There Always Is A Price Tag


Prophet Statesmen, Albert E. Bowen

There is no such thing as getting something for nothing. That cannot be done. The individual may seem to obtain gratuities out of the treasury without giving anything in return. But that is a delusion. In the first place, somebody had to work to accumulate the taxable property and earn the income from which the money is taken in the form of taxation and put into the treasury. There is no other way for it to get there. It is the fruit of someone’s toil.

But besides and beyond this, the individual, or state or municipality which takes anything from the Federal Treasury always finds certain conditions attached. The government demands as a condition of the gift certain supervisory rights, or the right to prescribe enabling conditions. Thus, the recipient gives, if not money, something which may be infinitely more precious. “The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.” (Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America 2:339) He has been compelled—or IT has in case of a subordinate governmental unit—to exchange some freedom of action, to part with a degree of independence and to recognize a degree of direction from another never before owed.

Source: Albert E. Bowen, LDS Church New, June 6, 1951. Albert E. Bowen (1875–1953) was a mem­ber of the Quo­rum of the Twelve Apos­tles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Prior to his call to full time church ser­vice Albert Ernest Bowen taught at Brigham Young Col­lege, then grad­u­ated with hon­ors from Uni­ver­sity of Chicago law school, prac­ticed law in Logan, Utah, and later Salt Lake City, where he also became involved in many impor­tant busi­ness ven­tures such as the Utah Con­struc­tion Com­pany, the Amer­i­can Sav­ings and Loan Asso­ci­a­tion, and the Utah Fuel Company.

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