John Stuart Mill on Redistribution

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Although this blog focuses on Canadian Tax Decisions, at times there will be items such as this whose purpose is to allow for a moment of reflection and thought.

This is a quotation from Mill’s book Principles of Political Economy.  Just like the writings of Adam Smith, Mill’s work has been adopted in pieces without regard to the moral requirements.  In Book 2, in Chapter 2, At Section 8, Mill said:

If therefore, the choice were made between communism with all its chances and the present state of society with all its sufferings and injustices; if the institution of private property necessarily carried width it as a consequence that the produce of labour should be appropriation as we now see it, almost in inverse proportion to the labour – the greatest proportion to those whose work is most nominal, and so in descending scale, the remuneration dwindling as the work grows harder and more disagreeable, until the most fatiguing and exhausting bodily labour cannot be counted with centrality on being able to earn even the necessities of life; if this or communism were the alternative, all the difficulties great of small of communism, would be as dust in the balance.

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