The Wickedness of Negligence

Ramon Arias | January 28, 2013

Do you know the meaning of “there is no such thing as a free lunch”? Actually, it is the title of a book by Milton Friedman (1912-2006), an economist who in 1976 received the Nobel Prize in economics. 

The original idea does not come from Friedman.  During the 19th century, the saloonkeepers used it as a marketing tool by offering each day free lunch starting at 11 o’clock.  Obviously, the “free lunch” price was integrated into the cost of drinks.  The economic theory establishes that any goods and services offered must be paid by someone, “you do not get something for nothing.” 

Meditate on the following quotes from Friedman and seriously consider where we are and continue to move forward: 

“I am in favor of cutting taxes under any circumstances and for any excuse, for any reason, whenever it’s possible.”

“Maybe I did well and maybe I led the battle but nobody ever said we were going to win this thing at any point in time. Eternal vigilance is required and there have to be people who step up to the plate, who believe in liberty, and who are willing to fight for it.”

“Concentrated power is not rendered harmless by the good intentions of those who create it.”

“Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.”

“The Great Depression, like most other periods of severe unemployment, was produced by government mismanagement rather than by any inherent instability of the private economy.”

“The problem of social organization is how to set up an arrangement under which greed will do the least harm; capitalism is that kind of a system.”

“Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program.”

“The society that puts equality before freedom will end up with neither. The society that puts freedom before equality will end up with a great measure of both.”

“If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand.”

“Freedom in economics arrangements is itself a component of freedom broadly understood, so economic freedom is an end in itself … Economic freedom is also an indispensable means toward the achievement of political freedom.”

“The only way that has ever been discovered to have a lot of people cooperate together voluntarily is through the free market. And that’s why it’s so essential to preserving individual freedom.”

“The most unresolved problem of the day is precisely the problem that concerned the founders of this nation: how to limit the scope and power of government. Tyranny, restrictions on human freedom, come primarily from governmental restrictions that we ourselves have set up.”

“Inflation is the one form of taxation that can be imposed without legislation.”

“Many people want the government to protect the consumer. A much more urgent problem is to protect the consumer from the government.”

“Nobody spends somebody else’s money as carefully as he spends his own. Nobody uses somebody else’s resources as carefully as he uses his own. So if you want efficiency and effectiveness, if you want knowledge to be properly utilized, you have to do it through the means of private property.”

“The black market was a way of getting around government controls. It was a way of enabling the free market to work. It was a way of opening up, enabling people.”

“Governments never learn. Only people learn.”

“Hell hath no fury like a bureaucrat scorned.”

“History suggests that capitalism is a necessary condition for political freedom. Clearly it is not a sufficient condition.”

“Only government can take perfectly good paper, cover it with perfectly good ink and make the combination worthless.”

“The government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem.”

“The most important single central fact about a free market is that no exchange takes place unless both parties benefit.”

“The most important ways in which I think the Internet will affect the big issue is that it will make it more difficult for government to collect taxes.”

“The power to do good is also the power to do harm.”

“There’s no such thing as a free lunch.”

“We have a system that increasingly taxes work and subsidizes nonwork.”

“Most economic fallacies derive – from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another.” [1]

Ideas do have consequences. If wrong ideas are applied, they bring tragedy. If good ideas are applied correctly, then tragedy is removed from social life, to a great extent.  King Solomon said: “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death” (Proverbs 14:12).  If we ignore or neglect to do our dutiful responsibility of being watchmen in all that is taking place around us, then we have no one else to blame but ourselves, and all the plundering taking place before us is well deserved. The time to be wise and say enough is enough is long overdue.

People need understanding in order to figure out what is going on in the world.  Even those who now gladly rejoice to be in the receiving end will soon find out the sting of, “there is no such thing as a free lunch” because those who are paying for all the freebies are getting tired of footing a bill they never authorized.  There are many ways that seem right to men, however, if these ways are built on the backs and pockets of others it will always backfire. 

Every generation that overlooks or ignores the behaviors of the past as well as present social trends puts a greater burden on the next generation. This is evil, and highly condemned.  Noah Webster, in his book History of the United States, said:

“[I]f the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted. … If a republican government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the Divine commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the laws.”

Negligence collects its dues, and it is for this reason it is a wicked action that carries its effects to many generations.  We like to blame the government for all our ills.  We like to answer the pollsters when asked to grade Congress, the Supreme Court, and the Executive Office on their job performance, and you know that all grades are an “F,” that is if they are truthful in their grading.  But Webster said it well, if government fails it is because citizens neglect the Divine command.  Did he really say “neglect the Divine commands?”  Yes, he did.

An America without the Biblical worldview principles is not the original America. I do not care what others may say and neither should you because they are wrong and the Biblical worldview is right.  If you do not know the Divine Commandments how can you defend your life, liberties, the right to property, progress and that of your family and others?  If you say you love God, but neglect His divine Commandments don’t you think you are deceived?

Here is some homework for you in order to get you started in understanding what Noah Webster meant by not neglecting the Divine commandments: Read, meditate and seriously study Deuteronomy Chapters 4, 6, 8 and 28. This is to get you fired up and get you back on track if you have been derailed.  You do not want to be the one who kicks the can down the road to other people in order to avoid what you are expected to do.  You do not want to be judged by history as one who was negligent in doing what was right.


[1] “Milton Friedman.” Conservapedia, n.p. January 2, 2013. Web. January 28, 2013.