Inadvertent Economic Advice

I love it when columnists try to make one point and unwittingly make another.  Case in point, this columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times in her column titled There is no 'free' lemonade argues that these kids, who are giving away lemonade that their parents paid for, are doomed because we can't even teach them the basics of running a lemonade stand.  From her column:

"No!" I exclaimed from the back seat. "That's not the spirit of giving. You can only really give when you give something you own. They're giving away their parents' things — the lemonade, cups, candy. It's not theirs to give."

I pushed the button to roll down the window and stuck my head out to set them straight.

"You must charge something for the lemonade," I explained. "That's the whole point of a lemonade stand. You figure out your costs — how much the lemonade costs, and the cups — and then you charge a little more than what it costs you, so you can make money. Then you can buy more stuff, and make more lemonade, and sell it and make more money."

The folks at BoingBoing point out why the columnist is inadvertently making out a point other than what she intended:

Get that, kids? The correct thing to do with the stuff you appropriate from others is sell it, not give it away! Sounds about right — companies take over our public aquifers and sell us the water they pump out of them; telcos get our rights of way for their infrastructure, then insist that they be able to tier their pricing without regard to the public interest. Corporatism in a nutshell, really.

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