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Government steals from the producers
The producer gives away products. Voluntarily, and it’s charity. For a price, it’s earned income. Under compulsion, it’s theft.
People acting individually to take wealth are thieves and robbers but more often, they band together to prey on producers. And then they are no longer thieves but “government.” It doesn’t matter what they do with the loot they steal. They can keep it for themselves, and victims condemn them as corrupt. They can buy votes through entitlements, and be praised as benevolent, open, fair, and democratic. Citizens lose just as much or even more of their money.
Whether corrupt or democratic, our government merely shuffles goods. It creates nothing new; we are none the richer for the shuffling, which in fact always and inevitably leads to poverty. How extreme that poverty is and how quickly it descends always depends on the ratio of thieves to producers as well as how much the former steal — in other words, how large the government is.
Here’s a question I often hear: “Oh say does that star spangled banner yet wave — over the land of the free...?” And how can our nation be free when so many are so willing to put such numbers in slavery by stealing their produce?