Saturday, May 24, 2014

Legal Plunder

You are an obsession
I cannot sleep
I am your possession
Unopened at your feet

Well stated argument that Thomas Picketty's recent book is another apology for what Bastiat labeled 'legal plunder.' Legal plunder is using the strong arm of the State to take from some for the benefit of others. Government is the institutional agent of plunder.

Legal plunder appeals to the envious and resentful who relish in pulling down the successful and taking their wealth. Legal plunder also appeals to politicians who can employ this philosophy for political gain.

What these groups want to do is to institutionalize legal plunder, to legitimize it. They will want to label it something else to divert weak minds from the central notion that aggression is being applied to rob people of their property.

1 comment:

dgeorge12358 said...

Now, legal plunder can be committed in an infinite number of ways. Thus we have an infinite number of plans for organizing it: tariffs, protection, benefits, subsidies, encouragements, progressive taxation, public schools, guaranteed jobs, guaranteed profits, minimum wages, a right to relief, a right to the tools of labor, free credit, and so on, and so on. All these plans as a whole—with their common aim of legal plunder—constitute socialism.

But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.
~Claude Frederic Bastiat