By Arnold Kling
In reaction to the Supreme Court’s decision backing city seizure of property, Don Boudreaux writes
libertarians reject the notion that the state is something other than a human institution deserving more credence, respect, deference, and trust than is commonly given to other human institutions such as supermarkets and bowling leagues.
That would be an eloquent statement, if we didn’t have so many negatives to parse. I would rephrase it:
“Libertarians see the state as just another human institution, with the same moral status as a supermarket or a bowling league.”
The libertarian argument is that when one individual or institution takes property from another individual or institution without the latter’s consent, we should be alarmed. Even when the taker is the “collective we” of the state.
For Discussion. From this perspective, what is the difference, if any, between tax collection and the use of eminent domain?