Profit is not made by conning others, but by creating something of value that did not exist before.

When a man enters any productive endeavor, he starts with a given sum of capital (unspent wealth). If after a period of time, if he is left with more than he started, he has earned a profit. If he is left with less then he started, he has incurred a loss.

As wealth is required to support one’s life, the increase in wealth through production and trade — the creation of profit — adds to one’s life.

Stealing wealth from others, through fraud or force, is not profit, but theft (an initiation of force). Whether that theft is called a mugging, welfare, or “voluntary” taxation [a contradiction in terms], it is still theft.

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