… is from the late Leonard Read’s 1956 essay “Unearned Riches “:
In order fully to grasp the process by which one can consume in a day that which he could not produce in thousands of years – the process by which he can earn in a day that which he could not earn by himself in thousands of years – it is only necessary for one to see that one’s earning power is capable of unlimited expansion by the productivity and exchange and value judgments of others. This world of creative energy, this productivity exterior to self, then, becomes of singular importance to each one of us. Not only does our prosperity – material, intellectual, and spiritual – depend upon it, but life itself comes under its government. In short, each of us is the beneficiary of this productivity through division of labor and capital accumulation and investments by others.
DBx: Yes. And at the same time each of the organizations commonly called “government” spends much of its time and energy preventing its subjects from engaging in peaceful, voluntary commerce with others. The practical result of nearly all such instances of interference – and, in many cases, the purpose of such interferences – is to enrich a subset of the population at the larger expense of others. If the victims of this predatory exploitation are convinced that to be robbed is really to be enriched, all the better for government officials and those who snatch the ill-gotten booty.