Incentive & Inequality

Embed from Getty Images One of the stock arguments used to justify income inequality is the incentive argument. The gist is that income inequality is necessary as a motivating factor—crudely put, if
Philosophy News image
Embed from Getty Images One of the stock arguments used to justify income inequality is the incentive argument. The gist is that income inequality is necessary as a motivating factor—crudely put, if people could not get (very) rich, then they would not have the incentive to do such things as work hard, innovate, invent and so on. The argument requires the assumption that hard work, innovation, inventing and so on are good; an assumption that has a certain general plausibility. This argument does have considerable appeal. In terms of psychology, it is reasonable to make the descriptive claim that people are primarily motivated by the possibility of gain (and also glory). This view was held by Thomas Hobbes and numerous other thinkers on the grounds that it does match the observed behavior of many (but not all) people. If this view is correct, then achieving the goods of hard work, innovation, invention and so on would require income inequality. There is, of course, the counter that. . .

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News source: Talking Philosophy

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