1 answer

2. In discussing the work of Robert Nozick, it was argued that libertarian ethics have been...

Question:

2. In discussing the work of Robert Nozick, it was argued that libertarian ethics have been adopted most enthusiastically by

2. In discussing the work of Robert Nozick, it was argued that libertarian ethics have been adopted most enthusiastically by those who believe in a limited role for government. But we also noted that it is by no means clear that a laisser-faire approach is necessarily implied. Three difficult issues arise in connection with the principle of just acquisition: What should government do about unjust holdings? How are open access or common property resources to be dealt with? How do external effects and public goods relate to the concept of just acquisition? Sketch out reasoned answers to these three questions.

Answers

Unjust Holdings

Nozick believes that in case of unjust holdings, the government should intervene and make sure that the division of the property is in a just manner, which can be made possible by keeping in mind the three cases in which a holding can be classified as just -

  1. If it is inherited and voluntarily transfered
  2. If it is unowned, and giving it to one person does not reduce the welfare of the others
  3. If it is done to correct some previous unjust holding structure

Common Pool / Open Access resources

In case of open accesss resources, the problem is that of free riding, to prevent which, there should be some criteria which makes a certain individual eligible to use the resource. This can be in the form of some already agreed upon qualifcation, some entry fee or the like. For common pool resources owned by some community together, there exists the problem of overutilization which can be reduced by certain government regulations restricting the use of the resource per person.  

Public goods and externality

Public goods are a cause of externality since there is overutilisation and free-riding. This allocation can be amdenjust, as in, it can be made available to those sections who are in severe need for some form of government assistance for their well bring by following some of the regulations mentioned above. It can be seen that this will lead to a more egalitarian effect of the allocation of these resources.

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