Friday, April 08, 2011

This is Rich (Stopping Echoes)

...or at least be a damper on their reflection.

I was out on RCP which calls "Ryans" budget cuts "Fiscal Responsibility on the backs of the Vulnerable" (of course, you can count on the left to headline "World Ends.  Poor and Disabled Hardest Hit") .  From there I hit another story "Where are religious conservatives when you need them?"   with the outrageously clueless subtitle: "Religious conservatives profess to care about the poor, but when the poor need help most, they're nowhere in sight."  

It was that last bit that got me riled up.  Especially in light of this.  And the fact that the Religious have a well-known, long, long history of helping the poor.  Much longer than the Federal Government's.  Not only do they tend to give more in money, but they also put in their time as volunteers.  But to these people, if it didn't go through the Government, it doesn't count.

On the Stossel column, one commenter unwittingly made my argument for me when he said:
"Using the Salvation Army donations alone as a test to how much people give is completely bogus. I give to various philanthropic causes through online donations, and therefore withhold my change for the Salvation Army ringers." 
To which I was forced to reply:
And so is using support for government philanthropy to test how much people give.  Perhaps not everyone agrees with the agendas of these government programs, and that's why they vote against them.  This is EXACTLY why the government shouldn't be in the charity business.  It basically forces everyone to give to causes and organizations they might have philosophical problems with.  Besides, it's not the only test.  Apparently Arthur Brooks wrote a whole book on the topic.  I doubt it revolves around Stossel's Salvation Army test.
Speaking of one of those philosophical problems some people have -- one commenter on that "Where are Religious Conservatives When You Need Them?" article said:
"instead once the child has been born and there are expenses to pay, those anti-abortion zealots are against Aid to Families with Dependent Children (aka "welfare") because it is "unfair" or "too expensive."
to which I had to reply:
Uh, no. It's because 1) the government doesn't belong in the charity business, and 2) you get more of what you subsidize. If you make it harder on people to have children irresponsibly, fewer people will do it. If you make it easier on them, more people will do it.

But whether you make it harder or easier, if you believe it's murder, which they do -- "harder" doesn't justify killing. The government should butt out. Our local communities, churches, and other private charities will help like they always have. And they're harder to game. And it makes it harder for politicians to buy votes using Other People's Money.
And on one of them, a commenter also said:
Those conservatives say one thing but mean another. Bush Jr only claimed that so called Christian groups are the one's to help the poor with private money but turned around and gave them taxpayers money(grants) to pay those do-gooder's expense's. 
and back to my Echo Stopper Model ES-2000, now turned up to "11"....
You mean like when neoliberals say "Women's Health Care" when they mean "Abortion"? And "Transformation" when they mean "Revolution"? And "Investment" when they mean "borrow more money from tomorrow's children (who can't vote) to buy votes today from people who can"? 

Yes, I agree the government shouldn't even give grants to charities, religious or otherwise. But Bush Jr's action was a step in the right direction, at least. Charity belongs in the hands of private citizens and private organizations where the people giving the money have more say in where it goes.

Tell me, are
YOU a "do-gooder" when you give money to the government (which will throw you in jail if you don't)? Or do you only use that term when the people doing the good spend their own time and resources under some religious affiliation? 
Blood.  Shooting.  Out.  Of. Eyes.


Severian said...

So I read (ok, skimmed - life is short and blood pressure meds are expensive) that thread you commented on....

...and once again I'm struck by the... I don't even know the word... stuck-in-a-time-warp-edness of the left. It's like I said at Morgan's place once: you hear these leftards talking about "the Rich" and "Corporate America" and you start believing their entire concept of economics is based on one half-remembered history lecture where the hippie prof was bleating about the Standard Oil Trust.

For instance, one comment contained this gem: "Why do you think they even probably care about eliminating poverty? Social conservatives (whether they call themselves "Christian" or not) don't believe that government has any role in reducing poverty. They view poverty as a moral failure, indicative of the just will of [God / the market] (when they even distinguish between those two concepts)."

Poverty is a moral failure? The will of God, who is also the market? Who talks like that anymore? I think the last "conservative" who made such claims was also up in arms about the telegraph and creeping Bonapartism....

Whitehawk said...

Wow, libressives are blinded by these ideological prejudices. I love your responses. I would only point out a resource for more info on this topic. Marvin Olasky wrote a book in the early 90's about this topic in particular (the American Welfare system) called the Trajedy of American Compassion. Great title. Tells it all. There is such a thing as killing someone with kindness. He makes the argument well, with statistics, that when handouts were uncoupled with personal accountability to the one making the handout, everything went south.