Everybody seems to hanker to get something for nothing. Because of that universal desire, and our inability to satisfy it, we have all these fairy tales about the tragic costs of magic.
Yes, the cost of something-for-nothing can be shockingly high. In some savvy tales, audacious hopefuls wind up giving away first-born children to pay for their something-for-nothing.
For half a year, our leaders have gone on a something-for-nothing binge, throwing money at a downturned economy. Lots of money. Trillions.
Where does it come from?
Not exactly. Politicians and financiers use complicated tricky maneuvers to gain money they don’t have.
With the help of the Federal Reserve, they can sorta create money. But that creation has costs. It makes the money less valuable. We don’t always see this right away. Right now people are switching away from spending, so a lot of new money goes into savings. When people start spending again, though, prices will rise and money’s value will plunge. Gold into lead.
Politicians also get money by borrowing. But that also comes at a cost: It must be paid back. Here, politicians play an old fairy tale game, not exactly giving up their first-born, but saddling our children and grandchildren with debt. It’s a mean, wicked stepmother kind of policy.
Maybe we should be reading more fairy tales these days. For the realism.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.