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date: 25 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article considers the possibility of attaining equality in principle. It begins by proposing the degree of equality that we can expect or hope to achieve in the foreseeable future. It defines the two grand strategies for achieving equality in the last century: socialism and social democracy. Markets are necessary in any complex society, and they perform both a coordination function and an incentive function. It is argued that an understanding of the relative importance of these functions is necessary in order to assess the degree to which economic equality can be achieved. The two most important institutions for achieving equality are redistributive taxation and the reduction in the variation of human capital through public education. The article discusses whether democracy can be expected to implement the kind of educational finance policies which would be necessary to eliminate dynastic variation in the distribution of human capital.

Keywords: economic equality, socialism, social democracy, redistributive taxation, human capital distribution, public education, educational finance policy

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