Sunday, February 24, 2008

I'm Good With That

I was talking with someone this weekend. A friend I consider a confused conservative at heart, he said he was talking to a workmate and they were talking about programs to help homeless people, and the guy said to him something like:

"If they want to take money out of my paycheck to help those people, I'm good with that. Because there but for the Grace of God go I."
He agreed. I let it go for now.

The sentiment is noble, but flawed. I'd like to ask, OK... so suppose there were no taxes, but there was a form you could fill out that let you check a box to let "them" take out some amount that "they" determined a fair amount to "do that".

Would you really check it? Really?
Well I know this guy very well and I would believe him if he said he would.

But we don't have that option. We are saddled with such taxes, and there is no such box on our HR forms to opt in or out or adjust the amount.

Now he has told me in as many words that he is a Democrat. And I assume that is partly due to the narrative that Democrats believe in helping people, and he wants to help people. All good.

So what's the problem? What sticks in my craw?

Basically, by voting Democrat and voting for a chunk to be taken out of his paycheck, he is saying to his neighbor, "I will give to this cause whatever this man or woman says I will give. And so will you. It will be law. And if you don't and you refuse to cooperate, eventually men will show up at your door with guns and escort you to jail."

Of course, they don't realize they're saying all the rest of that beyond "I will give". But effectively, that is excactly what they are saying.

Charity outside the government existed long before the government got into the business. We are all free to give as much money to whatever causes we wish to give, and if no organization exists to address a particular issue some of us find relevant, we are free to start one.

Besides, the government has never been particularly efficient about doing ... well, anything.

Forcing our neighbors to pay compulsary fees is merely a way for us to soothe our consciences with minimal pain to ourselves.

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