Benjamin Studebaker

Yet Another Attempt to Make the World a Better Place by Writing Things

Tag: Sufficientarianism

I’m a Political Theorist, and I Hate the “Equality”/”Equity” Chart

Have you seen it? There’s this chart that goes around and around the internet, with three people of different heights attempting to watch a baseball game. I hate it so much, but I suppose I have to show it to you, in case you’re not familiar:

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3 More Ways Inequality Poisons Societies

Before I started writing this blog, I read an interesting book called The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger by Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson. It occurred to me the other day, when I found myself making use of some of the book’s statistics in an argument, that I have not yet shared its findings with blog readers. This struck me as something of a massive oversight–the book establishes statistical relationships linking numerous social pathologies to income inequality, and it even shows that inequality has a much stronger influence on these pathologies than raw wealth in absolute terms.

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Distribution of Health

An interesting topic arose in one of my seminars today–given a scarce amount of health resources, how do we determine whom we provide care to and whom we do not? Forget for a moment the distribution of wealth, what about the distribution of health? I would like to give my answer to that question today.

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Universal Basic Income: Free Money

Today I had a lecture that introduced an interesting idea, one I think worth sharing and discussing–universal basic income (hereafter referred to as UBI). UBI is a radical alternative to the present welfare system existent in most western countries. In most societies, welfare is conditional on a demonstration of effort to gain employment–it has a work requirement. UBI proposes that the work requirement be scrapped and that welfare be provided to all citizens irrespective of need so that everyone has a sufficient standard of living such that employment becomes a life choice rather than a life requirement.

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Why the Welfare State?

There’s a set of institutions that most western countries have that we collectively call “the welfare state” and, in the drive to shrink budget deficits, it has come under attack. But why do we have a welfare state in the first place? What is its function, and what are we putting at risk when we cut funding for it? That is today’s point of inquiry.

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