The Cost of Rights: Why Liberty Depends on Taxes

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Holmes, Stephen, Cass R. Sunstein, and Cass Sunstein. 1999. The Cost of Rights: Why Liberty Depends on Taxes. W. W. Norton & Company.

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Description

Legally enforceable rights cost money, a fact ignored by many libertarian ideologues.

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Quotations

Philosophers also distinguish between liberty and the value of liberty. Liberty has little value if those who ostensibly posess it lack the resources to make their rights effective. Freedom to hire a lawyer means little if all lawyers charge fees, if the state will not help, and if you have no money. The right to private property, an important part of liberty, means little if you lack the resources to protect what you own and the police are unavailable. Only liberties that are valuable in practice lend legitimacy to a liberal political order.
Stephen Holmes & Cass Sunstein, The Cost of Rights: Why Liberty Depends on Taxes The Cost of Rights: Why Liberty Depends on Taxes, p. 20.
The most ardent antigovernment libertarian tacitly accepts his own dependency on govenment, even while rhetorically denouncing signs of dependency in others. This double-think is the core of the American libertarian stance.
Stephen Holmes & Cass Sunstein, The Cost of Rights: Why Liberty Depends on Taxes The Cost of Rights: Why Liberty Depends on Taxes, p. 63.
David Hume, the Scottish philosopher, liked to point out that private property is a monopoly granted and maintained by public authority at the public's expense.
Stephen Holmes & Cass Sunstein, "The Cost of Rights: Why Liberty Depends on TaxesThe Cost of Rights: Why Liberty Depends on Taxes", p. 61.
At common law, only the sovereign is said to have an absolute interest in land: ordinary landowners 'hold of the sovereign.'
Stephen Holmes & Cass Sunstein, "The Cost of Rights: Why Liberty Depends on TaxesThe Cost of Rights: Why Liberty Depends on Taxes", p. 63.