There Ain’t No Such Thing as a Free Education
There’s a liberal meme gong around that list the cost of college in a number of countries. It’s been put together by Occupy Democrats. Occupy Democrats was founded in 2012 as an advocacy group created to counterbalance the Republican tea party, and to “give President Obama and other progressive (liberal) Democrats a Congress that will work with them to grow the economy, create jobs, promote fairness and fight inequality, and get money out of politics!’”
How does a liberal “grow the economy”? By taking money from some people and give it to others.
The folks at Occupy Democrats are idiots, and so are the people who follow their misinformed memes that pop up frequently on Facebook. When it’s claimed that the cost of college in countries like Chile, Brazil, Germany, Finland, France, and Norway is “free,” Occupy Democrats are telling a huge lie. Nothing is free. Someone’s paying for it, and the people who are paying for it are not doing it voluntarily. Money is taken from some people and given to other people. This is called theft.
When governments do it, it’s called theft by majority vote. Either way it’s still stealing and violates the second principle of economic theory and practice (the first is You shall not steal): TANSTAAFL: There Ain’t No Such Thing as a Free Lunch.
While something might appear to be free (e.g., education, healthcare, etc.), there is always a cost to someone. Ignore this law, and all economic hell breaks loose. Of course, politicians believe they can ignore and even break any fundamental law because they consider themselves to be gods. They believe they can create economic prosperity ex nihilo — “out of nothing” — simply by legislating it. If people aren’t being paid enough, then legislate a higher wage. Never mind if people are laid off, prices are raised so people have to pay more, and companies go out of business. Prosperity can be legislated because legislators say so. The New York Times reports
“A panel appointed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo recommended on Wednesday [June 22, 2015] that the minimum wage be raised for employees of fast-food chain restaurants throughout the state to $15 an hour. Wages would first be raised in New York City and then the rest of the state.”
If a state can mandate $15.00, it can mandate $25.00. Of course, theoretically it can demand that all monies earned by a company be turned over to the state. “As Venezuela’s food shortages worsen, the president of the country’s Food Industry Chamber has said that authorities ordered producers of milk, pasta, oil, rice, sugar and flour to supply their products to the state stores.”
Most Americans don’t care about these economic realities any more than the politicians who propose them because they are beneficiaries of the theft so they can get their “fair share” of someone else’s labor.
Those who are receiving these benefits are not concerned because someone else is paying for them. For example, families who are sending their children to the “free public schools” are using the money of their neighbors to pay for their children’s education. They assume since they elected people to do this it is morally acceptable. We’ve grown accustomed to this type of logic.
Consider Social Security. The Social Security Administration estimates that those born in 1877 (and retired in 1942) got an average of 36.5 percent real rate of return on their Social Security contributions, while those born in 1950 (me) will receive on average a 2.2 percent return. Those born in 1975 will get 1.8 percent return. It’s even worse for future workers. The government should have seen this coming when Ida Fuller received her first Social Security check. She paid $22 into the program and received more than $20,000 in retirement benefits.
In 1935, there were 45 people paying into SS for every one person receiving benefits. Today, that ratio is about three to one. Is it any wonder the SS has been described as the “world’s biggest chain letter”?
If a private insurance company operated like the Social Security Administration and its accomplices in Congress, the directors would be arrested, tried, and sent to prison for a long time.
Democrat fundraiser Norman Hsu was charged with a “massive Ponzi scheme.” One of the biggest beneficiaries of his contributions was Hillary Clinton. It’s was Clinton who proposing that every newborn should receive $5000.
President Obama and the Democrats voted into law a form of “universal healthcare” and mandated compliance by force. Who will pay for this? The same people who are paying into Social Security to keep the Ponzi scheme alive: the most productive members of society. You and I know them as “the rich” who are already paying the majority of taxes. Hsu couldn’t keep the scam going because he couldn’t force people to keep contributing to pay later entries into his bogus investment schemes. Politicians can keep us in the program by the threat of imprisonment and/or confiscation of property.
Just because politicians can create economic programs does not mean they will work. Putting people in power so they can take money from you and me and give it to strangers does not make it right, whether they are Republicans, Democrats, or so-called independents.