Government: people food good; animal food bad

Filed in Accounting, Business by on February 8, 2014

The Food Stamp Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, announced that it is proud to be distributing this year the greatest amount of free Meals and Food Stamps ever, to 47 million people as of the most recent figures available.

Meanwhile, the National Park Service, administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, asks us “Please Do Not Feed the Animals.”

Their stated reason for the policy is because “The animals will grow dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves.”

The original author of this said he was not expressing his opinion on either policy, but simply found this ironic.  I think it is ridiculously tragic. We need subsidies for those who cannot take care of themselves. However, the combined effect of the food stamp, Obamacare and many other overlapping and badly monitored government programs are clearly encouraging millions not to take care of themselves.

I learned the futility of this by the time I was 13. I got tired of feeding wild birds so often, so I bought a bigger feeder. Many more birds soon emptied the bigger feeder even faster. I built a far bigger feeder and saw this even more dramatically.

I was only 13, but those birds taught me an important lesson. Most voters, politicians and economists still do not know that expectations and actual effective demand are essentially unlimited. You can only overcome this almost limitless demand with prices that limit consumption.

That means we need prices on every government service and verifiable subsidies (not unlimited funds) for those really in need.

 

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