Ethical Theory And Test Analysis

1941 Words 8 Pages
Ethical Theory and Test Analysis
The following section of this study will dissect the two opposing tax systems and analyze them through the lenses of two major ethical theories, Universalism, and Rawls’ Distributive Justice Theory. Both theories will discuss the three ethical questions presented in the beginning of this paper and present which theory most closely aligns to the principles of each theory.
Universalism seeks to create a system in which all participants would be willing to see everyone else follow. Furthermore, it seeks to never use humanity as ends but rather as a means. Therefore, wealth redistribution typically would not align with this theory because not all taxpayers agree to such terms. This is the main argument against
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The main concern of this theory is the distribution of benefits and burdens. Also, this theory states that inequalities are bad and should be avoided at all cost. As you can determine this necessarily provides a theory of distributive justice. Tim O’Brien, in a PBS interview described John Rawls’ theories, “A just society as one you would want to live in even of you did not know in advance what your place would be, whether you would be rich or poor, male or female, or what your race or IQ would be”. This highlights the idea that in order to have a just society in which everyone has equal rights the government is to oversee that all inequalities due to factors, outside of our control, are eradicated. In terms of taxation, this entails the theory of distributive justice: taking from the rich to prop up the poor. Therefore, this theory of ethics naturally sides with progressive taxation. Furthermore, Rawls’ theory would naturally oppose a flat tax system due to his larger theory of the concern of distribution of benefits and burdens. Sun states that “Flat tax rates make no logical sense, given the larger aims of the theory”. As previously discussed, a flat tax intrinsically allocates the burden of tax on the lower end of the spectrum even though it’s a rate common to all. …show more content…
This means that if you think of this system and want to gag because of its effects, well then it is probably a bad idea. A flat tax system in most respects ultimately fails this test. As illustrated in the example in the background section of this study the effects of a flat tax are simply atrocious. Even though a flat tax claims to be equal in that it taxes everyone at the same rate the facts are that on a proportionate scale this is not true. On a proportional scale, when applying a flat tax, it is easy to see that it unfairly places the burden on the wrong end of the spectrum. Thereby, a flat tax fails the gag test. Looking at a progressive system, it also fails the gag test but not as severely. Some may view the fact that the government is essentially robbing the rich to feed the poor is unethical, however, the alternative is much worse. Robbing the poor to help the rich in hopes that the rich will then in turn help the poor is simply

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