How might the Lawson tax cut be defended? Well, economic inequality is no new thing in capitalist society, so there has been plenty of time for a lot of arguments to accumulate in favour of it. We hear, from the political Right, that rich people are entitled to their wealth: to part of it because they produced it themselves - but for them, it would not have existed - and to the rest of it because it was transferred to them voluntarily by others who were themselves entitled to it This is an abridged version of the Tanner Lecture delivered at Stanford University in May 1991 and published in Grethe Peterson (ed.), The Tanner Lectures on Human Values, Volume XIII, (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1992).