Sarah Palin abhors "free stuff."
There's a certain judgment inherent in that phrase. It's so anti-American, in the sense that most of us have been taught that you have to work for what you get and that you get what you pay for. Those are both pretty good lessons, although they don't take into account that there are times when those of us who have stuff give some of it to people who don't have any stuff, just because there's something not only un-American but actually inhuman about letting people go unfed or without shelter or medicine.
But Palin, the former Alaska governor and failed vice presidential candidate who has been far more successful as a media personality and motivational speaker, is so upset about the "free stuff" she believes the federal government has been giving out that she has likened it to slavery. At a Faith and Family Foundation event in Iowa, Palin said:
This free stuff, so seductive. Why do you think marketers use free stuff to bring people in? Free stuff is such a strong marketing ploy. But didn't you all learn too in Econ 101 there ain't no such thing as a free lunch? Our free stuff today is being paid for by taking money from our children and borrowing from China.
When that note comes due -- and this isn't racist … but it's going to be like slavery when that note is due. We are going to be beholden to a foreign master. Because there is no plan coming out of Washington, D.C. to stop the incurrence of debt.
Now, she has a point in general – always be suspicious if someone gives you something claiming there are no strings attached (that free sample often comes with a fine-print condition that you continue to buy said product every month, with the amount automatically charged to your credit card). But slavery? Selling human beings, forcing them to do manual labor, raping the women and beating and hanging the men – really? That's what the debt is like?
More to the point, Palin might have a bit more credibility on the "free stuff" rant if she hadn't been governor of Alaska. You want free stuff? Head north and make a left. Alaskans pay no individual income tax or sales tax. That not enough for you? Cheer up; Alaska will actually give you money every year for no reason – just because you're you and you live in Alaska (and have been living there at least 12 months). It's called the Permanent Fund Dividend, and it varies every year.
In 2008, Alaskans got a check for more than $2,000; this year, it's about $900. If that's not free stuff, what is? It's like those kids whose parents gave them an allowance but never made them set the table or shovel the driveway.