Edited by Matthew Harding
Chapter 18: Subsidizing charity liberally
This chapter argues that the tax subsidies extended to charities are difficult to justify in light of libertarian ideals, because they entail coercing some taxpayers to subsidize the pursuit of purposes that limited government ought not to pursue. It then considers the liberal tradition of resource egalitarianism, and once again finds charitable tax subsidies wanting because they are inconsistent with equality of opportunity on most liberal understandings of that ideal. The chapter concludes that the best chance of defending charitable tax subsidies from a liberal point of view is on the back of a highly controversial version of resource egalitarianism that is sensitive to expensive tastes and preferences.
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