Freedom of occupational choice

Ratio 21 (4):440-453 (2008)
Cohen endorses the coercive taxation of the talented at a progressive rate for the sake of realizing equality. By contrast, he denies that it is legitimate for the state to engage in the 'Stalinist forcing' of people into one or another line of work in order to bring about a more egalitarian society. He rejects such occupational conscription on grounds of the invasiveness of the gathering and acting upon information regarding people's preferences for different types of work that would be required to implement such a policy. More precisely, Cohen maintains that the presence versus the absence of such intrusion explains why such Stalinist forcing of the talented is unacceptable whereas the progressive taxation of their income is legitimate. I argue that Cohen's appeal to invasiveness does not adequately capture the moral repugnance of the state's conscripting people into work at a given occupation. I propose that a right to self-ownership, and that which explains such a right, provides a better explanation than Cohen's of why Stalinist forcing is objectionable, whereas progressive taxation is not. 1.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9329.2008.00412.x
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 15,831
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Daniel Halliday (2013). Justice and Taxation. Philosophy Compass 8 (12):1111-1122.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

29 ( #106,405 of 1,724,752 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #268,625 of 1,724,752 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.