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Philosophy 10 Should the strong be required to support the weak How does society distribute wealth among its members These are the questions There are three basic sides to this issue The permissive system entitles individuals to a subsistence income supply for existing as a human The puritan system requires that people at least be willing to contribute to society in order to receive a subsistence income Finally the Individual view holds the property rights of the individual to be sacred no one may forcibly deprive him of his goods I will argue for the last alternative Individualism is an extension of Lockes idea of property rights An Individualist believes each person owns his own life the fruits of his labor and his property No one may deprive him of these property rights He is free to act as long as his actions do not interfere with the property rights of others At this point it is important to define what money is Money is an exchange of value Money has value because it represent labor or value one has created but not yet used Money in my pocket is what I have created but not yet consumed Money is not a natural resource it does not grow on trees Men can make money by their physical or mental labor Do I not then have full claim to my earnings If A discovers a cure for AIDS it surely was not solely a product of A Societys framework made the discovery possible A had to build on previous knowledge she had to use a laboratory she probably did not own All of these factors make society a partner in the discovery Therefore she does not have the right to all of the benefits of her discovery she must give up some of her benefits to society at large It is true that A did not personally create every piece of equipment she used to
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