Sunday, September 4, 2011


She walked over and asked me if I needed anything.  

"I'm good, thank you.  I like your glasses."  (she did have pretty nice glasses, being a glasses wearer, I appreciate a good pair of peepers)

She then tells me that she got her glasses for free (she was very proud of her free glasses).

Now, glasses cost money.  I've never heard of free glasses.  Unless maybe her parents purchased her some glasses in a two for one deal?  Sorry, somebody says this kind of thing to me and I must know.

"Really, free.  How did you manage to acquire nice glasses like that free?"

She then responds, "Medicare."


Oh lord.  I pointed out, as nicely as I could, that when she received her very nice glasses at no cost to her, they still cost someone money.  That someone is likely someone like me.  And I told her that she could thank me, by picking up the cost of my breakfast (it was only $8.43).

She then responded that she didn't even have five dollars to her name.

So class, let's recap:
Girl doesn't have any money
Girl gets "free" glasses that likely run $150
Medicare pays the bill
Girl still doesn't have any money
But the real cost of those glasses, when you factor in the amount of money that it takes to run the government is a lot more than $150

And girl has to live with the knowledge that someone paid for her glasses.  Just not her.

I do not think that this is a good thing.
The young lady with the nice glasses agreed with me.  She said she would rather have a good job and make the money to pay for her glasses herself.

When will politicians learn?

free (fre) adj. fre·er, fre·est
1. Not imprisoned or enslaved; being at liberty.
2. Not controlled by obligation or the will of another: felt free to go.
a. Having political independence: "America . . . is the freest and wealthiest nation in the world" (Rudolph W. Giuliani).
b. Governed by consent and possessing or granting civil liberties: a free citizenry.
c. Not subject to arbitrary interference by a government: a free press.
a. Not affected or restricted by a given condition or circumstance: a healthy animal, free of disease; free from need.
b. Not subject to a given condition; exempt: income that is free of all taxes.
5. Not subject to external restraint: "Comment is free but facts are sacred" (Charles Prestwich Scott).
6. Not literal or exact: a free translation.
a. Costing nothing; gratuitous: a free meal...


  1. That's true, but I'm happy to share part of my income, in a coordinated fashion with a large group of other people, so that people in that group who can't afford decent glasses can get some anyway. But I'm not sure I like the idea that everyone should be forced to share their income like that, on pain of being fined or sent to jail. If I don't share part of my income with the federal government to pay for medicare and so on, I'll get fined, at least, and maybe sent to jail. That seems pretty danged wrong to me. It's my income, I earned it, and I should get to decide what's done with it. I would definitely way rather live in a society of people who believe in the concept of private property, and the free market, and capitalism and all that, the general idea that what you earn is actually Yours, than in a place where people think you should be Issued your livelihood by Big Brother, and slave away your whole life for him in return.

  2. I guess I'm not dead set against the idea of thinking of this mandatory sharing of my money with the local charity association as being part of the price of living here, so long as we all vote and agree that it is, and on how much it is, and on what the things are that we're going to pay for that way, and so on. But I'm not sure that I like the idea of a Huge Centralized charity association like that. I'd rather it were more distributed, and consisted of smaller groups of people. Maybe 1 million or at most 10 million, definitely not 300 million. Because when you get something so huge like that, it gets really inefficient, way too powerful, too hard to monitor and keep track of, and ends up doing a lot of really crazy things nobody knows about and it starts to get hard to get away from it, because everywhere anywhere near enough to any of your friends and relatives is part of it. So it becomes kind of impractical to go to get away from it, impractical for people to "choose with their feet". And anyway, if we're going to consider it part of the price of living here, ok, but then what we should be doing with people who refuse to pay it is kick them out of the area, not send them to jail.

  3. Even in the case of local mandatory charity associations, I'm a bit concerned about growing a population of dependents, and I'm a bit concerned that those dependents will begin to feel Entitled to my money, because they think need it more than I do, and that they will grow to such a size that they can outvote those of us who earn the money that pays for all their "free" goods and services. Also, I feel that 35% to 40% of my Entire Income is Way Too Freaking Much. 10%, ok. Maybe 15%. If there were no other taxes on top of those. But paying state and federal, fica, sales, and all kinds of other "excise" taxes and "fees" on various goods and services and so on is just way too freaking much. It totally stifles my ability to grow my own wealth and build up a retirement for myself.

  4. Yes, we need public education. To one extent or another we may need some form or another of public health (things like the FDA), we definitely need the military, the police, the fire department, and so on. We need judges and legislators and yes, even regulators. But there's just only so much of that kind of thing that we can afford, and if we're taking more than about 15% of any individual person's income, by the time we add up all the taxes that person pays, we're spending too much on all that kind of thing, because we're asking that person to work for the mandatory charity organization for more than 1 day in a 6 day working week.

  5. Instead of having one huge centralized mandatory charity organization, that everyone in the entire nation is forced to pay for, on pain of being fined more than their entire life savings and maybe getting sent to jail, why not have non-mandatory organizations that you can join if you want to, which pays for your medical needs when you get older? I guess folks would only join them when they got older, lol. So they wouldn't be able to pay for much. So.. there needs to be some incentive for younger people to join them and pay into them. Maybe it can be some kind of personal insurance fund. The more you've paid into it, over the years, the higher your coverage level or something like that. I guess most young folks might not be concerned enough about their far flung futures to join such things. So we'd be back to them not being able to pay for much. Well, maybe older folks can advise kiddos about it. Maybe older folks could be given a coverage bonus for recruiting younger ones? It seems to me that any number of ways to let the private industry handle the problem would be a lot better than having Big Brother do it, the way we're doing it now, but I suppose I wouldn't be dead set against requiring everyone to pay 3% of their income (which should be Part of the 15% I talked about earlier) into some kind of private insurance fund that accumulates for them and covers their insurance needs when they get older, but in that case there should be a lot of these medical insurance fund companies, people should get to choose between them, and they should compete with each other for people's money, and have the freedom to actually offer substantially different coverage and services and such, as long as they were transparent about their financial status. Maybe there should be third parties who review their books and plans, and rate their value to the customer, and their likelihood to stay the course. Maybe there should be some kind of FDIC-like insurance that protects people from loss of their accumulation due to the bankruptcy of the insurance firm.

  6. Man, I'm just amazed at how fast you must type. Either that or my procrastination in moderating comments must. stop. now...



Be nice. Get a sense of humor. Deal people.