Skip to comments.It's Free
Posted on 01/18/2014 9:03:42 PM PST by huckfillary
One of the most misused words in the English language is free, as in its free. Whether its the free samples of stuff at Costco, or the free pens and refrigerator magnets they give away at your local bank or car dealership, or the free hip replacement your mother-in-law just received, we use the term freely, so to speak, without ever considering its true meaning. When we say its free, what we really mean is that someone else is paying for itvoluntarily or involuntarily. And this is a very important distinction. Because one is morally defensible, while the other is not. One involves a clear violation of private property rights, enshrined in the Seventh Commandment, while the other does not. The Seventh Commandment states, Thou Shalt Not Steal Thy Neighbors Goods. This is the clearest affirmation of private property rights ever handed down. By The Man Himself. And its etched in stone. You cant take someone elses things, period. And just because you take something from someone and turn around and give it to someone you believe is deserving doesnt justify it either. The Seventh Commandment is everything the Good Lord ever had to say about social justice,about what is mine and what is thine.
The free samples of some new pineapple/anchovy salsa being handed out by the nice ladies in latex gloves at Costco are not really free. They are either being paid for by Costco, or the company that makes those dreadful concoctions. So while Costco is erroneously saying, Try these free samples, what they really should be saying is, Try one of these dreadful concoctions that we or the producer are paying for. The same with the pens and refrigerator magnets at your local bank or car dealership. And the customers are likewise incorrect when they proudly tell their spouses, The pens were free, Honey.
But, while the merchants and customers are misusing the word free in these examples, if only because its convenient, the actions in both cases are not immoral. Neither action involves breaking the Seventh Commandment nor anyones private property rights. Both the salsa and the pens and refrigerator magnets are owned by the parties giving them away. The owners can dispose of them as they wish. But, in any event, they are not free. Someone had to pay for them.
In the case of your mother-in-laws hip replacement, it is neither free nor morally acquired. The new hip wasnt free; it was clearly paid for by somebody else, in this case the taxpayer. And it was not morally acquired, since it involved a breach of the Seventh Commandment and private property rights. The money to pay for her new hip came out of her neighbors pocket, the very party the Seventh Commandment was designed to protect. The money to pay for the hip was taken from her neighbor by a third party, an intermediary we customarily call the government. Third Party intervention, however, does not legitimize the violation of the Seventh Commandment nor the very private property rights protected by the Seventh Commandment. If a highwayman robs you at gun-point and tells you they are going to give all your money to the needy, it doesnt make it right. Its still a violation of that pesky Seventh Commandment.
Both the hip replacement and the act of that thoughtful highwayman involve a breach of the Seventh Commandment and the private property rights protected by the Seventh Commandment. In either case, the ends do not justify the means. Nor is the hip replacement free. But if you ask your mother-in-law how much she had to pay for the hip replacement, she would in all likelihood and without a second thought say, It was free. What she really should have said was, My neighbor paid for it, and they didnt even ask him for permission.
So the next time youre about to casually say, Its free, think again. Because, rightly or wrongly, it really means someone else is paying for it.
The Artful Dilettante
I still like Free Parking and believe Free Parking is one of the stalwart pillars of the American Economy.
Hold your horses. Don't be messin with my medicare,
I am due for another ‘free’ electric wheelchair.
It not YOUR $$$. It's mine. I paid in.
It comes from the 'trust' fund.
Thanks for the popularity update on Massa’ Obama’s Plantation.
Who knew that a Black man would be the owner of the largest Welfare Plantation ever?
Yeah, well someone else payed for the lot, right?
“It’s a free country”...
Every late-night huckster on Coast to Coast AM with George Noory talks about “free energy” but is clueless as to its actual meaning.
Lol. It IS saturday night, you know. :)
We used to give away free encyclopedias, all you were asked to do was to keep them updated for ten years, at a nominal cost, about a cup of coffee a day.............
Great! Just great!
“Free shipping” would be a good example, also internet purchases ‘free’ of taxation.
“It’s free! Swipe your EBT.”
Yeah, well it’s late.
That vid is disgusting.
It is but make sure you understand the intent of the video. They are exposing the scam and mocking the players.
I thought they were bragging about it.
I did too, first time I saw it. Watch it again and listen to the lyrics.
One of my pet peeves is the term “free gift.” Whenever someone offers me a free gift, I ask, “What other kind of gift is there?”
“I still like Free Parking....
Yeah, well someone else payed for the lot, right?”
There used to be a lot of stores in downtown Tampa. I think there was always a parking meter, but the cost was a nickel or a dime. The price kept going up. Now there are no stores. Why would you pay $1.75 and then have to worry and watch the clock and maybe get a ticket? The mall parking is “free.” The difference is the city owns the streets and rather than take their cut just from taxes or fees they want a cut from the customer’s too. But the mall or the strip store is private and they make it convenient by putting the charge in the rent.
Yes, he wrote “payed.” Where were these people in English class? Just imagine, these people can read many books, articles, etc. and yet does not notice that the word is spelled “paid.” Damn.
Even the author of the piece has no concept of the spelling of “its” as a possessive pronoun and “it’s” as the contraction of “it” and “is.” This is something that I refer to in my tagline...to no avail.
Oops, I made a boo-boo. The “does” in the first sentence is superfluous.
Can you think of anything, other than non-compressed air, that is free?
They often pay property taxes, have to install and maintain the pavement, remove snow and police it too.
Its a free country
Used to be...
“I am due for another free electric wheelchair.”
You don’t get a free wheelchair from medicare. You pay 20% which ends up being more than it would cost if it were sold on the open market.
Case in point, my spouse’s (manual) wheelchair was “paid for by medicare 20 years ago. It was $1200, of which she paid $240. A wheel chair at Harbor Freight is less than $60, twenty years later. Somebody stole a lot of money, but it wasn’t my spouse...
Well, a lot of so-called "gifts" have strings attached.