There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

by Jon Fournier | July 5th, 2018

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There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

The phrase I bor­rowed for the title of this arti­cle is fea­tured in the lib­er­tar­ian sci­ence fic­tion mas­ter­piece, “The Moon is a Harsh Mis­tress” by Robert Hein­lein. It rep­re­sents one of the fun­da­men­tal truths of the uni­verse, one that social­ists and big gov­ern­ment types rou­tinely ignore, often with dis­as­trous results. We the peo­ple have been con­di­tioned to ignore this fun­da­men­tal truth by the news media, our edu­ca­tional insti­tu­tions, and our elected offi­cials for the past many decades.

Noth­ing is free” is a less col­or­ful way of stat­ing this fun­da­men­tal truth. Some­one some­where has to pay for every­thing. Our politi­cians have become so very adept at hid­ing how we are pay­ing for every­thing that they promise us is free. So many peo­ple blindly accept these phony assur­ances that what they are get­ting from the gov­ern­ment is free. For far too many, this is their pri­mary rea­son for vot­ing for Democrats.

Would can­di­dates for office be any­where as suc­cess­ful if they told the truth? “Go to col­lege and force your neigh­bors to pay for it through higher taxes” just doesn’t have the same mass appeal but it is far more truth­ful. Unfor­tu­nately few Repub­li­cans have the abil­ity to counter false Demo­c­rat claims in such a clever man­ner. That’s some­thing they need to work on. Too many in the Repub­li­can estab­lish­ment think the only way to beat their oppo­nents is to join them in this polit­i­cal bribery.

Far too many oper­ate under the delu­sion that forc­ing those “evil rich” peo­ple to pay for every­thing has no over­all costs to soci­ety. If most of the prof­its of a cor­po­ra­tion are con­fis­cated, what is left to hire more work­ers, or build new fac­to­ries, or even keep exist­ing fac­to­ries run­ning? How many would want to go through all of the pain suf­fer­ing and mis­ery it takes to start a busi­ness if they knew most of the prof­its they would earn are going to be con­fis­cated and given to oth­ers? Soak­ing the rich will only result in far fewer rich peo­ple, and far more peo­ple depen­dent on the gov­ern­ment hand­outs, that the rich are sup­posed to pay for. Repub­li­cans need to do a bet­ter job com­mu­ni­cat­ing how a free mar­ket ben­e­fits every­one, result­ing in a greatly reduced need for gov­ern­ment hand­outs, if not elim­i­nat­ing them entirely.

Print­ing money to pay for every­thing the fed­eral gov­ern­ment wants to do and all of the enti­tle­ments seems like it gen­er­ates no costs to the cit­i­zens of this coun­try. That is far from the case. Print­ing more money only decreases the pur­chas­ing power of the exist­ing money. More money is needed to buy every­thing. The money peo­ple earn is worth less. Print­ing money only causes infla­tion. Do you think this prac­tice would cause out­rage if every­one knew that the dol­lar of today is worth only three per­cent of what the dol­lar was worth in 1913, when the Fed­eral Reserve came into exis­tence and began print­ing money?

Vot­ers need to be informed that out of con­trol debt have enor­mous costs asso­ci­ated with it. Most are unaware that our 21 tril­lion dol­lar debt has a stag­ger­ing cost just to finance it. All of that bor­row­ing result in higher inter­ests rates for indi­vid­u­als and infla­tion. We are approach­ing a debt to GDP ratio that always results in dis­as­ter, yet few in the Repub­li­can party are sound­ing the alarm, and too many in the party have joined forces with the Democ­rats to keep up the out of con­trol spending..

The Repub­li­can Party needs to once again become the party of the free mar­ket, a con­sti­tu­tion­ally lim­ited gov­ern­ment, and fis­cal respon­si­bil­ity. They des­per­ately need to learn how to effec­tively com­mu­ni­cate the ben­e­fits of those ideals to every­one in a cre­ative manner.

The phrase I borrowed for the title of this article is featured in the libertarian science fiction masterpiece, “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress” by Robert Heinlein.  It represents one of the fundamental truths of the universe, one that socialists and big government types routinely ignore, often with disastrous results.  We the people have been conditioned to ignore this fundamental truth by the news media, our educational institutions, and our elected officials for the past many decades.

“Nothing is free” is a less colorful way of stating this fundamental truth.  Someone somewhere has to pay for everything.  Our politicians have become so very adept at hiding how we are paying for everything that they promise us is free.  So many people blindly accept these phony assurances that what they are getting from the government is free.  For far too many, this is their primary reason for voting for Democrats.

Would candidates for office be anywhere as successful if they told the truth?  “Go to college and force your neighbors to pay for it through higher taxes” just doesn’t have the same mass appeal but it is far more truthful.  Unfortunately few Republicans have the ability to counter false Democrat claims in such a clever manner.  That’s something they need to work on.  Too many in the Republican establishment think the only way to beat their opponents is to join them in this political bribery.

Far too many operate under the delusion that forcing those “evil rich” people to pay for everything has no overall costs to society.  If most of the profits of a corporation are confiscated, what is left to hire more workers, or build new factories, or even keep existing factories running?   How many would want to go through all of the pain suffering and misery it takes to start a business if they knew most of the profits they would earn are going to be confiscated and given to others?  Soaking the rich will only result in far fewer rich people, and far more people dependent on the government handouts, that the rich are supposed to pay for.  Republicans need to do a better job communicating how a free market benefits everyone, resulting in a greatly reduced need for government handouts, if not eliminating them entirely.

Printing money to pay for everything the federal government wants to do and all of the entitlements seems like it generates no costs to the citizens of this country.  That is far from the case.  Printing more money only decreases the purchasing power of the existing money.  More money is needed to buy everything.  The money people earn is worth less.  Printing money only causes inflation.  Do you think this practice would cause outrage if everyone knew that the dollar of today is worth only three percent of what the dollar was worth in 1913, when the Federal Reserve came into existence and began printing money?

Voters need to be informed that out of control debt have enormous costs associated with it.  Most are unaware that our 21 trillion dollar debt has a staggering cost just to finance it.  All of that borrowing result in higher interests rates for individuals and inflation.  We are approaching a debt to GDP ratio that always results in disaster, yet few in the Republican party are sounding the alarm, and too many in the party have joined forces with the Democrats to keep up the out of control spending..

The Republican Party needs to once again become the party of the free market, a constitutionally limited government, and fiscal responsibility.  They desperately need to learn how to effectively communicate the benefits of those ideals to everyone in a creative manner.

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