The Difference Between Economic Power And Political Power

A simple and memorable way to keep straight the crucial distinction between “economic power” (the power to produce) and “political power” (the power to coerce) is by a terminological duality – “makers” versus takers” – as incorporated in Edmund Contoski’s 1997 book. Despite persistent Marxist claims dating as far back as 1848, these two powers (the economic and political) are in no way synonymous. Indeed, they’re antonymous.

Economic power is creative, productive, and voluntary; it offers incentives, gains, rewards. Political power is destructive and involuntary; you must obey it, for it imposes punishments, losses, and penalties. This is no brief for anarchy, as many libertarians insist; it’s a case for government limited constitutionally to undertaking its only valid purpose – the protection of individual rights (including property rights) against the initiation of force or fraud (whether from home or abroad) – and whose power is limited to penalizing, incarcerating or destroying real criminals (those who rape, rob, pillage, kill, or defraud), not market makers.

via Why Do Takers Obama and Gingrich Attack Creators Like Romney? - Forbes.