This post is by Jeff Carter from Points and Figures
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Lately, if you listen to Democratic candidates for President, you hear the word “free” a lot. Free health care. Free tuition. Everyone has a job at full employment. If you have college debt, debt forgiveness.
None of the candidates are dealing in reality. All those policies are integral to societies that collapsed.
But, let’s say you work in health care and think there should be socialized medicine. Single payer, government administered.
Are you willing to work for free or a fixed wage? Are the landlords and REITs which support socialized medicine that own the properties willing to give health care operations space rent free? Free utilities? Free parking? Are nurses and doctors that support the programs willing to work for free? Is there no difference in the skill level of anyone? Are some facilities better than others?
Are college that are in favor of debt forgiveness willing to teach for free? Administrators and other employees in the educational industrial complex work for free? Free real estate? Are some professors better than others? Do some colleges excel in certain disciplines or are they all the same. No difference between community college and Ivies?
The thing that every businessperson confronts is that resources are scarce. There are costs and opportunity costs to them. You have to allocate those resources to keep the business alive. In a broader sense, the market place allocates those resources.
When things are free they are a commodity. When they are a commodity, there is no differentiation and they are almost interchangeable. They are also not worth much.