Column: True justice requires protection, not the taking, of private property



The release of Thomas Piketty’s new book “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” by Harvard University Press has caused a rush of media attention for the 42-year-old professor who teaches at the Paris School of Economics.

He advocates a steeply progressive income tax with a top rate of 80 percent along with a wealth tax to reduce inequality, which he finds to be on the rise globally.

If his scheme were implemented, “legal plunder” (a term coined by the 19th century French liberal Frederic Bastiat) would undermine the rule of law, which is meant to safeguard people and property, and turn the concept of justice on its head — from meaning the prevention of injustice to the use of force to dictate some politically favored distribution of income and wealth.

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