The Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh excitedly touts that “General Admission to all facilities is FREE!”
But as the economist Milton Friedman famously taught us: there’s no such thing as a free lunch.
The Natural Science Museum may be free to attendees, but it costs millions of taxpayer dollars to operate.
The 2014-15 state budget appropriates roughly $12 million for the museum.
The science museum is a fun place to visit, I’ve taken my children several times, but it is not a core function of state government. The museum should be funded by voluntary donations and fees, not through the coercive force of tax collections.
Moreover, the $12 million in taxpayer dollars takes away from other state priorities that fall more in line with the proper functions of government.
For these reasons, government funding for the Natural Science Museum in Raleigh in this week’s Waste of the Week.