Here's what I did and didn’t learn from the recent debate


Dear Editor,
What I learned or didn’t learn by watching the Democratic presidential candidate debate on Dec. 19, 2019.
I learned that when given the chance they can be cruel and vicious (and I thought the male Polar Bear was the only one who would “eat their own”). I do not agree with Pete Buttigieg’s point of view, however he was attacked at length by the other candidates; Andrew Yang (I don’t agree with him either) was the only one who did not lower himself to this level.
I am a believer in live and let live, however I am also a fiscal conservative. I could not survive and support my family if I operated on the ideas and policies that were being proposed during the debate. “Free” college, “free” healthcare (I believe this system is broken but turning it over to the government and making it “free” is not in my mind the answer), “free” release of debt, well just about “free” everything.
Everything has a cost associated with it. As the old saying goes “there are no free lunches.”  
One of the “free” ideas thrown out (by Elizabeth Warren I believe) was giving everyone a thousand dollars a month. This thought struck me, so I did some quick research.
There are 331 million people (counted) in the USA. And the population grows by one every 18 seconds. At $1,000 a month that is $12,000 per year per person times 331 million people, that would equal 3.972 trillion dollars a year. Now let’s compare that to the Gross National Income (GNI) (formerly called the Gross National Product (GNP)) of the USA.  
GNI is an estimate of total value of all the final products and services turned out in a given period by the means of production owned by a country’s residents.
2019 GNI for the USA is $19.4 trillion. Giving everyone $12,000 a year would be equal to 20.5 percent or one-fifth of our GNI. Economically this by itself would not be feasible, let alone all the other “free” stuff!
Let’s think about this. First who is everyone? Second of all, if I am to get a thousand dollars a month why should I first give it to the government so they can give it back to me, can’t I just hang on to it and cut out the middle man?
Going down this slippery slope of “free” stuff for all, sounds good if you are to receive the “free” stuff, but what it does in the long run is destroy responsibility, accountability and productivity, and ultimately ambition and self-worth. After all, if you are going to “give” me $12,000 a year I can be $12,000 a year less productive!
Other things I learned: One trillion seconds is over 31 thousand years. One trillion pennies stacked on top of each other would make a tower 870,000 miles high.  
William Pirnat
Byron

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