The Goose That Laid The Golden Egg
"A man and his wife owned a very special goose. Every day the goose would lay a golden egg, which made the couple very rich.
'Just think,' said the man's wife, 'If we could have all the golden eggs that are inside the goose, we could be richer much faster.'
'You're right,'said her husband, 'We wouldn't have to wait for the good to lay her egg every day.'
So, the couple killed the goose and cut her open, only to find that she was just like every other goose. She had no golden eggs inside of her at all, and they had no more golden eggs."
An Aesop fable (620BC - 564BC)
Telling such simple stories as these Aesop was able to lend his wisdom to the ages. Why do these stories last? Because they are so full of wisdom that can be applied in every age, and understood by people in many different cultures, that they are passed along and passed along.
Certainly this wisdom can be applied in a free enterprise way! Free enterprise could certainly be said to be the goose that supplies the golden eggs. Can a society becoming less and less free-enterprise oriented kill the goose? Can this magical goose we all benefit from be killed?
Our current entitlement society, and gubments, local, state and federal, want more eggs than are being laid by economic activity. They spend more and more eggs before they are laid. As eggs are removed from the system and used for things that do not produce more eggs, freedom is restricted, standards of living are reduced, and less and less is available for personal wants and desires. The spiral is down.
Two recent events combined to lead me to fear we are killing the goose more quickly than we might think, and leaving devastation in our wake for those who follow us.
The first event: our mail often goes to other households and the mail for other households often comes to us. This is nothing new, and probably the same for everyone. In our neighbor's mail coming to our house one day was a DVD entitled something like, "How To Get Free Money." Of course, the basic economic fallacy there is that something is free. There is no free lunch. Money has, that is HAS, to come from someone else if we are to get it. If someone thinks there are ways to get "free" money, they must realize that first it was taken from someone else. This sort of behavior, and agency after agency after agency that exist to "teach" people how to acquire other people's money, are killing the goose.
The second event: the other day I was driving to a home inspection. All during the days before we were warned about the substantial snowfall that would bury our area. We were doomed. As a result of this forecast (key word: forecast) all of the local gubment agencies and schools closed. State and federal agencies sent out similar warnings, giving people the option of whether they could go to work or not. All of this was in advance. We ended up getting 1" of snow. The county I live in has dozens of gubment agencies, and dozens of schools. How many thousands of people are employed by these entities? Driving by the empty parking lots of two county gubment offices and many schools I realized that these people all were enjoying a paid day off. My neighbors who work for state and federal agencies also stayed home, enjoying a paid day off. Those paid days off are laid and harvested golden eggs, all gone to waste.
IN ADDITION, TWICE A SNOW TRUCK WENT UP MY STREET "PLOWING" THE SNOW THAT HAD ALREADY DISAPPEARED FROM THE STREET, AND SPREADING SALT. NOW REALLY, THAT WAS ENTIRELY UNNECESSARY. BUT STILL, I PAID FOR IT. I CONTRIBUTED TO THAT WASTE OF A GOLDEN EGG.
Where did those eggs come from? On the highway I noticed plumbing trucks, electrician trucks, HVAC technician trucks, etc., you name it, private trucks. All from private enterprises. They were all engaging in free enterprise. They don't have paid days off! But they provide paid days off for others.
Each day that this happens we are doing more and more to kill the goose. A larger and larger percentage of our society is not contributing to activity that creates the golden eggs. A larger and larger percentage of our society thinks it can get "free" money and is taking and consuming those golden eggs.
Are we killing the goose? None of that is free enterprise activity. It is the opposite. The opposite will kill the goose, albeit little by little, but it will eventually kill the goose. Statism will kill the goose. And the statist takers, and their taker constituencies, will run out of other people's money. And then the takers will blame the givers.
Free Enterprise Doesn't Kill The Goose