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Reblogged:Thank You, Dr. Williams

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It is good to see someone prominent answer -- albeit indirectly -- the frequent assertion by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that she is morally right. Walter Williams reflects on what Frederic Bastiat, a French economist who greatly admired America, might think of our country today. Williams first notes Bastiat's clear thinking on the matter of detecting legalized theft:

He said: "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."
Williams then notes how far we have fallen:
Bastiat.jpg
Image of Bastiat via Wikipedia (public domain).
What then should we call it when two-thirds to three-quarters of a $4 trillion-plus federal budget can be described as Congress taking the property of one American and giving it to another to whom it does not belong? Where do you think Congress gets the billions upon billions of dollars for business and farmer handouts? What about the billions handed out for Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, housing allowances and thousands of other handouts? There's no Santa Claus or tooth fairy giving Congress the money, and members of Congress are not spending their own money. The only way Congress can give one American $1 is to first take it from another American.

What if I privately took the property of one American to give to another American to help him out? I'm guessing and hoping you'd call it theft and seek to jail me. When Congress does the same thing, it's still theft. The only difference is that it's legalized theft. However, legality alone does not establish morality. Slavery was legal; was it moral? Nazi, Stalinist and Maoist purges were legal, but were they moral?
We are in bad shape now, in terms of how common plunder is. But this pales in comparison to the "Green New Deal" this congresswoman recently proposed. The Boston Herald tries to puts a number on what that would entail:
Taxing the rich won't come close to covering the costs of the Green New Deal, which includes a bunch of socialist policies that have nothing to do with climate change. Manhattan Institute budget expert Brian Riedl has calculated the 10-year costs using liberal and nonpartisan sources. The results are stunning: $32 trillion for a single-payer health care plan; $6.8 trillion for a government jobs guarantee; $2 trillion for education, medical leave, job training and retirement security; and between $5 trillion and $40 trillion to fund universal basic income to support those who are "unwilling" to work. (The final price depends on how "universal" it is.) Grand total? Between $46 trillion and $81 trillion.
It is true that this would leave us destitute, but many observers argue that any smaller move in that direction would look acceptable by comparison, and that this may be the point.

But theft is wrong be it of a penny or a fortune, no matter who does it. The Green New Deal is a wake-up call, but not of the kind the self-proclaimed socialist says it is. Our country has become so accustomed to legalized theft that we will spend the foreseeable future discussing how much of it we will have to endure -- until and unless we challenge the all-too-often unquestioned assumption that it is okay for the government to steal from private citizens.

-- CAV

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It's not a wake-up call. It's a declaration of war. The time for talk is over. We need a Socialist Control Act. Our predecessors had the right idea when they passed the Communist Control Act. We have no obligation to tolerate anti-rights activists in the public and in the government.

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