Yes! There is a free lunch, on Saturday 2 May 2015 in Penzance. And why not? Were you going to say that can’t be so? Were you thinking of the costs of your food, the sweat, the suffering, the soil from which it came? And who it helped or hurt along the way? Actually, as well as nourishment, food can bring joy.
“There’s no such thing as a free lunch” we hear people say, and usually the message is, “that will cost you” and “you should know better”, almost a parental scolding, a warning that things come with strings attached or hidden costs. Don’t trust what does not have a pricetag! There is a whole school of economics built around the belief that everything has a price and so markets should make all decisions for society.
And so often this is a mantra shouted by free-market extremists who think that social chaos ruled by rich non-taxpaying businesses is the way to the good life, and anyone who stands in the way of that is stupid and interfering with guaranteed prosperity. Well, prosperity for the rich 1% who freely capture and control markets, and suffering, insecurity, powerlessness, hunger and humiliation for everyone else who are told they deserve to suffer because they just don’t have enough money to buy their way out. Every man for himself, and may the best man prosper, and only the best man, and ruin to the rest. For free-marketeers, people without money by definition are worthless. Yes, they want to put a price on everything.
Actually don’t people want to be good, kind and generous and help and care for others? Can you put a price on that? No, those are values, and we share them.