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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 282 of George Will’s 2019 book, The Conservative Sensibility (original emphasis):

Government uses redistribution to correct social, meaning market, outcomes that offend it or some of its powerful constituencies. But government rarely explains, or perhaps even rarely recognizes, the reasoning by which it decides why particular outcomes of consensual market activities are incorrect. When taxes are levied not merely in order to efficiently fund government but to impose this or that notion of distributive justice, remember this: Taxes are always coerced contributions to government, which is always the first, and often the principal, beneficiary of taxes. Furthermore, in any complex modern society, any ambitious redistributionist agenda faces an epistemic barrier: The diffusion and division of knowledge about actions and their consequences is such that the project of redistributing wealth must give rise to government agencies guessing about consequences, and wielding vast discretion in doing so, with unhealthy consequences for the rule of law. The first function, and often the final achievement, of any redistributionist ideology is to legitimate the existence and activities of these agencies of redistribution.


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