Coerced Egalitarianism Isn't Fair at All: News Releases: The Independent Institute

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News Release
October 1, 2019

Coerced Egalitarianism Isn’t Fair at All
New Book Shows Redistributionist Policies Hurt the Poor

Oakland, CA— Equality sounds great, but is the coercive pursuit of equality routinely leading to inequality—or worse things, like systematic injustice and abuse? Could the modern romance with egalitarianism be a destructive flirtation?

The authors of a timely and compelling, new Independent Institute book say, “Yes!” In All Fairness: Equality, Liberty and the Quest for Human Dignity challenges flawed, key egalitarian ideas, exposing the quicksand on which they rest, and unmasks the self-serving interests they too often mask and promote—too often to the detriment of the poor.

Edited by Independent Institute Senior Fellows Robert M. Whaples, Michael C. Munger and Christopher J. Coyne, with a foreword by Richard A. Epstein (Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Law, New York University), In All Fairness dissolves the hysteria surrounding inequality and rejects top-down attempts to coerce economic and social equality.

Each chapter offers unique insights—but the overriding theme is that fairness must rest on a conception of humanity that recognizes the dignity of each and every person: a dignity that requires everyone to respect individual choices, voluntary transactions, civil society, and the rule of law.

“Our differences could teach us humility and other virtues, but the culture now seems rigged so that our inequalities instead teach us outrage and vice,” says the book’s co-editor Robert Whaples.

But there is real hope. Cutting through the haze and exposing the range of errors in the logic and practice of today’s coercive egalitarians, In All Fairness—essential reading for all, especially in political economy, politics, history, law, civics, sociology, and policy studies—clears the path for a deeper understanding of equality, liberty, and the quest for human dignity.

To interview Robert Whaples, editor of In All Fairness, contact [email protected]

Questions for Robert Whaples:

  • The book argues that there are good kinds of inequality and bad kinds of inequality. What’s the distinction?
  • Why is everyone talking about inequality these days? Are inequality levels rising?
  • What do you think of recent proposals for a tax on wealth—which has been advanced by many Democratic presidential candidates, including Elizabeth Warren?
  • Doesn’t a lot of inequality arise from simple luck? Isn't this unfair? Shouldn’t we do something about that?
  • Does inequality have a purpose?

CREDENTIALS: Robert M. Whaples is co-editor and managing editor of The Independent Review and professor of economics at Wake Forest University. Michael C. Munger is co-editor of The Independent Review and director of the Philosophy, Politics, and Economics Program and professor in the Departments of Political Science and Economics at Duke University. Christopher J. Coyne is co-editor of The Independent Review and F.A. Harper Professor of Economics at George Mason University.

Availability: Robert M. Whaples, Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Also via telephone and online.

CONTACT: Robert Ade, 510-635-3690/ [email protected]


The Independent Institute is a non-profit, research, and educational organization that promotes the power of independent thinking to boldly advance peaceful, prosperous, and free societies grounded in a commitment to human worth and dignity. For more information, visit For media inquiries, contact Communications Manager Rob Ade: [email protected]; (510) 632-1366, ext. 114.

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