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Monday, April 24, 2017

Government Charity Is Immoral

Some very good friends of mine had just filled me with food and adult beverages, and the conversation wandered to politics.  They brought up an outfit called Prager University, or PragerU.

I'd never heard of it.  It's a site that covers a ton of topics - from a conservative/libertarian point of view - in short, 5-minute videos that they crank out weekly.  I decide to go Scratch 'n Sniff for a bit.

Over the past week or so, I've dropped by and watched a video or two.  This morning, I watched one titled, "There is only one way out of poverty".  I figure I know their answer - work - and I give it a listen.

Right out of the box, I blow a blood vessel in my head.  Here are the first couple of sentences from the transcripts (highlights are mine, and indicate where the spikes in my blood pressure occurred) :

What’s the best way to help poor people escape poverty?
Progressives and conservatives have very different answers to this question, but before we explore those answers, let’s agree on this:
Both progressives and conservatives believe that the government has a moral obligation to help those who, through bad luck or unfortunate circumstances, can’t help themselves.
Here’s what a conservative icon, Nobel Prize-winning economist, Frederic Hayek, said on the subject:
“There is no reason why, in a society that has reached the general level of wealth ours has attained, the first kind of security should not be guaranteed to all…some minimum of food, shelter, and clothing sufficient to preserve health and the capacity to work.
Whatever the media might tell you, there isn’t a conservative out there who would not agree with Hayek’s statement.

Well then, I guess I'm not your type of conservative, because it's nothing more than a sentence that may as well have come from Marx, Lenin, Pelosi, Schumer, Feinstein or any of the socialists in our midst.  A Conservative Icon?  You must be kidding.  That sentence is as Marxist as they come.

Compare it to one from Marx:
From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.
It sure sounds all warm and fuzzy, but for it to work, it requires taking from one and giving to another.  By force.  How is this not crystal clear?

Right off the top of my head, Four Reasons Why Government Charity is Immoral:

1.  In contrast to the video, I believe it is morally reprehensible to take from one - at the point of a gun - and give directly to another.  Morally, all tax dollars taken must be equally accessible by all in the community from which they're taken.  Everyone gets to use the police, fire, the parks, the water treatment plant, etc.  NOT everyone gets their housing paid for, food paid for, etc.  Don't try and tell me that the money forcibly taken from me is going to a good cause.  "A Good Cause" is subjective, and stolen money is still stolen money.  With a private charity, if they don't perform as promised, I can withdraw my funding, and put it somewhere else.  Try that with government charity.

2.  Gov't ALWAYS wants to grow.  "The Bar" for inclusion for Other People's Money is continually lowered, so more people are qualified to receive, and more bureaucrats are needed to "serve" the needy.  Just look at the numbers of Americans now on some sort of government teat.  Regardless of the time period you examine, the numbers are going up, not down.  When will people understand that, ONCE A GOVERNMENT PROGRAM STARTS IT NEVER, EVER ENDS, NEVER GETS SMALLER AND NEVER ACCOMPLISHES ITS GOALS?!?!?

3.  Why?  Since they are not constrained by a real budget, there is no incentive to spend wisely.  Disagree?  Show me ONE government poverty or welfare program that has been shown to be a failure based upon its objectives (virtually all of them) that has been shut down or had its budget cut.  They just need to whine to the press that little babies are going to be tossed into the streets if their funding dries up and VIOLA! the money shows up.  The only time a program is shut down is when some sort of corruption found.  But it never really goes away.  The program doesn't go away, budgets are transferred, and the name of the agency just changes.

Item number 4 is included in the next section.


Not twenty minutes after I watched the video, I get an email from a local charity my business has helped.  Part of their income stream is via a thrift store.  When they get donations of jewelry, they'll come in, we'll help them sort our precious metal from costume jewelry.

These folks, Opportunity House, take homeless people, give them some food and shelter, TEACH THEM LIFE SKILLS, then send them on their way.  No drugs or alcohol allowed, and you must meet a set of goals from the program to stay with them.

As you'll see from the excerpt below, their model has been very successful.  As you'll also see, the federal charity cabal has decided they know what's best, and are fucking it all up.

Again, highlights are mine:

I regret to inform you that Opportunity House which has enjoyed strong community support over our 25-year history is now in jeopardy.   
Cash donations to the shelter, purchases and donations at our Thrift Store on Peabody Rd., and our largest annual fundraiser, Festival of Trees, have allowed us to operate programs resulting in an incredible 95% success rate in helping our homeless clients back to independent living. Vacaville Social Services Corporation (VSSC), a local nonprofit with an all-volunteer Board of Directors, has always emphasized entrepreneurism. Until last year, less than 10% of our budget came from a federal grant and no on-going operating support from either the City of Vacaville or County of Solano. But the federal government changed its focus to just sheltering rather than truly dealing with cycle of homelessness. To receive federal money, VSSC would no longer be allowed to hold our clients accountable for implementing their individual improvement programs or passing a drug test. We opted to maintain our successful model of rehabilitation in a safe and sober environment. 

Twenty five years of successfully helping 95% of the folks that come through your program gets shit on because you're holding someone to a standard of conduct to receive your services.

And THAT'S item number 4 as to why government charity is immoral:  They don't have the ability to discriminate between recipients.  If you're X percent below the poverty level, you're in.  You can drink and do drugs, sit on your ass all day, and basically be a boil on the ass of society.  No matter - you're qualified.  Here's your money.

The Catch 22 of the situation is, that's exactly how it should be - no discrimination for government services.  Everyone should have equal service access to everything from the county clerk to the chief of police.

This is why the scope of government services must be limited.  Just what's needed to keep a civil society.  Police, fire, courts and common infrastructure.  Not much else.  Certainly nothing along the lines of the behemoth we've build.  As Benjamin Franklin noted -
“When the people find that they can vote themselves money that will herald the end of the republic.”
LOL, the end is already here, kids.

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Copyright 2017 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates.


Adam said...

I completely agree. The PU comments are not conservative. But it is the hijacking of the conservative ideals by the liberals that is causing people to confuse true co servatism.

Also, I agree that government should not discriminate, but then it shouldn't be doing those things anyway. Imagine if they gave that money to the states and let them manage the programs. Or just pay down the debt and let private organizations/charities help those in need.

I cant tell you the number of drug dealers I dealt with that were on disability for the dumbest things. Yet they could all run from the cops.

Im glad I am in the private sector now. Performance is actually recognized, unlike with the government where everyone gets the same salary no matter what.

Chief Instructor said...

A number of my employees are form PD, and they say the same thing: most of the turds are on government assistance for housing, food, medial, you name it.

Congrats on the move to the private sector! Very happy for you!