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Posted by Smokey Stover on March 30, 2006

In Reply to: TANSTAAFL posted by Bob on March 29, 2006

: : : There was a professor of finance at Chigago University that used to say that "there is not such a thing as free lunch" in his lectures of derivatives. Anybody now who is him?
: : : Thanks a lot,
: : : Alex Kirzner - Brazil

: : Probably Milton Friedman

: Almost certainly Milt Friedman while he was at Chicago, but this truism is so fundamental to economics that any economist(or student of economics) is likely to echo the sentiment.

During the Great Depression in the U.S.A. (1930-1942) one would sometimes see, in bars, taverns and beer joints, following the end of Prohibition (in December 1933), placards advertising FREE LUNCH. It was probably in consequence of this idea of "free lunch" that smart economists (along with a lot of other people) thought they had to point out that there's no free lunch. Truism it may be, but the great mass of voters in the U.S., and perhaps elsewhere, believe with religious fervor that there is, indeed, a free lunch, as so many politicians promise. Or pie in the sky, which is another catch-phrase from Depression days, meaning about the same thing. .SS.