Sunday, December 15, 2013

Free Men Are Not Equal, Equal Men Are Not Free, And Neither Is Lunch.

One of my liberal netfriends and I were discussing the idea of gvt health care in general, and I made the point that if we spend money on one big social engineering scheme, we no longer have that money to spend on another one. No, he says, that doesn't make any difference, because we live in a fiat economy. That is, he believes that there is such a thing as a free lunch, if the gvt has the option of printing money, or borrowing money, or both, to pay for it. I had the fallacy of that explained to me when I was a kid in an Uncle Scrooge comic book.

It's analogous to the guy who buys whatever he wants by writing bad checks.  Guys like that usually get caught, but gvts usually don't, until the perps are long out of office or dead, so a "fiat economy" remains politically viable, even when it's not economically viable. This week, A. X. (The "Ax") Perez explains how deficit spending is like gun control, i. e., it doesn't work.

Free Lunch?
by A.X. Perez

Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

"There ain't no such thing as free lunch."

This quote is economics summarized in eight words. According to Wikipedia this aphorism was first verbalized in so many words in an article published in the El Paso Herald Post (now defunct) on 27 June, 1938. It was popularized most notably by Milton Friedman and Robert A, Heinlein, of course.

Politicians earn a living promising a free lunch and people want to believe in this thing. As a result conservatives concede raises in taxes slower than liberals (aka Progressives or honestly socialists) raise government benefits, while the left raises taxes slower than the right cuts bennies,

The deficit grows to feed a fantasy. The problem is, if a Congresscritter tries to break this cycle he will get booted from office. As a result, we never adjust government behaviour to reality. The deficit grows. Technically, I think the refusal to adjust behaviour to real world events is a reasonable definition of insanity. Then again, it is human nature to prefer a sweet lie to a bitter truth.

People want laws that keep weapons out of the hands of criminals while guaranteeing the right of honest folk to arm themselves in self-defence. This is why back in the 1980's polls came out "proving" that 2/3 of Americans want gun control and 2/3 oppose it. A matter of which question you ask.

Politicians know that any laws controlling the availability of weapons will militate to disarm honest folk and do nothing to keep weapons out of the hands of criminals. Both sides of the run control debate will actually come out and admit as much. However, especially after a great tragedy, people will allow themselves to be stampeded into supporting "reasonable restrictions" of the right to keep and bear arms.The result to date has been the passage of every victim disarmament law currently on the books.

Fortunately, in most of the United States the people have wised up to the ultimate futility of gun control laws and have refused to support passage of more, have in fact gotten rid of many such. There have been some places where powerful anti-gun political machines have been able to steamroller their agenda through, but for the most part people understand that as far as making people safer gun control is a failure.

"Reasonable restrictions" on the right to keep and bear arms is a delusion, a fantasy, just as "free lunch" is. a sweet lie. Better to live by the bitter truth.

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