The essence of the state is embodied in the executive branch. Let’s personalize it for the sake of argument to a single person, the king.

Can the king alone loot the economy prudently at the maximum point on the Laffer curve? He would then spend the money on giant monuments to himself, pyramids, palaces, and so on. He would also equip armies and expand his dominion through military conquests.

The answer is no, because the people, upon recognizing the immense damage the king did, would immediately depose him.

As a result, the king needs to make alliances with key members of society. Among the masses, he picks lumpen-proletarians. Among the elites, crony capitalists.

He subverts the priests (less important these days) by sending them “faith-based” welfare.

And he buys intellectuals who defend his depredations in print. These are his costs of doing “business.”

He further tries to divide the productive classes and keep them fighting each other to prevent them from overthrowing him through a united action.

The king stays in power by falsely convincing the producers that being looted is for their own / the greater good.

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