No. 855



As I begin to share my thoughts with you, I have an honest confession to make. Today I am going to write the kind of column that I don’t like to write, but someone, hopefully thousands of people, will speak up about the many abuses that are taking place in country.
A few weeks ago I got a beautiful full-color piece in the mail (snail-mail) that had this heading: “No Payment Ever.” Below the heading were the following words: FREE Camera Phone – FREE Monthly Minutes. Then further down on the piece were these sentences, each with a red arrow in the check box beside them: FREE Camera Phone – FREE Monthly Minutes – No Contract – FREE Enrollment - No I.D. Required – No Problem.
How is that for getting something for nothing? It reminded me of the story of the company CEO who wanted to make his organization more efficient, so he hired a consulting firm with a stable of efficiency experts. He gave them the challenge to do an assessment of his entire operation and come back with ways to save his company money and run more efficiently. After about six weeks they came back with a report that contained more than 1,000 pages. The CEO looked at the report and said, “This is far too detailed, can you condense it down a bit?” So, they went away and came back a month later with a 500-page report.
Again, the CEO looked at the second report and said, “Still too much detail. Can you condense it still further?” In about a week they came back with one simple sentence. It read, “There is NO Free Lunch.” I probably don’t have to tell you that every business person in the private sector knows what this means. In addition to providing a useful product or service, every business is in existence to earn a profit. Profit is where every expense and all future potential growth comes from, and without it there is no future for the company.
For the uninitiated, here is how it works. A business sells its products and services to earn a profit. At the end of each accounting period, the business totals up its total sales and subtracts all of its expenses, including taxes, salaries, rent, utilities, insurance, advertising and all other expenses which is called overhead, and this leaves a net profit. Every business person understands that without profits, there is no future for the company. Again, they all understand there is no “FREE LUNCH” as someone has to pay for it.
Now, back to the beautiful brochure I received in the mail with all the offers of “FREE” printed all over it. Since someone has to pay, who do you think this is? I will give you the answer in a moment. For several months I had been hearing about people getting “FREE” phones, and this is what this unsolicited mailing piece was advocating. When I checked it out, I found that it is a government program offering anyone a free camera phone who is getting any form of government help such as Medicaid, food stamps, SSI, National School Lunch Program and Section 8 Housing. In short, the American taxpayers are paying for “FREE” phones for poor people, and again that’s not a regular cell phone but a camera phone.
Sadly, our government is now borrowing 40 percent of all the money it spends and we are more than $16 trillion in debt. Here are two statements that really sum it up. “The government’s food stamp program is pleased to report they are distributing the greatest amount of food stamps ever.” Meanwhile, the National Park Service warms, “Do not feed the animals.” They are concerned the animals will grow dependent and not learn to take care of themselves.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a public speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034. To begin a bookcase literacy project visit You won’t go wrong helping a needy child.)