My son Economic Sphere tells me, “Mom, you don’t have to write a novel every time you post.” So today I’ll be brief.
For the past couple of years I’ve been collecting quotes that relate to the political (freedom), economic, and civilization spheres. I try to identify which sphere they fit in, but sometimes they overlap. Today we’ll do a classic economic theme from three different centuries.
How is the 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.—Bastiat, The Law
“I want people to be able to get what they need to live: enough food, a place to live, and an education for their children. Government does not provide these as well as private charities and businesses.”—Davy Crockett
I don’t think that stupidity, ignorance or insanity explains the love that many Americans hold for government; it’s far more sinister and perhaps hopeless. I’ll give a few examples to make my case. Many Americans want money they don’t personally own to be used for what they see as good causes such as handouts to farmers, poor people, college students, senior citizens and businesses. If they privately took someone’s earnings to give to a farmer, college student or senior citizen, they would be hunted down as thieves and carted off to jail. However, they get Congress to do the identical thing, through its taxing power, and they are seen as compassionate and caring. In other words, people love government because government, while having neither moral nor constitutional authority, has the legal and physical might to take the property of one American and give it to another.—Walter Williams, 6-10-2010