Monday, February 27, 2006

The Government, Subsidies and Shell Games

Thomas Sowell has written an excellent piece on how the government is able to convince people that they are getting something for nothing by attaching strings to the services it delievers. He uses the "you have to sign up for Medicare if you want Social Security" requirement as an example. The concept helps explain just about all the other "basic rights" they create every couple of years.

This is a great passage:

"If there is something for sale in the marketplace for ten dollars and you would not pay more than five dollars for it, some politician can always offer to get it for you free -- as a newly discovered "basic right," or at least at a "reasonable" or "affordable" price.

..Suppose that the "reasonable" or "affordable" price is three dollars. How do you suppose the government can produce something for three dollars that private industry cannot produce for less than ten dollars? Greater efficiency in government? Give me a break!

The fact that you pay only three dollars at the cash register means nothing. If it costs the government twelve dollars to produce and distribute what you are getting for three dollars, then the government is going to have to get another nine dollars in taxes to cover the difference.

One way or another, you are going to end up paying twelve dollars for something you were unwilling to buy for ten dollars or even six dollars. But so long as you think you are getting something for nothing, the politicians' shell game has worked and the welfare state can continue to expand."

Unfortunately, Sowell, a conservative and black **GASP!** is marginalized by the mainstream media, so you must find his articles in places like He is one of the most brilliant minds in the country.

Here is the rest of the story.


At 11:28 AM, Blogger The Dr. said...

Dick Cheney had a hunting accident, you know.

At 11:29 AM, Blogger Scott Klajic said...

Really? Gosh, what happened? Did anyone get hurt?


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