Should We Get Life’s Necessities without Effort?

Goods and services aren’t free because they involve scarce resources. If you want heat, food, shelter, clothing, transportation, internet, and all the other things that make life comfortable and fun, you either have to make them yourself—chop wood and build a fire, dig a well, forage for food, etc.—or you have to trade for them using the goods and services you prefer to produce and/or you are better at producing. Personally, I’m better at building websites than at making my own clothes, so I’ll go with the option at which I have the comparative advantage.

I know some people believe they should get all of life’s necessities without effort as some sort of stipend just for being alive, but such a system would not actually make the goods and services they need available at no cost, it would simply force someone else—someone more productive—to bear the cost. Staying alive requires effort. Being comfortable requires even more effort. Like it or not, it’s reality.

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Parrish Miller has worked as a web designer, policy analyst, blogger, journalist, digital media manager, and social media marketing consultant. Having been largely cured of his political inclinations, he now finds philosophy more interesting than politics and is focused particularly on alternative ideas such as counter-economics, agorism, voluntaryism, and unschooling.