Thursday, September 30, 2010

Arbiters of Wealth and Poverty

“By taxing and parceling out more than a third of what American’s produce, through regulations that reach deep into American life, our Ruling Class is making itself the arbiter of wealth and poverty. While the economic value of anything depends on sellers and buyers agreeing on that value as civil equals in the absence of force, modern government is about nothing if not tampering with civic equality. By endowing some in society with the power to force others to sell cheaper than they would like to, and forcing others yet to buy at higher prices—or even to buy in the first place—modern government makes valuable some things that are not, and devalues others that are. Whatever else government may be, it is inherently a factory of privilege and inequality. Thus, if you are not among the favored guests at the table where officials make detailed lists of who is to receive what at whose expense, you are on the menu. Eventually, pretending forcibly that valueless things have value dilutes the currency’s value for all. But that matters not at all to those at the table.” The Ruling Class, p. 29
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