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  • Unionist Free Food League

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    Michael Hicks Beach (centre) with Arthur Balfour (left) and Joseph Chamberlain (right), by Sir Francis Carruthers Gould. The Unionist Free Food League was a British pressure group formed on 13 July 1903 by Conservative and Liberal Unionist MPs who believed in free trade in order to campaign against Joseph Chamberlain's proposals for Tariff Reform, which would involve an import tax on food. About 40 Conservative and 20 Liberal Unionist MPs attended the initial meeting. Former Unionist Chancellor of the Exchequer Sir Michael Hicks Beach became president of the group, replaced in October 1903 by the Liberal Unionist party leader Duke of Devonshire. Members included George Goschen, 1st Viscount Goschen, Hugh Cecil, Robert Cecil and Winston Churchill. Some like Churchill later defected to the Liberal Party. The Free Food League changed its name to the Unionist Free Trade Club in 1905. Whereas Chamberlain's Tariff Reform League was a grass-roots organisation which had captured 300 Unionist constituency associations by 1906, the Unionist Free Trade Club was little more than a parliamentary group and so was much less effective.

  • Free lunch

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    A free lunch is the providing of a meal at no cost, usually as a sales enticement to attract customers and increase revenues from other business. It was once a common tradition in saloons in many places in the United States, with the phrase appearing in U.S. literature from about 1870 to the 1920s. These establishments included a "free" lunch, which varied from rudimentary to quite elaborate, with the purchase of at least one drink. These free lunches were typically worth far more than the price of a single drink. The saloon-keeper relied on the expectation that most customers would buy more than one drink, and that the practice would build patronage for other times of day. Free food or drink is sometimes supplied in contemporary times, often by gambling establishments such as casinos. The saying "there ain't no such thing as a free lunch" refers to this custom, meaning that you always end up paying in some way for something offered for free.

  • There ain't no such thing as a free lunch

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    "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch" (alternatively, "There is no such thing as a free lunch" or other variants) is a popular adage communicating the idea that it is impossible to get something for nothing. The acronyms TANSTAAFL, TINSTAAFL, and TNSTAAFL are also used. The phrase was in use by the 1930s, but its first appearance is unknown. The "free lunch" in the saying refers to the nineteenth-century practice in American bars of offering a "free lunch" in order to entice drinking customers. The phrase and the acronym are central to Robert Heinlein's 1966 science-fiction novel The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, which helped popularize it. The free-market economist Milton Friedman also increased its exposure and use by paraphrasing it as the title of a 1975 book, and it is used in economics literature to describe opportunity cost. Campbell McConnell writes that the idea is "at the core of economics".

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