14th June 2013
Partly inspired by a seminar given by Elizabeth Anderson at the IPPR on 13 June, in which the question of how far egalitarians should rely on income redistribution was debated.I argue that our main form of income redistribution, the social security system, achieves some equalisation of income but only as a by-product of poverty reduction. Egalitarian aims go far beyond poverty reduction, I guess, so the implication is that egalitarian strategies sit alongside the objectives of social security rather than informing them or- as some seem to feel these days- competing with them. To say that social security is mainly about reducing poverty, and that that's no bad thing, is not of course to say that poverty reduction in any way defines the limits of social justice, or that other welfare state functions do not serve broader egalitarian objectives.
11th October 2012