Starting from the observation that there is a great deal of confusion about the notion of “neoliberalism,” this study aims to clarify the meaning and the history of the doctrine. To do so, it first develops an original typology distinguishing four tendencies (ordoliberal, neoclassical, Austrian, and French) and then sheds light on the evolution of the movement over the past eight decades.
A Note on Just Taxation
Taxation is one of the fundamental topics in property right theory, but it is rather neglected one until quite recently. Today there are fervent arguments advanced in philosophical academia on what kind of, in any, taxation is justifiable, largely owing to Liam Murphy and Thomas Nagel’s The Myth of Ownership. In this controversial book, they claims that there are no such things as a morally legitimate right to pretax property or natural property rights and that taxation never infringes upon property rights because they are only institutionally created by governmental decree. Murphy and Nagel’s main target is Richard Epstein’s opposite libertarian or classical liberal view on tax. Epstein likens taxation to public expropriation or eminent domain and argues for proportionate income tax.
Here, after concurring with Epstein’s view on private property with some important qualifications, I critically examine Murphy and Nagel’s statist property theory and claim that their overall egalitarianism is not argued for but merely presupposed. I conclude that estate tax is more justifiable kind of tax from the natural rights libertarian perspective than both income tax and consumption tax, which are the most common form of taxation today. I also claim this conclusion is consistent with the natural reading of the Japanese Constitution.
Sufficientarian-Libertarianism and Basic Income
This article defends the position of a certain type of libertarianism and explores the policy implications of basic income that are actively being discussed across the world, including in Japan. There are several types of libertarianism. In the genealogy of Nozick, self-ownership and the Lockean proviso are two cogs and wheels of such arguments. Libertarianism can take shape only as other argument supports the other. From this point of view, this paper examines in detail how Nozick has tried to defend self-ownership. His argument respects the separateness of persons in a certain way and attaches the importance to make it possible for people to freely design their own lives and live a meaningful life by themselves. In addition, after reviewing the nature of historical entitlement theory and the Lockean proviso, I will take up the interpretation of the Lockean proviso, which is a central theme in recent libertarianism. In this paper, I mainly consider the baseline of Nozick, sufficientarian interpretation and egalitarian interpretation. There are advantages to such a sufficientarian interpretation, derived not only from the adequacy of the theory as a distributive principle itself but also from the fact that (Nozickian) libertarianism bears a specific image (a person with self-ownership). Furthermore, this sufficientarian understanding provides a moral basis for free economic activity on markets, which libertarians regard as important, and it is different from divesting legitimate private property and redistributing it that libertarians reject. I define a simple and general basic income for theoritical purposes and for Japan. This paper ultimately concludes that basic income does not completely morally conform to the conception of sufficientarian libertarianism, despite its appeal, and I will defend a system such as guaranteed minimum income, though some difficult issues remain.