Monday, January 23, 2023

Rep. Twardzik: Why There’s No Such Thing as a Free Lunch


OP-ED:  Why There’s No Such Thing as a Free Lunch

By Pennsylvania State Rep. Tim Twardzik (R-Schuylkill)

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives is off to a slow start this session, much to the disappointment of my fellow Schuylkill County representatives who you sent to Harrisburg to serve. The 2022 gerrymandered district maps, implemented by a faulty process, were praised as fair. They have been shown to be anything but and have shifted majority and produced gridlock – not good government.
My agenda continues to be to serve the fine people of the 123rd District by supporting constitutional amendments to secure election integrity and regulatory reform to halt excessive overreach by state agencies. I plan to reintroduce my blight registration bill that continues the critical work to improve our neighborhoods.

Meanwhile, there has been much commotion regarding the Republicans holding up an additional $2,000 stimulus check offered by former Gov. Tom Wolf. This end-of-term announcement for additional money was just an empty wish list promise. Neither I, nor any of my colleagues, had the chance to vote on giving another stimulus check, and blaming Republicans is just plain wrong and unfair. (This story has a familiar ring to it – sort of like a promise of Biden’s Student Loan Forgiveness.)

Last year I voted on a budget that spent a lot to help the state and you, as we moved forward to continue our recovery from the pandemic. That budget also saved a lot of money, bringing Pennsylvania’s Rainy Day Fund to over $5 billion. I will continue to be a good steward of your tax funds.

I realize that inflation has made this a more expensive and difficult winter. While another stimulus check would be most welcome to your wallet and household budget, there is no such thing as a “free lunch.” Our current high inflation is a result of too much money chasing too few goods and we cannot “give” our way out of inflation.

I’d like to share the following article titled, “Why There’s No Such Thing as a Free Lunch,” that concisely explains that free money is not free. The dog-eared article was a favorite of my father that he would share with employees, family and friends. It is a short, smart and relevant explanation. (I apologize that I can’t find the original source of this article.)

“A natural part of human nature, it seems, is the unquenchable desire to get something for nothing. Unfortunately, the world was not made to match human desire. For example, three-fourths of it is covered with water – and man has no gills.

The only way around this dilemma is to grow up – to become mature enough to separate our “wants” from the facts, and then live productively with those facts.

The fact which prevents the existence of the free lunch, for instance, is that nothing in our material world came from nowhere or disappears into nothingness since our economic life is based upon material things, each is assigned a value based upon the source of the material, the effort involved in making it more useful, and the transportation involved in getting it to its destination. This value is the cost which must be paid in getting it to its destination. The value is the cost which must be paid – whether it’s a lunch or a lunar rock.

The fact that you don’t pay for the lunch doesn’t make it free. Somebody picks up the tab – and that’s why government handouts are as spurious as free lunches. Government is never a source of material goods. Everything produced is produced by people – and everything that government gives to the people, it must first take from them.

The only product-created money the government has to spend is that taxed or borrowed out of the people’s earnings. When government decides to spend more than it gets in this way, the extra unearned money must be created out of thin air via the printing press. When this kind of money is spent, it takes on value only by reducing the worth of all earned money, savings and insurance.

This devaluation is called inflation and it’s the tab we all pick up when we allow government to sell us the myth of the free lunch.”

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