If the tax were collected this way you would not tolerate it, however, this is what the lord is doing in a different guise.

Daniel O’Connell, translated by Frédéric Bastiat
Complete Works, Volume 3, pages 259 to 275 (in French)
Covent Garden, February 21st 1844

Daniel O’Connell was the special guest at this weekly meeting on February 21st. We have here the translation of his speech as well as that of George Thompson. The latter focuses on the injustice created by the Corn Laws and supports Daniel O’Connell (who was then tried for “conspiracy”) when he announces: “if governments were just, the spirit of insurrection would die by lack of nutrients”.

The speech of Daniel O’Connell insists on his long liberal position and the fact that the Corn Laws do not enrich the Irish people although agriculture is predominant there. Today’s quote is extracted from this speech and follows a metaphor in which a Lord would tear a piece of bread from a worker bringing it to his family after a hard day’s work. The “plunder of the poor by the rich” is shocking when it is obvious – what O’Connell is telling us is that it is no less shocking when it is veiled.

We shall note that governments have not changed their tactics and keep trying to mask contributions, be it tariffs for the benefit of a minority or less shocking taxes, of which the legitimacy could be called into question. The proportion of direct taxes is often ridiculous in comparison to the indirect taxes and social contributions, which are paid by the individuals but settled with the tax authorities by third parties.

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