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Should kids pay their own way?

Tomlin, P. (2015) Should kids pay their own way? Political Studies, 63 (3). pp. 663-678. ISSN 0032-3217

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/1467-9248.12111

Abstract/Summary

Children are expensive to raise. Ensuring that they are raised such that they are able to lead a minimally decent life costs time and money, and lots of both. Who is responsible for bearing the costs of the things that children are undoubtedly owed? This is a question that has received comparatively little scrutiny from political philosophers, despite children being such a drain on public and private finances alike. To the extent that there is a debate, two main views can be identified. The Parents Pay view says that parents, responsible for the existence of the costs, must foot the bill. The Society Pays view says that a next generation is a benefit to all, and so to allow parents to foot the bill alone is the worst kind of free-riding. In this paper, I introduce a third potentially liable party currently missing from the debate: children themselves. On my backward-looking view, we are entitled to ask people to contribute to the raising of children on the basis that they have benefited from being raised themselves.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Politics, Economics and International Relations > Politics and International Relations
ID Code:32762
Uncontrolled Keywords:children;distributive justice;principle of fair play
Publisher:Wiley

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