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T.A.N.S.T.A.A.F.L.

There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch!  –  Robert A. Heinlein

This is the most basic of economics.  Everything costs something.

And yet, it appears roughly half the population of The United States believes in ‘if it’s FREE, it’s for ME!’

The ‘Affordable’ Care Act?  Hey, FREE health care!  Food Stamps?  Hey, FREE Food!

There’s even a circular route short bus system in my college town – it goes and connects all over, in a 10 square mile area, largely around older commercial and university venues.  And, even one of my staunchest libertarian friends uses it.  Why?

BECAUSE IT’S FREE!  (The tax dollars paying for it, notwithstanding)

I, for one, have chosen NOT to use it, thinking doing so only perpetuates the myth of FREE.  Of course, as my 2000 Oldsmobile Intrigue gets older, and requires more maintenance (at more cost) it may become a necessity.

THEN, I can get a bicycle, and join the hoards of collegiate bike riders ignoring traffic laws, putting themselves in harm’s way, and demanding more bike paths.

Because, eventually, we WILL turn into Beijing.

chinese-bikes-7

THE GREAT LEAP FORWARD

Going backwards is such a great way to move forward, don’t you think?

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About guffaw1952

I'm a child of the 50's. libertarian, now medically-retired. I've been a certified firearms trainer, a private investigator, and worked for a major credit card company for almost 22 years. I am a proud NRA Life Member. I am a limited-government, free-market capitalist, who believes in the U.S. Constitution and the Rule of Law.

Discussion

9 thoughts on “T.A.N.S.T.A.A.F.L.

  1. Hmmm…..I agree that there is no such thing as a free lunch. All the programs you mention above are tax-payer funded. Does that automatically make them bad?
    I guess my “big picture” question would be: is libertarianism as a philosophy, at all compatible with urban life?
    When people live together in large groups (like millions of us in modern cities) mass transit is a necessity for issues of space, pollution, cost, and efficiency.
    Downtown “college town” (which I know well as both a student and employee) would be even MORE of a nightmare to navigate, if not impossible, if it weren’t for the taxpayer-funded options available. Options I have utilized regularly and am happy to underwrite with my taxpayer dollars. It vastly improves my quality of life, which to me is is liberating, not otherwise.

    Now, obviously, if I’m living on a self-sustaining farm in the countryside, I have no need of mass-transit, and obviously I wouldn’t want to be taxed for it.
    Different types of communities have different needs, and, it seems to me, a lot of libertarians have an ideal in their heads that just doesn’t seem to be feasible if you’re talking about millions of people crammed into a (relatively) few square miles.

    Any insight into this would be appreciated! :-)

    Posted by Tomi | November 10, 2013, 9:57 am
    • if it weren’t for the taxpayer-funded options available

      Why does it have to be taxpayer funded? There isn’t anything private industry can’t do faster and cheaper than government because govt doesn’t have ANY incentive to do it for the least cost.
      Govt does not ‘create’ anything like mass transit, space travel, military hardware, etc.
      They are consumers that buy all that from a private industry…with our money, not theirs. They don’t have any.

      Posted by KM | November 10, 2013, 10:55 am
      • KM stole my answer!

        Posted by guffaw1952 | November 10, 2013, 11:19 am
      • There are certain things that are extremely difficult if not impossible for the private sector to accomplish, things that would require massive amounts of capital to create – things like mass transit systems and such.
        So, I disagree that there isn’t anything government can’t do better than private industry.
        Also, I do not think that having the profit motive drive EVERYTHING in society is a good thing either.
        Private armies have proven the downfall of many civilizations – not something I could ever be convinced is a good idea.

        Reducing the size of government is a legitimate discussion to have. I’m just wary of the idea that “all government is bad” or “government can’t do anything.”

        Posted by Tomi | November 10, 2013, 1:29 pm
    • (and after KM stole my answer…)

      re: ‘my taxpayer dollars’
      Why should we be paying taxes to fund someone else’s businesses? Or paying personal taxes at all?
      This country was founded based on rebellion against a 3 pence tax on tea (a staple beverage at the time).
      How many taxes do we pay today?
      Toward what end?
      And what government-run entity is run as efficiently as private enterprise?
      /descends libertarian soapbox

      Posted by guffaw1952 | November 10, 2013, 11:25 am
      • As I recall, it wasn’t the idea of taxation that the colonists rejected, it was “taxation without representation” which IS a legitimate grievance.

        As far as public money going to private enterprise – yes, I am totally against that.
        In today’s America we privatize profits and socialize losses – a system that is really unfair and I want to see changed.

        But, I’m not complaining about paying taxes per se. I have a lot to be grateful for in my everyday life that my taxes provide: streets, sewers, schools, my garbage hauled away, clean water from the tap, no people starving in the streets…..after having traveled through countries that DON’T have these taxpayer-funded amenities, I can tell you that I’d happily pay DOUBLE what I’m currently paying to keep them.

        Posted by Tomi | November 10, 2013, 1:38 pm
      • The ‘taxation without representation’ cry didn’t mean they wanted taxation, just to be properly represented to have it imposed on them. Or not. There are other ways to fund ‘necessary’ ‘govt’ functions, like tariffs, which don’t affect large amounts of individuals.
        And we could argue that streets, sewers, schools, garbage hauled away, clean water from the tap, no people starving in the streets isn’t done in this country with efficiency, and sometimes not at all.
        If the free market was allowed to provide many services and functions, then said functions would reflect not only the will of the people, but be accountable to them, as well.
        If you think your streets aren’t well maintained, or your water is substandard, what recourse have you?
        None, really.
        This is the difference between the free market and statism.
        Some would argue that the marketplace doesn’t hold all the answers.
        I would counter with it has more than government, which rarely does.

        Posted by guffaw1952 | November 10, 2013, 2:04 pm
  2. When I went to the social security office for the post marriage name change, I expected it full of well. seniors. I was the only person in the room, of which about 50 people waited, who was over 40. I was one of only two non minorities, the other lady, also there with her new husband for a name change. Everyone else in the room was neatly dressed, warm coats, new shoes, expensive I phones,, waiting for the appointment. I saw no one on crutches, no casts, or obvious injury. Yet all were there for their social security benefits, from the conversations, almost all looking for “disability” Some went in pairs, both man and woman, obviously a couple, going up separately for their appointment or interview. As you and I both know, many disabilities are not obvious. But four dozen people? Tell me, the system isn’t broken.

    Posted by Brigid | November 11, 2013, 6:37 am

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