It was Milton Friedman who coined the slogan “There is no such thing as a free lunch.” And this is exemplified by the following story that was recently sent to me, which is: Once there was a chemistry professor in a large college who had some exchange students in her class. One day in class the professor noticed a young male exchange student who kept rubbing his back and stretching as if his back hurt. When she asked the young man what was the matter the student told her he had a bullet lodged in his back.  He had been shot while fighting communists who were trying to overthrow his country’s government and install a new communist regime. In the midst of his story he looked at the professor and asked a strange question. He asked, “Do you know how to catch wild pigs?” The professor thought it was a joke and asked for the punch line. The young man said this was no joke.  The answer is that you catch wild pigs by finding a suitable place in the woods and putting corn on the ground.   The pigs find it and begin to come every day to eat the free corn. Then, when they are used to coming every day, you put a fence down one side of the place where they are used to coming.   When they get used to the fence, they begin to eat the corn again and you put up another side of the fence. They get used to that and start to eat again. So you continue until you have all four sides of the fence up with a gate in the last side.  The pigs, which are used to the free corn, start to come through the gate to eat, and then you can slam the gate on them and catch the whole herd. Suddenly the wild pigs have lost their freedom.  They run around and around inside the fence, but they are caught.  But soon they go back to eating the free corn.  They are so used to it that they have forgotten how to forage in the woods for themselves, and quickly they begin to accept their captivity.

The young man then told the professor that is exactly what he sees happening in America.  “The government keeps pushing us toward Communism/Socialism and keeps spreading the free corn out in the form of programs such as supplemental income, tax credit for unearned income, tobacco subsidies, dairy subsidies, payments not to plant crops, welfare, medicine, drugs, etc., while we continually lose our freedoms – just a little at a time.  And then, in not so long a period of time, we are captured.” So all of us should always remember that there is no such thing as a free lunch! Dr. Friedman also gave us another eternal truth when he said that we get more of what we subsidize, and less of what we tax. And the truth is that today we are subsidizing entitlements, victimization and even laziness, and taxing success. So what are we getting more of? Does this concern you? It certainly concerns me.

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President, along with
Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President