In 1850 Frederic Bastiat wrote in his pamphlet, The Law, about the proper role of law and its evil use by government. He exposed the pitfalls and lures of legal plunder, and his thoughts and admonitions are still highly valuable to us today.
Bastiat defines legal plunder as the ability of government to steal goods from another using force.
He wrote that “if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong,” that this is legal force used by the government.
Government makes laws in order to make what they do “legal,” although if individuals tried to take from someone to give to someone else it would be known as a crime, and they would be convicted of breaking the law. But everyday the government does this through their laws, and no one raises a brow since the government has been breaking our constitution for so long now.
A recent example of this is President Obama seeking to raise the minimum wage. This is no right of the government to tell people how much they have to pay workers. If a worker doesn’t want to work for the amount the employer pays, he doesn’t have to, and in a free market system, the employer would naturally pay more in order to keep good employees.
To sum it up, legal plunder shouldn’t be legal. In a free nation we will thrive without it. Read Bastiat’s pamphlet, The Law, for a short, but eye-opening read.