When you hear the words Subsidy or Grant what first comes to mind? Thoughts of a benefactor giving generously to a noble cause? A charity getting money to help it achieve some worthy goal? The community benefiting from an outside contributor?
Words have meaning. Using language properly helps to successfully communicate a particular message or idea. However, language can also be twisted so that one can say a particular thing and yet mean something entirely different. Political scientists call this twisting of words, to say one thing but mean another, propaganda. The Nazi's and Soviets were masters at this game. For example, the Soviet paper was called "Pravda" and pravda means truth in Russian. However, the paper was anything but true in its reporting. It was filled with Soviet lies about America, the West and how wonderful life was in the Soviet Union.
Another group that is good at twisting words and meaning are liberals. Unfortunately their success has made it so we don't stop to think what really is happening. We just accept what is said as good and noble and move on with our day. For example, the words subsidy or grant has a positive meaning in our culture. If your industry or organization receives either, it means your group is doing something right, something well and we should all be thankful for your efforts. However, that is only true when it is a private subsidy or private grant. Private subsidies and grants come from organizations that have created wealth in the free market place. They have created a good or service that people like and in return freely given their money for said product or service. Furthermore the organization has done so in such a way to make a profit. Those profits have accumulated and now that organization decides to give back to the community in the form of a subsidy or a grant. In other words a gift. It can be in the form of a scholarship, in the form of matching funds, or just a lump sum. Private gifts are good things. They are voluntary. They are of free will. They allow for the full expression of liberty.
In contrast, when a subsidy or a gift comes from the government it is theft. How can I say such a thing? It is because the government does not create wealth. It only has money by coercion and through threat of force. People do not volunteer to give the government money. Instead government issues fees and taxes and then threatens fines or jail if it is not paid. Then this government turns around and gives that money to an organization they choose as a grant or to an industry as a subsidy. But the problem is, it isn't their money. They took it from all of us and give it to a particular group. If you or I did this, no matter how noble our cause, it would be called theft and we would be arrested — and rightly so.
For example, let's say you're eating at your favorite restaurant. And then I walk in and have a weapon in my hand. I ask everyone at every table to give me a dollar or I will cause them harm. I collect $50 and then walk out the front door. Everyone watches me cross the street and give $40 to a homeless woman with her little daughter. Of course I keep $10 for my noble service. Then I head down the road to do the same thing to another restaurant. What did I just do? I stole money from you and your restaurant neighbors and gave it to someone I chose worthy. But no matter how noble my cause, I should be prosecuted and sent to jail. There was NO act of charity here. There was no altruism. All that happened here was theft.
This is exactly what the government does when they give a subsidy or a grant. It is not their money, and yet we are supposed to throw a parade and have a press conference for the politician who either "gives" or "works hard" to get the money for group X. If Uncle Sam had a big stash of money of its own, it would be one thing. But Uncle Sam is so broke he borrows .46¢ for every dollar he spends. He looks charitable and nice, but in reality he is a big thief.
Next time when you hear a group get a government grant or an industry receive a government subsidy, stop and think. It's no wonder we work hard and have very little to show for it. We are continuing to be robbed by a noble, gracious and charitable government.