But we needn’t regard inequality as a weak point in our arguments for economic freedom, or as an issue on which we simply cannot win. Existing economic relations are not the product of freedom of exchange or legitimate private property. Libertarians actually hold the high ground on the inequality issue. Liberty and equality in fact complement and reinforce one another, the former naturally resulting in the latter.
Individualist anarchists like Lysander Spooner held that “extremes in both wealth and poverty” resulted from “positive legislation,” substituting arbitrary laws for natural laws and “establish[ing] monopolies and privileges.” In capitalism, Spooner argued, the owners of capital receive special power in the economy — power having nothing to do with simple freedom of production, exchange, and competition. Considered holistically, state intervention redounds to the benefit of the rich and politically connected, economic elites with special access to those who write and implement the rules we are all forced to live by.
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