All of us, deep down, know that Heinlein was right. There is no such thing as a free lunch – or a free anything else. Those of you who are at least half as old as I am will remember the book club scams of the ‘70s and ‘80s. They “gave” you a two volume copy of H. G. Wells Outline of History free, but the hook in the earthworm was a year’s commitment to receive – and pay for – overpriced mindless drivel from mediocre authors. You ended up paying several times over for that “free” Outline of History!
Then there was the infamous Land Scam, in which Dr. Land, the inventor of self-developing photographic film, sold his Polaroid camera at below cost. But once you had the camera, of course, you had to buy Polaroid film, which was outrageously overpriced. And there’s no such thing as “free shipping.” Obviously, the retailer has simply buried the cost of shipping in the cost of the product.
But the retail sphere is not alone in baiting their schemes with “free stuff.” In fact, they are pikers when compared to the greatest scam artist the world has ever seen, the United States Government. We hear Barack Obama standing in front of the Congress of the United States and, with a straight face, announcing that he wants to give every American a free college education. Colleges are not charitable institutions. They incur enormous costs in providing and maintaining a campus and instructors – and somebody has to pay those costs. And if you allow an incompetent and corrupt institution like a government to pay them with your tax money, you’re carrying water in a leaky bucket.
The penultimate free stuff barker, of course, was Lyndon Johnson. In his ardor to get “them niggers votin’ Democrat for the next 200 years,” he launched the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, which established the job corps, head start, and a plethora of other free stuff. He followed that up with the Social Security Act f 1965, which instituted Medicare and Medicaid, two of the most expensive and inefficient government programs ever conceived – at least until Obamacare. He also signed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which injected taxpayer funded incompetence and indoctrination into our educational system.
It’s tempting to ascribe to Johnson nefarious motives for accomplishing the economic ruin he initiated. I believe, however, that his intentions were honorable. He was just ignorant, as are most Democrats, of the basic laws of the universe. The First Law of Thermodynamics says, “You can’t get something for nothing.” You can’t get more out of a system than you put in.
The Second Law of Thermodynamics says, “You can’t even break even.” There is loss in every system, so you always have to put in more than you get out. You will always have to pay more than what you’re getting. Remember those basic truths the next time someone offers you something for “free.”
You may have noticed the unsolicited appearance of a little windows icon in your task try recently. Microsoft is offering Windows 10 downloads for free. Bill Gates has never given anyone anything free in his entire life. What is hidden in Windows 10 that Microsoft is so anxious to embed in your commuter? Knowing Bill Gates, the purveyor of the so-called “Common Core” Communistic indoctrination scheme, it’s probably government spy ware.