"Legal plunder can be committed in an infinite number of ways; hence, there are an infinite number of plans for organizing it: tariffs, protection, bonuses, subsidies, incentives, the progressive income tax, free education, the right to employment, the right to profit, the right to wages, the right to relief, the right to the tools of production, interest free credit, etc., etc. And it the aggregate of all these plans, in respect to what they have in common, legal plunder, that goes under the name of socialism."
by:
Frederic Bastiat
(1801-1850) French economist, statesman, and author. He did most of his writing during the years just before -- and immediately following -- the French Revolution of February 1848
Source:
Essays, 61
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Reader comments about this quote:
The Obamanation that now plagues this nation seems to have read how best to destroy that which was once free and noble.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Now we know why there are 10,000's of laws across America.
     -- Anon     
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    A great quote and Mike and Anon are right on.
     -- jim k, austin     
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    I've often thought Bastiat was a flake and this quote definitely proves it. Either he is a flake or this is way out of context or ill translated. I mean you all think wages or profits, arms length transactions between two or more individuals is "legal plunder" and "socialism". Are you guys asleep at the wheel today and stuck on the 5 star button. C'mon wake up y'all!
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    I love how you gave this a five star waffler --that's funny
     -- Blue     
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    Yeah Blue you have woke up, I made a slip of the finger because I was so mad at you guys total innanity.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    Bastiat tells it like it is.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    The tax code takes up ten feet of shelf space and we are well on our way to that infinite number of ways to plunder.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
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     -- Lloyd, Tucson      
    Ultimately socialism fails on every level, it is a cancer on free people and like cancer, it eventually kills its host. Bastiat is absolutely correct in this and every other observation I've read from him.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    Waffler, your comments are nuts but you were right with the 5 stars.
     -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
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    Waffler, your comments are excellent examples of what has happened to our country as well as the use of proper English.
     -- Abraham, Washington     
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    The only issue I have with Bastiat in his book "The Law" is very minor, is his choice of the word, "plunder;" I believe a more appropriate word would have been "theft." .
     -- Tom, WWII Veteran, Midland,Texas     
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    Washington used a phrase, " Beware of the plundering of the nations food stuffs ". As also, usury, ( a loan with a Sting ) is not to be practiced upon a nations sovereign individuals ! Chophshiy Liberty, freedom from bondage and tax, at you pleasure. Bastiat's short comings are few but there. France leaned more to democracy than not. Hence our reluctance to help. Tariffs upon imports, funding for internal governmental operation.
     -- Ronw13, Logsden     
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    Eerie, how accurate the great minds were, with quotes such as this! Pathetic, to see the lessons lost on generations who are taught that plunder is a good thing, and the state a righteous master. These 2016 democrat socialists are not Americans in any way, they are enemies of Liberty and they're coveting anything we can produce for their sofa-utopia class. Hey waffle-man, this vote's fer you: Bern, baby, Bern - maybe that's where Hillary opponents go...
     -- Mark W, Aurora, CO     
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    Common sense and rational objective reasoning as contained and emblemized throughout all of Frderic Bastiat's writings have never been lost on the likes of Waffler, Smith ... because, he never had ever found them or absorbed them in the first place!
    The Waffler parasites objective, idea and ideals are to always take, plunder and possess the fruits of all others labor.
     -- Mary - MI     
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