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Our Institutions Are Made to Benefit the Rich and Powerful

Duh? Article by Francois Tremblay.

Roderick Long answers the charge that anti-capitalists are jealous of the wealthy, by pointing out that it’s the asymmetry between the rights of the rich and the rights of the poor that is at issue, not just inequality of wealth. It’s not about people being rich, but about the system that keeps most people powerless so some can be rich.

Now think about your relationship with your employer. In theory, you and she are free and equal individuals entering into a contract for mutual benefit. In practice, she most likely orders the hours and minutes of your day in exacting detail. As with the landlord case, the contract is provided by her and is designed to benefit her. She also undertakes to interpret it; and you will find yourself subjected to loads of regulations and directives that you never consented to. And if you try inventing new obligations for her as she does for you, I predict you will be, shall we say, disappointed.

These aren’t merely cases of some people having more stuff than you do. They’re cases in which some people are systematically empowered to dictate the terms on which other people live, work, and trade. And we generally take it for granted. But it’s not obvious that things have to be that way.

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