The Russians say there is no free cheese except in a mouse trap. Given the heaps of stuff we get without shelling a cent, like email, a facebook page, messaging, and gobs and gobs of content, it might behoove us to wonder how is it that we are actually paying. Because pay, we do. Every bit of data we generate has value, but we’re fine with giving it away for free. Collectively, we are the inventory by which billions in revenue are generated. We pay in other ways too. Our new found expectation that content be free, means that we get what we pay for, with potentially catastrophic implications. Local news, for instance, suffers because the new paradigm doesn’t support the cost of substantive investigative journalism. This diminished check against both public and private sector shenanigans should concern us all. Support journalism. Pay for a subscription.