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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 218 of a transcript of the late Roy Childs’s August 6th, 1978, lecture, “Property Rights / Civil Liberties: Two Sides of One Coin,” as this transcript appears in Liberty Against Power: Essays by Roy A. Childs, Jr. (Joan Kennedy Taylor, ed., 1994):

For exchange to take place, there must be an offer and an acceptance, and upon completion, the exchange has been made. Well, what does that mean: that “the exchange has been made”? It means the property titles are now different from what they were. I had owned a house, you had owned fifty thousand dollars, you’ve paid me fifty thousand dollars for the house, we’ve exchanged the property title to fifty thousand dollars and the property title to the house. So the property relationship changed, by mutual voluntary agreement. This is the case in all acts of exchange, whether they involve two parties or three or four, or however many parties are involved in the exchange. So all holdings, all property holdings that result from voluntary exchange – in the sense of just property titles and the double inequality of values, the offering and accepting of an offer – are just.

DBx: Tariffs and other trade restrictions – like many other interventions by the state – rest on the unsupportable premise that if Adam rejects Bob’s offer and instead accepts Lee’s offer, then Bob and Sam are justified in ganging up to obstruct Adam and Lee from voluntarily dealing with each other. This premise implies that when Adam deals peacefully with Lee, wrong is done to Bob – yet when Bob gangs up with Sam to forcibly prevent Adam from peacefully dealing with Lee, no wrong is done to Adam or to Lee.

The ethics in operation here are those of thugs.

Indeed, tariffs and other trade restrictions are nothing other than thuggery and theft camouflaged with faux-sophisticated excuses woven into layers and layers of costumes that fool the eyes of those who either won’t or can’t see straight.