I am of course referring to “free.”
<Wait — what?…Those words? I don't mean any of those. Besides which, this is a family publication….>
Everyone loves things that are free. Because human nature. Because duh.
“My favorite thing is free stuff. I'll take anything.”
— Cindy Margolis
“I'll do anything for free stuff.”
— Sandra Bullock
The contrast of free versus not-free has energized the human mind – since there were humans and minds.
“The best things in life are free. The second best things are very, very expensive.”
— Coco Chanel
“Money can't buy you happiness, but it can buy you a yacht big enough to pull up right alongside it.”
— David Lee Roth
But almost nothing in life is actually free. What we almost always really mean is free TO US. We want it — we just don't want to pay for it ourselves. Because human nature. Because math. Because duh. Except….
“There's no such thing as a free lunch.”
— Milton Friedman
“Nothing is free. Everything has to be paid for. For every profit in one thing, payment in some other thing.”
— Ted Hughes
Of course, since there's been government, it has known of — and exploited — our fascination with “free” stuff. Some of us have long been warning the rest of us. Not that most of us were listening.
“Democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover they can vote themselves largesse out of the public treasure. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefit from the public treasury, with the result that democracy always collapses over a loose fiscal policy, always to be followed by a dictatorship….”
— Alexander Fraser Tytler
“(I)f you like a Washington that offers free stuff…that's what you get.”
— Nina Easton
And here we all are — in the United States in 2021.
The biggest deliverer of “free” stuff in the history of humanity is the US federal government. In 2022, President Joe Biden and his DC comrades propose a budget of $6.011 trillion. A busted budget filled-to-the-brim with “free” stuff. This is a huge pile-on atop the $4.829 trillion 2021 budget.
Two years — nearly $11 trillion.
But for DC, even that is not enough “free” stuff. Democrats also currently propose we spend $5.4 trillion on two additional explosions of “free” stuff masquerading as “infrastructure.”
Is DC any good at doing any of the stuff they're doing for “free?” Of course not.
Where has this near-century of government “free” stuff failure gotten us?
Our national debt is hurtling towards $30 trillion. And that's just the tip of the iceberg….
We're all The Titanic now.
As of last year, DC had cumulatively spent $22 trillion on The War on Poverty. Spread out over nearly sixty years.
DC is proposing we spend nearly $16.5 trillion in Biden's first two years.
Because many millions more of us than ever before are voting for “free” stuff.
Our slide down history's razor blade increases in speed as we hurtle ever closer to our inevitable collapse.
“A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within.”
— Ariel Durant
The best way to destroy ourselves from within? Just the sort of socialism in which we have long engaged — and which we are obscenely accelerating even as I type.
“A stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done.”
In other words? Someone else pays for stuff — and you get it. “Unequal distribution of goods” means “free” stuff.
In other words?
“From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.”
— Karl Marx
We've been here before. Over and over again. For many, many millennia.
I can assure you with absolute moral certitude: this time in this country won't be any different.
Government can't do anything well. Government does almost everything awfully.
But like a gambling addict who is WAY upside down, the worse DC does, the bigger they subsequently go.
Spend two years destroying society in the name of the China Virus? Spend two decades failing in Afghanistan? Spend nearly a century watching your “free” stuff socialism fail?
Go bigger: $16.6 trillion in spending in two years.
And of course, contained therein is a LOT of ridiculous “free” stuff universalism. To wit:
“The president's plan calls for $100 billion over eight years to ensure every American has broadband access.”
Except the private sector has already done that:
(A)ccording to the Federal Communications Commission, 99.99% of the U.S. population has access to one or more internet service providers offering cable, DSL, fiber, fixed wireless, satellite or another type of internet service of 4 Mbps or higher.”
We don't need the government to “ensure every American has broadband access.” Because every American already does.
This is a perfect encapsulation of the failure of socialism — versus the success of capitalism.
The government promises to do something which can be much better done by the private sector. Especially so in this case — because it has already been done by the private sector.
But none of that seems to matter.
Government is by now reflexively predisposed to propose maximum “free” stuff socialism.
Because too many of us have been voting for it. For too many decades.
We are Rome. And Russia. And Cuba. And Venezuela. And….