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Quotation of the Day…

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… is from page 195 of Liberty Fund’s 2017 expanded English-language edition [2], brilliantly edited by David Hart, of Frédéric Bastiat [3]’s indispensable work Economic Sophisms and “What Is Seen and What Is Not Seen” [4]; specifically, it’s from Bastiat’s January 1847 essay “The Utopian [5]” (“L’Utopiste”):

I admire the ease with which in certain countries it is possible to perpetuate the most unpopular things by giving them a different name.

DBx: Words, labels, language matter.

Here, Bastiat referred to military conscription being given a sweeter-sounding name.  But, of course, the practice of masking the reality of a thing by giving it a misleading name is extensive.  A few other examples of misleading labeling include:

“protectionism” for “the practice of artificially increasing the incomes of politically powerful producers by using restrictions that artificially decrease the incomes of consumers and of less-powerful producers”

“occupational licensing” for “the practice of artificially increasing the incomes of politically powerful producers by using restrictions that artificially decrease the incomes of consumers and of less-powerful producers”

“trade deficit” for “capital surplus” (or for “inflow of capital”)

“civil asset forfeiture” for “banana-republic-style lawless thievery by the state”

“law” for “legislative diktat”

“diversity” for “mindless conformity to the precepts of modern ‘Progressivism'”

“affirmative action” for “government-enforced racism”

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