This is so classic that it must be noted in its full context:

Memo to Mooresville: Sell the town golf course.

That’s what the John Locke Foundation, a Raleigh-based libertarian think tank, said in a report released this week.

The report said the town should sell the course because it’s lost $450,000 in five years and as a matter of principle.

The pro free-market group believes that government shouldn’t compete with business or stray from its core mission of providing essential public services.

“Are they going to buy bowling alleys next? Are they going to go into the movie business next?” said Michael Sanera, who co-authored the foundation report.

Town Manager Jamie Justice disputed the idea that Mooresville shouldn’t own and run a golf course, saying that local governments run all sorts of typically “private” enterprises from golf, to electric and water and sewer systems.

“It’s up to a local community to decide what’s best for the community … not a foundation in Raleigh,” he said.

Gee, no kidding. And the only way to do that is to have lots of different opinions, some more rooted in fact than others, to be kicked around the community. Hence the Locke Foundation report, which notes such facts as there being six private golf courses in the county and 12 more in neighboring areas.

And as Mike Senera adds, “Mooresville bills itself as Race City, but the city could call itself Golf City after losing $450,000 in five years for an unnecessary city-owned golf course. That’s enough money to buy every Mooresville resident over 15 years of age a $30 ticket to a NASCAR race.”

Justice counters with — nothing really, just that we’re from the government and we have the power to do as we please.