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TANSTAAFL

By Gene Comiskey

Kudos to Liz Norstrum for her recent letter, the allegory of the wild pigs trapped by the offer of "free" corn. I was reminded of the adage represented by the acronym TANSTAAFL : "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch ". Popularized by the economist Milton Friedman, the adage illustrates an eternal truth: anything of value requires work; what we have not earned, we esteem too lightly.


Our founders understood the value of work and property. Notwithstanding Thomas Jefferson's rhetorical flourish in The Declaration of Independence: " life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness ", all of the founders, including Jefferson, made clear in their speeches and writings that their core values were : " life, liberty and property ". The right to earn and hold property is foundational to a free society. Capitalism is the economic engine which has powered a system providing an unrivaled standard of living , ensuring the freedom of the American people. When government is allowed to control work and property, it devalues both and creates dependency. Socialism destroys individual initiative and hard work; it encourages scheming , gaming the system and cronyism.


It is disappointing, while also unsurprising, to witness the media and Democrats' infatuation with the candidate for Congress Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The Democratic Socialist's interviews reveal an appalling lack of understanding of economics or foreign policy. Actually, anyone espousing democratic socialism must by definition be deficient in economic education and understanding. There is no other way to state it and blaming the educational system does not relieve individuals of their responsibility to learn the truth.


Bernie Sanders' rhetoric includes the equation: "A country as rich as the United States should provide free education." or healthcare, or a myriad of other things. Missing from his equation is the obvious fact that it is capitalism that has provided those riches.

 

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