Everybody wants something for nothing. But the problem is you can never actually get it. And virtually everyone quietly understands this.
Nothing is ever free, and there’s always a price to pay – even if you only pay it eventually, indirectly, or secretly. And usually the price for this “free” stuff is quite high. You’re almost always far better off paying for it directly and honestly rather than engaging in any type of amoral, unprincipled, dispiriting, and anxiety-ridden beggary or theft.
But when it comes to government, many people today really do pretty much think you can get something for nothing. Many people nowadays really do believe that the government can magically generate things out of thin air, and then give them to “the people” for free. They even commonly think that this is the people’s “right.”
And the more coercive the government, the better, some people think. The more tyrannical the state is, the more it has the power to repeal the laws of economics, physics, and reality. Then it can give “the people” all sorts of free goods and services!
And yet, in an odd way, this view is actually right, because it’s always the more authoritarian states that pretend to offer the most goodies and booty to their greedy citizenry. They’re the ones that always claim to feature the most “economic rights” or welfare-state give-aways.
Many people in the 21st century really do want – and even righteously demand – “free” schools and medical care. They want mandatory “free” paid vacations, sick days, and personal days. They want paid mandatory “free” maternity leave along with no-charge day care for the kids. And, of course, they fully expect “free” public roads, parks, libraries, fire departments, water supplies, etc.
But the problem with all this “free” stuff – as has already been stated – is you truly do pay for it. This happens via taxes. And no, you can’t steal from the rich, and make them pay your share. If you attempt it, they’ll probably just make you pay double. If a government is tyrannical, the rich and powerful can work its machinery far better than you.
Still, too many people try. They hope and dream – and then are easily deluded and duped.
The result of all this attempted robbery of the wealthy, and of the general public, is that while some people do get some “freebies” of a generally ugly and repellant type, the rest of the citizenry quietly raises the costs of everyone’s taxes thru the roof. And almost all the merchandise redistributed via taxation is invariably low in quality and high in cost. Now, maybe many don’t notice this. Defenders of Big Brother go to considerable trouble to disguise this reality from you. But it’s the truth.
Had you directly and honestly paid for all this apparent government windfall – utilizing your individual judgment, prudence, experience, and intelligence – you and your society would be far richer overall. The massive taxes you and the others end up paying are not at all worth it.
Ultimately, whether you know it or not, welfare-state redistribution of wealth results in its very advocates getting utterly conned and totally ripped off.
Kyrel Zantonavitch is the founder of The Liberal Institute (http://www.liberalinstitute.com/) and a writer for Rebirth of Reason (http://www.rebirthofreason.com). He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.