Saturday, December 27, 2008

Jim Fedako on the Ethics of Theft

Jim Fedako does a better job explaining the ethics of redistribution and welfarism than I have.
Because ethics is missing from most political debates, these debates turn from a straightforward evaluation of property rights to one of weighing in the balance means and perceived ends. Yes, it is nice to see children engaged in constructive activities, and it is true that many folks who can afford to contribute to the recreation center would opt not to do so. Nevertheless, no one can ethically balance the program and center against the property of others. No one.
It seems pretty straightforward to me that using force to take property from one party and giving it to another is inherently unethical, whether it is done by a thug in the street armed with a gun, or a thug in a courtroom armed with a lawyer, or a thug from the government bureaucracy armed with a shiny badge and the power to imprison, or a thug in a corporation armed with all of the above. The government variation seems to be the hardest for people to understand. It shouldn't really matter whether their actions have been "legitimized" by the democratic process, as the democratic process doesn't have the authority to render ethical legitimacy to anything. In a nation composed almost entirely of nominal Christians, who ought to understand that only God has the authority to render ethical legitimacy to an action, you would think that such behavior would come under a bit more scrutiny. It also seems pretty straightforward to me that when such behavior is on the rise, regardless of which party is responsible, the overall prosperity of a civilization should be hurt. Perhaps that is why I have yet to do a good post on it. Someday, I'll write a better post on the topic. Someday...

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