“Dad, why isn’t everything free? I think everything should be free”, was the question/comment from my kid, and it was from a perspective of compassion. After giving my response, I realized that she was not convinced (one clue was her admonition about greedy people in America), so I set out to put it to paper with greater thought.
Here it goes, Hon, hope this is an improvement.
Everything is worth something, because it takes the work of people to make it, or make it useful, or make it up, or make it better. Work can be by the mind or the hands or both, and work is worth something.
Once a person has made something with his mind or hands, or made it useful, that something becomes his property. Or if the person works at a job, he helps someone else make something, and they reward that person with different property (usually money) for his work.
Property is worth something because it is the reward for a person’s work. When a person works for his property that means he has earned it. When a person earns property, he is also rewarded in his heart and soul, because he has made himself useful, and made himself worth something.
The first reason that people work for property is to survive, that is, eat, drink, have shelter, and clothes, and medicine. The second reason people work for property is to provide for their family to survive in the same way. The third reason people work for property is to have more comfort and joy for themselves and their family.
And people protect their property, because it is like protecting themselves. You protect your property. Even dogs protect their property; just watch them with a bone. Protecting your property is natural, because it is worth something, and it is earned.
So things have value, because work has value, because people have value. Value is worth something.
So if everything has value, then nothing is really free.
If something is free, meaning that it wasn’t paid for, then it was actually given away by the person who earned it, or taken away from the person who earned it and given away by someone else. It was not free to start with, as nothing really is.
If everything were free, then nothing would have value, and nobody would earn anything, so people would have no value, and nothing would get made or made useful, so there would be nothing to get for free.
And as for greed, the dictionary says that it is the strong desire to have more than what is needed. I said before that the third reason that people work for property is have more comfort and joy for themselves and their family. There is nothing wrong with working and striving to have more than we need, and the truth is that America got to be great because so many people worked hard for more than they needed.
When you say Americans are greedy, I think you mean selfish, which is just not true.
According to the American Magazine, in 1995, on average per person, Americans gave to charity 3-1/2 times more than the French, 7 times more than the Germans, and 14 times more than Italians. The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University reports that in 2010, charitable giving by Americans was over $290 Billion (that’s 290 thousand million dollars!), and that doesnt count the extra money that Americans pay in taxes that the government gives away here in the U.S.($428 Billion in 2010 on Welfare) and as aid to foreign countries ($25 Billion in 2010) And none of this includes what Americans do for, and give to each other privately, in their local communities, and in their churches.
So America is not selfish at all, and although nothing is really free, Americans sure give away a lot of their hard-earned property to people in need.
I hope this helps you better understand,
With Love, Dad
Note to Readers: Please add your comments on why everything aint free, and help a Dad out.
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