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Law in the Age of Pluralism$
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Andrei Marmor

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195338478

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195338478.001.0001

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On The Right to Private Property and Entitlement to One's Income

On The Right to Private Property and Entitlement to One's Income

Chapter:
(p.251) CHAPTER 11 On The Right to Private Property and Entitlement to One's Income
Source:
Law in the Age of Pluralism
Author(s):

Andrei Marmor (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195338478.003.0011

This chapter explores the question of whether people should have a right to their pretax income. It argues that the main insight of Liam Murphy and Thomas Nagel's book, The Myth of Ownership, that people have no right to their pretax income, is not supported by their claim that the right to private property is not a natural right. The non-naturalness of the right to private property is irrelevant to their moral argument. The plausibility of their moral conclusion derives from the thesis that people have a right to the fruits of their labor independent of a system of legal and social norms that constitute the terms of fair bargaining, pricing, etc. People can only have a right to a fair assessment of the added value of their labor, and the latter cannot make any moral sense independent of the entire system of norms prevailing in the relevant society.

Keywords:   pretax income, individual right, The Myth of Ownership, Murphy, Nagel, labor

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