Thursday 22 February 2024

"The State has two hands: a soft one to give and a hard one to remove. The softer the hand that gives, the harder the hand that removes."

"The State is not and cannot be one-handed. It has two hands, one to receive and the other to give; in other words, the rough hand and the gentle hand. The activity of the second is of necessity subordinate to the activity of the first....
    "You see that the gentle hand of The State, that sweet hand that gives and spreads benefits widely, will be fully occupied ... Might you perhaps be disposed to believe that this will be just as true of the rough hand that goes rummaging and rifling in our pockets?
Don’t you believe it! The courtiers of popularity would not be masters of their trade if they did not have the art of hiding an iron fist in a velvet glove."

~ Frederic Bastiat, from his essay 'The State' [the headline for this post is a popular paraphrase]

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