“Whenever a Government assumes the power of discriminating between the different classes of the community, it becomes, in effect, the arbiter of their prosperity, and exercises a power not contemplated by any intelligent people in delegating their sovereignty to their rulers. It then becomes the great regulator of the profits of every species of industry, and reduces men from a dependence on their own exertions, to a dependence on the caprices of their Government…

…Governments possess no delegated right to tamper with individual industry a single hair’s-breadth beyond what is essential to protect the rights of person and property.”, William Leggett, The New York Evening Post, November 21, 1834

Opinion

Notable & Quotable: William Leggett

A Democrat’s warning about government favoritism.

Businessmans hand drawing circle with compass around business people

Businessmans hand drawing circle with compass around business people Photo: Getty Images/Ikon Images

William Leggett, a Jacksonian Democrat and abolitionist, writing in the New York Evening Post, Nov. 21, 1834:

Whenever a Government assumes the power of discriminating between the different classes of the community, it becomes, in effect, the arbiter of their prosperity, and exercises a power not contemplated by any intelligent people in delegating their sovereignty to their rulers. It then becomes the great regulator of the profits of every species of industry, and reduces men from a dependence on their own exertions, to a dependence on the caprices of their Government. Governments possess no delegated right to tamper with individual industry a single hair’s-breadth beyond what is essential to protect the rights of person and property.

In the exercise of this power of intermeddling with the private pursuits and individual occupations of the citizen, a Government may at pleasure elevate one class and depress another; it may one day legislate exclusively for the farmer, the next for the mechanic, and the third for the manufacturer, who all thus become the mere puppets of legislative cobbling and tinkering, instead of independent citizens, relying on their own resources for their prosperity. It assumes the functions which belong alone to an overruling Providence, and affects to become the universal dispenser of good and evil.

Posted on September 14, 2015, in Postings. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Brilliant…and so very basic!

    Mark Nelson 3256 Sitio Tortuga Carlsbad, CA 92009 760.473.7558 mnelson.doit@gmail.com

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