Taxing is constitutional


It is a peculiar phenomenon that those who have money and property seem most likely to espouse a “free market” system that many times, amounts to nothing more than social Darwinism.

The letter published here on March 25 referred us to Bastiat’s pamphlet titled, “The Law”. Frederic Bastiat, the son of a wealthy exporter, was a libertarian member of the French Assembly. His family estate in Mugron, France, was acquired during the French Revolution and formerly belonged to an aristocrat. Bastiat was apparently quite comfortable with that particular “legalized theft.” After the death of his grandfather, he then owned the estate, and was thus freed from the nasty old necessity of working for a living. He then wrote prolifically about how he was entitled to keep everything he had.

Bastiat opposed all subsidies, though even he felt that the government should set aside funds to assist those who came into unfortunate circumstances. He was adamant, however, about a totally “free” market and felt that assessing taxes was legalized theft. He also opposed all tariffs.

Bastiat, however, was French, and therefore not bound by the United States Constitution, which specifically gives Congress the right to levy taxes, “for defense, and for the general welfare.” (Article 1, section 8.) In this country, taxing is constitutional and is not theft.

The “free market” remains a pretty conceit, since corporate subsidies, eminent domain and corporate person-hood have privatized profits while socializing risks. The writer is offended by this president having raised the minimum wage paid by government contractors. The letter then goes on to say that someone who doesn’t like what he is paid should just find some other work. One can then extrapolate this position to suggest that if the employer doesn’t want to pay the higher wage, he can simply avoid bidding on government contracts. Free market, you know.

Lola Johnson