Res Publica 19 (2):121-139 (2013)

The ability of very wealthy individuals (or, as I will call them, the ‘super-rich’) to turn their economic power into political power has been—and remains—an important cause of political inequality. In response, this paper advocates an original solution. Rather than solving the problem through implementing a comprehensive conception of political equality, or through enforcing complex rules about financial disclosure etc., I argue that we should impose a choice on the super-rich. The super-rich must choose between (i) forfeiting the things that make them super-rich, i.e., pay a 100 % tax on their wealth above a certain level, or, (ii) they must forfeit some of their political rights. These rights include entitlements to fund political parties; to stand for office; and to work or volunteer for political parties. The right to vote, though, is not limited. I defend my proposal against non-consequentialist and consequentialist objections. I also argue that it avoids two problems that many attempts to reduce political inequality face; these are the political egalitarian’s dilemma and the problem of political equality’s relative moral importance
Keywords Political equality  Economic power  Political rights  The super-rich  Oligarchy
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DOI 10.1007/s11158-012-9200-8
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References found in this work BETA

Political Liberalism.John Rawls - 1993 - Columbia University Press.
A Theory of Justice: Revised Edition.John Rawls - 1999 - Harvard University Press.
Justice as Fairness: A Restatement.John Rawls (ed.) - 2001 - Harvard University Press.
Justice for Hedgehogs.Ronald Dworkin - 2011 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Mirage of Mark-to-Market: Distributive Justice and Alternatives to Capital Taxation.Charles Delmotte & Nick Cowen - 2019 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-24.
The Mirage of Mark-to-Market: Distributive Justice and Alternatives to Capital Taxation.Charles Delmotte & Nick Cowen - 2022 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 25 (2):211-234.

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