The Moral Dimensions of Poverty, Entitlements, and Theft

  • Walter E. BlockEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Classical Liberalism book series (PASTCL)


In the view of many commentators and pundits, all citizens have an entitlement to be relieved of their poverty, and this may best be accomplished by throwing other people’s money at the poor. This chapter makes the case that not only do the impoverished not have any such right, but the attempt to furnish them with wealth earned by others constitutes theft, and does not help them in any case. Given, however, that such entitlements exist, how is the moral person to react to them? In order to approach an answer to this question, this chapter defines and then applies to it “libertarian class analysis,” and derives from this some counterintuitive conclusions regarding poor welfare recipients and reparations for past invasions of person and property.


Moral dimensions of poverty Entitlements Theft “Libertarian class analysis” 

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Loyola UniversityNew OrleansUSA

Personalised recommendations