"To take from one because it is thought that his own industry and that of his father's has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association -- the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it."
-- Thomas Jefferson(1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President Source: Note in Tracy's "Political Economy," 1816
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Jefferson on the "redistribution" of wealth
I am not a fan of the term "redistribution" of wealth because it implies that wealth is initially "distributed," thus easing the way towards justifying a re-distribution. In fact, all wealth must first be produced through the combination of human thought and labor. Even natural resources must be identified and collected into a useful form. If a man owns himself, then he surely owns his labor and the fruits of his labor. These facts are the root of man's inalienable right to property.