The Facade of Free - Why Socialism Isn't Free.

The Facade of Free - Why Socialism Isn't Free.

I’ll admit it. I like free stuff. Whenever I can get something and not pay for it, I feel like I’ve unlocked something special and outsmarted the system. I use the Starbucks app. If you have it, you know how it works, but let’s bring everyone else up to speed. Each purchase earns you a certain number of stars based on how much money you spend. After so many stars you earn a free purchase. I currently have five free purchases waiting to be used. That’s right, five free drinks are coming my way!

I also collect frequent flier miles, hotel points, and rental car points. Whenever I earn enough, I can get free flights, hotel stays or car rentals. If I get enough over time, I earn status and can get even more free perks.

Face it, I’m a sucker for points!

If I were to ask you if those Starbucks drinks, flights, hotel stays, or rental cars were really free, what would you say? Here’s what’s fascinating, the children in the room would say they were free, and the adults would say they weren’t. In fact, the adults would then have to explain to the kids why they weren’t free. I can hear it now, “They’re not free because you had to buy a certain amount of their product first. The company prices their products in such a way that they take into account the cost of a free flight or drink so that they never lose. Then they take the profit from other transactions with other customers and pool those profits together ensuring they have a buffer to offer these perks. In the end, EVERYTHING has a cost. Nothing is free!”

Today we are looking down the barrel of a similar situation. Democratic Socialism has picked up steam since Bernie Sanders squared off against Hillary Clinton in the last election for the Democratic nomination. The momentum built even more during the mid-terms with the unsuccessful campaigns of Beto O’Rourke in Texas and Andrew Gillum in Florida and the election of Democratic Socialist Congresswoman Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez. Their platform is simple…people deserve free – free healthcare, free college tuition, and free jobs that pay $15/hr. Who pays for it you may ask? The rest of us who are working for a living.

Don’t get me wrong. I would love it if everyone in our beloved country was living the life of their dreams and thriving, but providing all these things for free is not realistic or fiscally responsible.

In August of 2018, Brian Riedl wrote a piece for the website Vox titled, “America might be ready for democratic socialism. It’s not ready for the bill.” You can read it here. In it, he uses non-partisan and left-leaning sources to establish what free healthcare, free college tuition, and guaranteed jobs for everyone at $15/hr actually cost for the next decade.

The numbers are staggering:

  • Healthcare – $32 trillion
  • College Tuition – $807 billion
  • $15/hr Guaranteed Jobs – $6.8 trillion ($56,000 a piece for 9.7 million enrollees)

These numbers don’t even include the current federal debt or the other democratic socialist initiatives like the proposed social security expansion, government-funded abortion, paid family leave for new parents and those with serious health conditions, new infrastructure, and the government paying off everyone’s student debt.

Will the adults in the room please stand up? Please share with our children, teenagers, college students, and anyone else who thinks that the idea of “free” actually exists why it doesn’t. As Jerry Maguire said, “Help me, help you!”

Who pays for what’s free? You and I do. It happens with skyrocketing taxes, companies being forced to downsize because they can’t afford their current headcount, higher logistics and transportation costs to move goods (do you know that when you buy a banana in a grocery store, most of its cost is from transporting that banana through the supply chain?), and higher duty rates on imports.

Everything is passed on to the consumer to stomach, but the level at which it would have to happen to afford “free” would be unprecedented and crippling to our economy. There’s a reason why typical socialist regimes are known for having nationwide poverty.

In the end, we foot the bill to pay for the façade of free. I think I’m ready for one of my free Starbucks drinks now. Thanks for paying for it!

Posted in The Liberty Dispatch Blog By Engo Theme


Kenton Yohey

Thanks so much for this.
It’s way too bad that common sense is not common.

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