Nothing Is For Free
“Free birth control”
“Free union benefits”
“Free guaranteed jobs”
“Free loan forgiveness”
“Free universal basic income“
I’m sure there are a ton more.
Regardless, they are all wrong.
A PSA To The “Free Stuff” Crowd
None of these policies are “free”. Anyone that uses the “free” emblem when referring to tax-provided goods is a (useful) idiot.
Take education. Europeans frequently discuss their “free” college systems. But it’s not free in any sense of the actual word.
The definition of free is:
without cost or payment.
College does not suddenly become without cost because the government waves a fairy magic wand saying it’s free.
The college still has to pay for the infrastructure. They have to pay for the faculty and staff that support the college. The costs still exist.
The only thing that changes is the method of payment. Instead of the consumer paying it, the government pays it.
But who funds the government?
So it still comes at a cost to you and the government. The services still cost.
The only difference is you are just shuffling the payer.
Instead of paying directly for the good/resource consumed at the point of transaction, you pay the government over your entire taxpaying life.
Which is the actual issue with the “muh free resource” people. They do not recognize time. According to them, if you don’t have to pay right now, it’s “free”. Even if you have to pay for your entire life through taxation. Which is just wrong using any definition of the word.
Same goes for things like birth control and tampons. It is not as if these goods just magically appear in the stores. They still require manufacturers. These manufacturers must pay their rent, their employees, their operating costs, and every other expense. It still costs.
They manufacturers do not just provide this to the government free of charge or expense. The government still pays. And when it pays, it does so out of your money. That diverts money away from other resources you could have received (opportunity cost) or requires an increase in the amount of money taken from you over time.
Someone has to pay for the good to be created. When those goods are given out without immediate charge, they are just paid for through taxes.
Sometimes this happens at a much higher markup. Instead of just paying direct to the provider it has to cycle through the government bureaucracy as well. This increases costs. As does the government offering to pay in the first place.
There is nothing that is “free” when you understand the most basic economics concepts.
Anyone that uses the term to relate to a taxpayer funded resource should be immediately discredited.
I’m not against taxpayer funded resources. Quite on the contrary, I support a ton of them. But I am against misinformation and people’s inability to comprehend resource allocation and costs.
TL;DR: Nothing is free. You are still paying for anything that is supposedly “free” through life long tax payments.
Next time someone says something is “free”, don’t even bother arguing with them. Just link them to this article. It’s not worth arguing with them until they learn how basic math works.
(Also don’t bother responding to the “just print money” argument either, inflation is just a savings tax.)
You should also check out: Democrats Cost Too Much: Where Is The $101 Trillion Coming From?