Matt Zwolinski

Matt Zwolinski

Associate Professor of Philosophy
University of San Diego

Matt Zwolinski is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of San Diego. He is also a co-director of USD’s Institute for Law and Philosophy, a member of the editorial board of Business Ethics Quarterly, and a blogger for Bleeding Heart Libertarians.

Professor Zwolinski states that his research interests are generally in the intersection of ethics, law, and economics, with two specific areas of focus. The first involves the proper understanding and normative status of liberty and political libertarianism. The second has to do with the nature and moral significance of exploitation for individual ethics and political institutions.

Professor Zwolinski is currently writing a book entitled Exploitation, Capitalism, and the State, in which he explores the idea of exploitation and its relevance for the moral evaluation of both certain forms of market exchange (such as sweatshops and price gouging) and political activities or structures (such as rent-seeking and the modern bureaucratic state). Zwolinski is also writing a brief history of libertarianism with John Tomasi of Brown University, for Princeton University Press.

Blog Posts

How to Talk About Politics Without Sounding Like a Jerk

A lot of people – especially the kind of people who read blogs like this! – have very strong views about politics. This is especially true when our political views…

A Tax Even Libertarians Could Love?

Nobody likes taxes. But not all taxes are equally bad. From a moral perspective, some taxes are more unjust than others – imposing costs, for instance, on precisely those people…

Finland’s Plan to Fight Unemployment by Giving Everybody Cash

There’s a very good chance that Finland will become the first country to implement a nationwide Universal Basic Income (UBI). The country’s Social Insurance Institution (Kela) is studying proposals to…

In Defense of Affirmative Consent

In September, 2014, Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 967 in to law, requiring colleges in California to adopt certain policies dealing with campus sexual assault in order to maintain…

Programs

Social Justice

Videos

Freedom: Benefits of a Basic Income vs. Welfare

The US federal government spends well over six hundred billion dollars a year on welfare spread across more than a hundred and twenty different programs. When you add in spending at…

Donation: World Poverty vs. Charity That Actually Works

Between 1950 and 2000 western governments and NGOs spent 2.3 trillion dollars on foreign aid. But many development economist wonder whether that money was spent in ways that actually led…

World Poverty: Can We End Poverty Overnight?

Americans make up around four percent of the world population and yet they control over 25% of the world’s wealth. If that wealth were shared evenly across the globe, couldn’t…

Poverty: Moral Dilemma – Why You Might NOT Save A Child From Drowning

Would you lose $500 to save a drowning child? We explore a thought experiment that just may save someone’s life. Learn more: bit.ly/1Elqazl Imagine you’re walking to work in the morning…

What’s Right about Social Justice?

What if libertarians and classical liberals were wrong and the free-market system actually did make the rich richer and the poor poorer? Would that change their support of those ideas?…

Social Justice and Its Critics

Many argue that we should do more for the poor as a matter of social justice. In some cases, they mean we should use our own time and resources to…

Does Capitalism Exploit Workers?

  Today, many define “exploitation” as taking unfair advantage of others’ vulnerability. Based on this definition, many suspect that capitalism exploits workers. Professor Matt Zwolinski examines whether this is accurate and…

Who Exploits You More: Capitalists or Cronies?

  Many think capitalism exploits the masses for the benefit of a small minority. Professor Matt Zwolinski says that even if this is true we should be asking what the alternative…

Top 3 Ways Sweatshops Help The Poor Escape Poverty

Should sweatshops around the world be shut down? What might we say if we looked at sweatshops from the perspective of the world’s poor? While it may be true that…

Is Price Gouging Immoral? Should It Be Illegal?

Price gouging is usually defined as raising prices on certain kinds of goods to an unfair or excessively high level during an emergency. Although price gouging is illegal in 34…