… is from page 62 of Mike Munger’s excellent article in the Summer 2017 issue of The Independent Review, “Egalitarianism, Properly Conceived: We ALL are ‘Rawlsekians Now!” (original emphasis):
In a market system, profits can result from redirecting resources toward producing things consumers want and need. Large profits are signals that before the entrepreneurial activity there were substantial resource misallocations, implying large costs and losses for consumers. We pay the cost of the profits as a way of grasping the far larger societal benefit of greater output, higher-quality products, and much lower prices. Confiscating profits, unless it can be done by surprise, eliminates the incentives for entrepreneurship and perpetuates resource waste and misuse.
DBx: And of course – as Mike would agree – a government that surprises its subjects with such confiscatory taxes very quickly losses its ability to carry out any such confiscations with surprise. No surprise there to anyone who understands that people make plans – that is, that people choose and act mindful of the future.