Arnold Kling  

Once Upon a Time

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An Army of Spitzers... The Love of Hierarchies...

In a recent comment, Troy Camplin pointed to a short story that he wrote a few years ago.


Milton Wilcain was obviously not a very smart man...if he had been intelligent, he would have been allowed to keep his money to spend as he wanted and he would have been allowed to live as he wished, without anyone telling him how. Instead, other people took what he owned and used it better than he could have.

Read the whole thing. It makes its point very nicely.

I like the idea of using fables and parables to explain the libertarian point of view. I have been kicking around an idea of my own along these lines. I call it "The Charming Thief." The rough idea is to have a village in which people have a popular benefactor, who provides them with many gifts. Only it turns out that he obtains those gifts by stealing them.

One outline I had for the story is for a schoolteacher to come to the village and ask her students about their parents' occupations. One child describes his parent, and the teacher concludes that this parent is a fine philanthropist. Eventually, however, the teacher learns that the parent is giving away other people's property. So the teacher concludes that her student's parent is a thief. The punch line is that the parent is the mayor.

Not sure that's the best way to write the story. I have to keep noodling.


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CATEGORIES: Economic Education



COMMENTS (2 to date)
liberty writes:

Wonderful little parable!

Richard writes:

Mayor:thief :: juror:vigilante

Institutions make a difference.

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