Freeman

April 1987

Volume 37, 1987

FEATURES

The Ethics of Entitlement

APRIL 01, 1987 by HANS SENNHOLZ

Entitlement programs—government taking income and wealth from some citizens and transferring it to others—are a fairly recent development. The U.S. government assumed the task only two generations ago when Congress introduced progressive taxation and, soon thereafter, launched systems of old age insurance and unemployment compensation. Since then, social pressure, sustained by strong moral emotion, has caused all administrations to pursue the ideals of a more equal distribution of wealth.


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The United States' corporate tax burden is the highest in the world, but innovators will always find a way to duck away from Uncle Sam's reach. Doug Bandow explains how those with the means are renouncing their citizenship in increasing numbers, while J. Dayne Girard describes the innovative use of freeports to shield wealth from the myriad taxes and duties imposed on it as it moves around the world. Of course the politicians brand all of these people unpatriotic, hoping you won't think too hard about the difference between the usual crony-capitalist suspects and the global creative elite that have done so much to improve our lives. In a special tech section, Joseph Diedrich, Thomas Bogle, and Matthew McCaffrey look at various ways these innovators add value to our lives--even in ways they probably never expected.
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