Wednesday, February 08, 2012

When Life is a Bunch of Carrots

When the government offers tax deductions for charitable donations, when a soup kitchen feeds the homeless on the condition that they attend church, or when the writer of a will attaches stipulations to a bequest — all these situations involve incentives. Dr. Ruth W. Grant, a political science and philosophy professor and senior fellow at the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University, says we tend to view such incentives as some form of voluntary trade. In fact, she says, they often indicate an imbalance of power, and thus raise ethical issues. more

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