Reply to Sunstein
The cogent idea of liberty or freedomâ€”the idea as understood by everyone in the tradition of Locke, Hume, Smith, the American Founders, the Abolitionists, and so onâ€”is that each is free to do with his property (including his person) and to enter into agreements as he sees fit, provided he does not tread on othersâ€™ property (including contracted rights). Social Security taxes and consumer protection laws (with concomitant enforcement) tread on property and freedom of contract, and hence on freedom; they are coercive. If anyone other than the government tried it, everyone would cry bloody murder. Imagine if your neighbor threatened his own violence against you for employing someone at a wage rate he deemed to be too low. Everyone would recognize it as coercion. In contrast, the rules at the Weight Watchers club do not tread on anyoneâ€™s property; they are not coercive. Libertarianism is the political persuasion that government coercion should be vastly reduced.
Volume (Year): 1 (2004)
Issue (Month): 2 (August)
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Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Cass R. Sunstein & Richard H. Thaler, 2003. "Libertarian paternalism is not an oxymoron," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 48(Jun).
- Cass R. Sunstein, 2004. "Response to Klein," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 1(2), pages 272-273, August.
- Richard H. Thaler & Cass R. Sunstein, 2003. "Libertarian Paternalism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 175-179, May.
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