No free rides



A letter to the editor in the Aug. 13 edition of The Express, “Land of the free ride,” by Michael Kerstetter, complains that supporters of Marc Friedenberg for Congress want “free” healthcare and “free” college tuition, suggests that they ought to know better, and implies that Mr. Friedenberg is campaigning for both.

This interpretation misrepresents the facts.

Marc’s positions on these and other issues are readily available on his website (https://marcforpa.com/). His platform plank on education says nothing about free tuition, but does address poverty as a root cause of our education system’s shortcomings. His healthcare plank calls for “Medicare for all” but not for “free” healthcare, although he does say that “healthcare is a human right.”

As an instructor at Penn State University, Marc surely knows, as we all understand, that nothing is without cost (i.e., free). I have talked with him on several occasions, and he believes that a modern society as wealthy as ours has a moral obligation to provide what its members need and deserve, whether that need is education, healthcare, roads to drive on, protection from violence, or any of the many other things we can’t effectively or efficiently provide for ourselves.

The letter writer goes on to claim, without any supporting evidence, that if we adopt these goals, a lot of liberals will somehow contrive to get all of the benefits for free, shifting the costs to other people. Not only is that ridiculously over-simplified, it’s simply not true. I know a lot of so-called liberals, and not one of them is asking for a free ride, which they all know doesn’t exist.


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