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The Popularity of Robin Hood

"Over a period of thousands of years, those with political power have used that power to confiscate part of the wealth of those who were not likely to support them and transfer it to those who were. This has happened in monarchies, democracies, and dictatorships, all around the world. It is a very old story.

"Those who wrote the Constitution of the United States were well aware of this history, so they included in the Bill of Rights a provision that the government cannot take the property of private individuals without compensation. For more than a century, this made the kind of game that Governor Davis is playing harder to get away with. But, especially within the past half century or so, judges have allowed this provision of the Constitution to be eroded away until property rights now seem almost quaint.

What this means is that politicians can play Robin Hood with impunity. And Robin Hood has always been more popular than Adam Smith."

    ~ Thomas Sowell

HT Sptember 27, 2002 Column


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