redistribution

Liberty Quotation of the Day: Bastiat on Law as an Instrument of Plunder

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bastiat“You say, ‘There are persons who have no money,’ and you turn to the law.  But the law is not a breast that fills itself with milk.  Nor are the lacteal veins of the law supplied with milk from a source outside the society.  Nothing can enter the public treasury for the benefit of one citizen or one class unless other citizens and other classes have been forced to send it in.  If every person draws from the treasury the amount that he has put in it, it is true that the law then plunders nobody.  But this procedure does nothing for the persons who have no money.  It does not promote equality of income.  The law can be an instrument of equalization only as it takes from some persons and gives to other persons.  When the law does this, it is an instrument of plunder.”

Frédéric Bastiat, The Law [1850]