I have seen vineyard owners on days when it hails, days on which they are ruined. They weep but do not blame the government.
Frédéric Bastiat’s conclusion is that the government takes a place in the midst of society that is too important, reason for which it is hungry for taxes. The best solution is to limit its powers in order to limit its financial needs. Today’s quote that is also summed up earlier in the speech as “This country is overgoverned; that is what is wrong” shows that it is not possible to ask everything and anything from government.
In the present case, it is not obvious that government can be held responsible for weather vagary and, if it does take such a responsibility, it will lose all credibility when the people will discover that it is not able to face the problems that it claims to solve. What Bastiat also underlines is that the people, when free and responsible and to whom no nonsense promises have been made, is perfectly capable of understanding that the government is not to be blamed for certain things.
Other quotes from the Speech on the Tax on Wines and Spirits:
Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3