I just got back from lunch. Normally, I like Italian beefs, but this was an alarming and depressing lunch.
First off, it cost nearly $13 for an Italian beef, fries, and a drink. Inflation is a tax, but my meal also cost me more than a buck just for the sales tax.
It was especially alarming and depressing, however, because I paid a buck at another place first, to get a Chicago Sun-Times to go with my lunch. And almost every single article in the news section of “The Hardest Working Paper in America” related to government operations, to the coercive power of the State, and to my tax dollars.
The front page of the paper featured a main story about the Chicago Public School system’s preparation for fall, with a photo of the system’s CEO wearing a mask. Page two had a story about how the Illinois Boycott Restrictions Committee of the Illinois Investment Policy Board plans to warn Ben & Jerry’s of possible consequences for the company’s decision to stop selling ice cream in east Jerusalem and the West Bank in Israel. Page eight had a full-page article for the lead article on the front page, about how the interim Chicago Public Schools CEO has a top goal to enroll students at risk of leaving the school system. The Chicago Public School (CPS) system has had declining enrollment for years, and the system plans “city-wide marketing campaigns, home visits and intensive summer programming” to try to stem the decline. The system has recently been supported by “$1.8 billion in federal relief funding.”
Page 12 had a long story about how one government agency is investigating another government law enforcement agency, but did not cover how much money was being spent in this process or where it was coming from. This story had a story next to it about a man who was shot to death after he pulled a gun when federal marshals were trying to arrest him. Page 13 had an article about how the federal Environmental Protection Agency has been working to “make sure that the state sets strict rules” for the operation of an asphalt plant. The costs of potentially moving the plant have been a matter of dispute, including issues relating to how much public funding might be involved. This article was followed by an article about how Dr. Anthony Fauci is scheduled to be a speaker at a forthcoming convention for the Rainbow/Push Coalition that is titled “Beyond Freedom to Equality: Leveling the Playing Field in the Era of COVID.”
This is not a complete list.
There’s no such thing as a free lunch. Or a free newspaper.