidized Schools

In Canada and the US the public schools are subsidized by the government, which means that these public schools are funded for by the state, which also by the means that they are paid for indirectly by taxpayer money which is the main source of income of the state. Besides that point, state-subsidized schools are funded more or less by the state. State-subsidized churches on the other hand are not a common thing anymore at least in Canada and the US, but they have existed in the past. But is there a difference between state-subsidized churches and schools?

Before answering this question one must first know of the similarities and differences between the two. The similarities between state-subsidized churches and schools include: both are funded primarily by the state, they are under state control, and they are both at risk to the state pushing out their own agenda. Of course the majority of people today would think it is ludicrous to have state-subsidized churches because what if the government begins to push out their own agenda, or enforce preaching the wrong message. I believe the majority of people believe that any form of religious worship should not be funded by the state. But why is this any different from state-subsidized schools?

What about the differences between the two? There is almost no difference between the two, the only difference is the fact that churches are a place of worship and schools are a place of learning. Because of the lack of differences between state subsidized churches and schools, why do the majority of people neglect to notice the fact that because public schools today are technically funded and run by the state, which means that it would be completely possible for the state to push out their own agenda when it comes to the curriculum. For example the public school system today portrays itself as a neutral institution that does not force upon beliefs, which is probably why people still believe that there is a difference between state subsidized churches and schools. But in actuality the state is quite capable of influencing the world views of the students through this set up of state subsidized schools. Thus state subsidized churches and schools are almost no different from each other, both have similar risks involved, and both are under state control.

In conclusion, though the majority of the churches today are not subsidized by the state. If you think of a situation in which they are, that situation would be very similar to the situation we are in today with state subsidized schools, which is why there is little difference between the two.

Did all Four of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms Promote Liberty?

 Franklin D. Roosevelt is one of the well known American presidents in American history. He uniquely had the longest time in the presidential office as president, and was president during the Great Depression and the majority of World War 2 until his death in 1945. Most remember him today for putting in place something known as the New Deal and for his principle of Four Freedoms. On the note of his principle of Four Freedoms, did these “freedoms,” promote liberty?

Before diving deep into the main arguments, what were these Four Freedoms? The Four Freedoms include:

1: Freedom of speech and expression– everywhere in the world.

2: Freedom of every person to worship God in his own way– everywhere in the world.

3: Freedom from want– which means economic understanding which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants–anywhere in the world.

4: Freedom from fear–means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor–anywhere in the world.

These Four Freedoms use the words strongly: anywhere in the world, world-wide, and everywhere in the world. For example the first two of the freedoms sound, sound in of themselves but with the usage of the words, “everywhere in the world,” it does seem that those two freedoms involve involvement by the state to enforce them to other places in the world. But overall the first two freedoms do somewhat align with the definition of “freedoms,” and go with the “American view.”

The last two of these “freedoms,” on the other hand state that you will receive state security. The third freedom, or the freedom from want states that one does not need to worry about poverty since the state will take care of you; that as Americans you have the right to “free money.” Again this state’s state security. No, don’t get me wrong the idea of no poverty sounds very nice but it is pretty much impossible to get rid of all poverty. Also “free money,” is not free and it would involve taking from one group and giving to another which is the politics of plunder. The fourth and final freedom, freedom from fear, states that you do not need to fear the government and your neighbors, that the state will keep you safe from harm, which in turn means you will be free from fear. Again this goes with security from the state, and state control.

But most importantly do these four freedoms promote liberty? Well the first two actually promote liberty. Freedom of speech and expression, and freedom of religion are fundamental freedoms that do actually in many ways define and set apart America. But the last two of these four freedoms do not promote liberty, instead they promote state security, or state control. This is not very obvious, when I first read the four freedoms I believed they sounded sound and reasonable and seemingly promoting liberty, but in actuality at least with the last two they do not in many ways.

Franklin D. Roosevelt was loved by many, and is one of the well known presidents of America, because he was president during one of the lowest points in America history. One of the things that he is known for are his Four Freedoms, which are seen by many to promote freedoms. In actuality the last two of those Four Freedoms do not promote freedom but instead promote state control.