Larry Elder
There ain't no such thing as a free lunch. Everything demanded by the Occupy Wall Streeters -- whether "free" health care, a "world-class education" or a "guaranteed living-wage income regardless of employment" status -- costs money.

When a CEO makes a lot of money in the private sector, it is because his company -- rightly or wrongly -- values that CEO's services at that price. To say it is "not right" that a CEO makes (fill in the blank) times more than the janitor is to say it is not right for the marketplace to set wages. If the marketplace ought not set wages, then who or what should?

Most people work for the private sector, which cannot exist without profit.

Is the OWS objection to bank bailouts on the grounds that government should not protect businesses from the consequences of their actions? Or is the objection that bailouts should be for everybody?

We already have a huge welfare state, with entitlements -- Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid -- the biggest expenditure of the federal budget. Europe's welfare state is larger, with a slightly smaller "gap" between the rich and the poor. Yet its citizens also take to the street to denounce inequality. Puzzling, isn't it?

No one can legally ask about the immigration status of a public school student, so Americans and non-Americans, including illegal aliens, receive a K-12 public education at taxpayers' expense.

Per-pupil spending for public education increased 49 percent from 1985 to 2005. Community colleges are cheap, and many states guarantee a junior college graduate admission to a public four-year college.

The physical advantage that men possess over women is an increasingly small advantage -- given the decline of labor-intensive jobs and the technology that makes it easier for machines to do hard, dangerous, repetitive work.

There are more tenants than landlords, which thus exemplifies the stupidity of "rent-control" laws. Rent-control laws disproportionately benefit the non-poor because the elite pull strings, work the system and are better connected than the non-poor. All of this matters when items of scarcity (in this case, apartments) are dispensed by government dictates rather than through prices.

Government possesses no money of its own. It raises money by taxing, by borrowing or by printing.

The bigger the government, the smaller the private sector.

Individuals can spend their money more wisely, efficiently and more humanely than can government.

People value and spend their money more wisely when they acquire it by their own efforts -- also known as work. There are real-world, direct consequences on you for squandering your own money, as opposed to when government squanders the money of its people.

Larry Elder

Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an "Elderado," visit