Commentary

Avoiding legalized plunder

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“Sometimes the law defends plunder and participates in it…how is this legal plunder to be identified?  Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them and gives it to the other persons to whom it doesn’t 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. Then abolish that law without delay … No legal plunder; this is the principle of justice, peace, order, stability, harmony and logic.” (Frédéric Bastiat, “The Law” 1850).

Bastiat’s quote exemplifies the grand hoax of socialism. Socialism is plunder. Redistribution of wealth is plunder, equality of outcome is plunder, corporate welfare is plunder and the progressive income tax is plunder. Plunder leads to injustice, conflict, instability, chaos and abuse of the weak by the strong.

Nationally and in the State of Maine, we have unleashed the socialist desire to have government plunder its productive citizens for the benefit of others. Many of the bills being proposed in the Legislature this session – new taxes to support sick leave, dissuade the use of heating oil and diesel fuels, or punish high earners, are forms of government plundering the hardworking people of Maine.

History has told us over and over that politicians are more than venal when faced with the prospect of power and wealth. The level of venality is in direct proportion to the amount of power and wealth available. Unfortunately, Maine lawmakers keen on the ideals of socialism have kicked their constitutional constraints and are balls to the wall in their plundering of Maine’s working population. They are determined to give your property to others who didn’t earn it. And in keeping with Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal, the plundered property is given out to others regardless of whether or not the recipients are capable or willing to work.

Maine’s economy, while improving in recent years, could soon see an economic downturn. Governor Mills’ warned about as much in her inaugural address. The socialists, it appears, have forgotten the old economic adage, “you have to create wealth before you can spend it.”

Over the past century, many socialist governments have attempted to create workers’ paradises, but have only created abject failures. Unfortunately, millions upon millions of innocent souls were murdered under the benighted leadership of socialists whose great intellectual acuity and unlimited hubris created incomprehensible misery.

Mainers should know that socialism just doesn’t work, causes disillusionment, bitterness, division, and leaves a legacy of poverty and broken lives; except, of course, for the political elites and their friends.

Fortunately for Mainers, we have our written Constitution with which we can fight against socialism’s depravations. We have the Founders’ wisdom in which they recognized:

  • That mankind is imperfect and that government made of men and women is of necessity imperfect.  
  • That government is force and cannot be trusted to control unlimited power by its own account.  
  • That if the individual’s unalienable rights are to be protected, government must be hamstrung in its ability to do mischief.

Mainers should resist the urge for unrestrained, socialist-style plunder that has gripped our governor and new legislature. These policies will not improve the lives of Maine people; they will only sow further divisions and lead to shared misery.

About John MacGregor

John "Jock" MacGregor is a student of history and politics, a pursuit he has enjoyed for most of his 77 years. Jock attended Villanova University’s School of Education; served in the U.S. Marine Corps; and is an entrepreneur with enterprises in restaurants, construction and boatbuilding. Mr. MacGregor was managing editor of an online news site in Hot Springs Arkansas. Currently, Jock comments on the role of government in society. Jock believes in a constitutionally limited government, instituted by the people, to protect their rights to life, liberty and property.

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