Where is modern civilization heading?

As a society are we heading in the same direction as the ancient Romans? If so the question becomes.......

Are our leaders fiddling while civilization burns?

While we ponder the question I will post my personal thoughts on this blog. Often I will focus on current events that catch my interest, however I am not and do not pretend to be a news organization. I'm simply a guy with his own thoughts on issues that I believe affect our country and society.

Be forewarned, I have been accused of being a right wing thinker and if that is offensive please move on. Remember, this is my blog and my opinions, and unlike many facets of our already over-governed modern society they are not being forced on anyone.

However, please feel free to leave your comments, good, bad or indifferent, after all this is a free society we live in (at least for now).

Monday, December 19, 2011

How our Government is destroying everyday charity

With the Christmas season upon us it generally means that most individuals feel a greater compassion towards their fellow man. The most noticeable result of this is the increased donations to charity, everything from the "Sally Ann " kettle at the mall to the local food bank. Most charities count on the Christmas season to help fill their coffers so that they in turn can provide help to those that need it in society. Along with cash donations comes an army of volunteers that help collect donations, feed people, deliver toys, you name it. What we see at Christmas is the best of our society, people helping people, not because they have to but on their own accord and out of the goodness of their heart.

Unfortunately this whole idea does not sit well with big government, who in general tends to dislike the concept that individuals might just be able to accomplish what needs to get done on their own with the government having no say or control over it.

Let's discuss our governments role in charity and how they approach it using the concept of  "wealth redistribution".

The government takes money (wealth) out of the pocket of one citizen by force who they feel can afford it and then redistributes that wealth it into the pocket of another citizen that they feel is less fortunate. Of course they take their operating costs (bureaucratic overhead) out in the process generally resulting in far less reaching the intended recipient. Now where it gets confusing is that often the money does not take a straight path from the first citizen to the recipient, as the recipient may receive a service in lieu of money. This tends to be a bad thing as it leads to the recipient of the service never assigning a monetary value to it as it costs them nothing, and since the service has no perceived value it becomes very easy to simply ask for more.

What this has effectively resulted in is that our government is now the single largest charity in the country (amongst other essential duties), and like all other charities it is run as a Non Profit Organization (NPO). Unfortunately, most NPO's generally avoid running a deficit and closely watch their spending, not the government though, after all they have for all intents a virtually limitless source of funding, the taxpayer. The problem with the government acting as a charity is two fold,
  • Many of it's "charitable projects" are put in place at great cost, require massive amounts of bureaucratic overhead (generally an entire department with offices across the country), and are often at times designed from the ground up to garner votes with the actual charitable benefit being of secondary consideration. Generally those the scream the loudest get the cash and attention, regardless if they are not the most needy.
  • As the government takes over more charitable duties from actual charities two things occur simultaneously. The taxpayer "contribution" becomes larger so they have less money to give to actual charities and at the same time they see even less need to donate to actual charities because the government will look after that. 
What we end up with is a classic catch 22, charities have less money to work with so more of the needy fall through the cracks, this in turn results in calls for more government spending, taxes increase, charitable donations fall, and more needy fall through the cracks, and so on and so fourth.

The real problem from societies point of view with all of this is that money forcibly taken from one individual to give to another in the name of charity is anything but charity and in turn creates resentment in both parties.The giver feels animosity at being forced to turn over the sweat of his labor to unknown individuals,  while in many cases the recipient rather than feeling gratitude feels anger towards the government for not providing enough and dislike for individuals who are better off then they are.  Money willingly given by one individual to help another who is less fortunate is an act of compassion and generally both parties recognize that and appreciate it.

Where's this all leading?
Well we already have a society where the government is expected to provide health care, welfare, employment insurance, retirement benefits, maternity benefits, and a slew of other social entitlements. Already there are call for a national daycare program and a slew of other social benefits. who knows what the future will hold.

1 comment:

  1. Right On Frustrated Joe!
    My family and I, and our parents before us have always given to charities. But with the amount that the government takes out of our pockets it getting tougher to do. It's good to see that someone has identified the problem.

    Yours Truly,
    A strapped taxpayer


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