Heinlein on value part 2
More gold from Starship Troopers:
There is an old song which asserts that "the best things in life are free." Not true! Utterly false! This was the tragic fallacy which brought on the decadence and collapse of the democracies of the twentieth century; those noble experiments failed because the people had been led to believe that they could simply vote for whatever they wanted... and get it, without toil, without sweat, without tears.
Nothing of value is free. Even the breath of life is purchased at birth only through gasping effort and pain.
I fancy that the poet who wrote that song meant to imply that the best things in life must be purchased other than with money - which is true - just as the literal meaning of his words is false. The best things in life are beyond money; their price is agony and sweat and devotion... and the price demanded for the most precious of all things in life is life iself - ultimate cost for perfect value. -Mr. Dubois