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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 182 of the original edition of Lee Francis Lybarger’s 1914 book, The Tariff (original emphasis):

There is no denying the fact that a Protective Tariff is a system of taxation for the sole purpose of enriching private individuals. It is not a public tax but a private tax publicly enforced.

DBx: Costumed in the (often garish) finery of ‘official public policy,’ tariffs (and subsidies) appear to naive eyes to be something grander than theft carried out by government officials for the benefit of politically influential groups. But theft is what these policies are, for there is no plausibly legitimate justification for such policies as ones that are likely to promote acceptable collective purposes.

You show me a tariff (or subsidy) and I’ll show you a thief, albeit one who – irony of ironies! – outsources the actual exercise of his or her coercion to a third party. And you show me an apologist for a tariff (or for a subsidy) and I’ll show you someone who is either soullessly mercenary or economically ill-tutored.