How To Identify Legal Plunder
By Frederick Bastiat from The Law
But 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 other persons to whom it does not 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 this law without delay, for it is not only an evil itself, but also it is a fertile source for
further evils because it invites reprisals. If such a law -- which may be an isolated case -- is not
abolished immediately, it will spread, multiply, and develop into a system.
The person who profits from this law will complain bitterly, defending his acquired rights. He will
claim that the state is obligated to protect and encourage his particular industry; that this procedure
enriches the state because the protected industry is thus able to spend more and to pay higher
wages to the poor workingmen.
Do not listen to this sophistry by vested interests. The acceptance of these arguments will build
legal plunder into a whole system. In fact, this has already occurred. The present-day delusion is an
attempt to enrich everyone at the expense of everyone else; to make plunder universal under the
pretense of organizing it.