Bastiat was a statesman and economist in France, responding to the socializing of France after the publication of The Communist Manifesto in 1848. Here’s a quote from this excellent book:
But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.
Here are the reviews from a few of our kids regarding the Tuttle Twins book:
Joey (9 years old): ” I liked how they compared policemen to superheroes and bad men from government to pirates”.
Gina (11 years old): ” I liked the pictures. The pirate picture was the funniest. It showed how legal plunder is like piracy”.
Anna (12 years old): ” I thought it was creative in how the neighbor taught the kids about the law. The most important thing I learned was that the government sometimes legally steals from you”.
Mary (14 years old): “I also thought it was creative and the examples were easy for kids to understand. One of the most important things the book teaches is that your rights come from God not the government”.
All the kids liked the illustrations. They pointed out that the picture of the man tied up by the pirates was an analogy for government, restricting people’s God-given rights.
In the original book The Law, Bastiat writes:
Here I encounter the most popular fallacy of our times. It is not considered sufficient that the law should be just; it must be philanthropic. Nor is it sufficient that the law should guarantee to every citizen the free and inoffensive use of it’s faculties for physical, intellectual, and moral self-improvement. Instead, it is demanded that the law should directly extend welfare, education, and morality through the nation. This is the seductive lore of socialism. And I repeat again: these two uses of the law are in direct contradiction to each other. We must choose between them. A citizen cannot at the same time be free and not free.
Bastiat describes 1850 France but he could well be describing 21st century America.
We are looking forward to reading the next Tuttle Twins book, The Miraculous Pencil, by Connor Boyack which gives a simple explanation of the free market system. This book is based on the essay, I, Pencil by Leonard E. Read.
You can learn more about the Tuttle Twins at http://tuttletwins.com/.
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