Sunday, January 01, 2017

All assistance should be voluntary

(My Eastern New Mexico News [formerly the Clovis News Journal] column for November 30, 2016)

Help one another, voluntarily (my chosen headline)

It is once again the season to remember the less fortunate. On one hand, you shouldn't need an annual reminder to be good to other people, but on the other hand, sometimes it's fortunate the calendar has a few such reminders built in.

If someone wants to help those in need, there is nothing stopping her from freely giving her own money and time to those she feels deserve help.

Yet most who feel more money should be spent on their favorite government programs are never content to simply chip in-- they demand laws forcing everyone else to do the same.

It's the opposite of generosity, compassion, or caring. Those things are better expressed individual to individual.

If someone truly believes the government is best able to help those in need, he's completely free to write the U.S. Treasury a check to spend on welfare-- or on a new drone to crash into a Middle Eastern wedding. Relying on taxation to pay for anything is unnecessary.

For those of us opposed to bullying of any sort, it is essential for all the help to be totally voluntary.

You don't need a "law" to remind you to help people. If you care, no tax is necessary to get you to donate. In fact, taxation reduces the amount you are able to use to help others. No "law" can change the act of forcing people to donate into an act of generosity. No one can be charitable with other people's money, nor is it kindness to hand over your own money under threat. Putting government in charge of such an extortion scheme doesn't change its immoral nature.

Instead of giving your cousin another cute plastic knick-knack to dust or forget, spend the money on someone who needs it; someone you feel is deserving. No one should be making that determination for you, either. When you personally know the circumstances of the person you help, you know their needs better, and care more, than any bureaucrat distributing pillaged funds possibly can.

An act which is of minor effort or cost to you might impact someone's life for decades to come. I know from personal experience, having been on the receiving end a few times.

I often remember those times, especially during the holiday season. It's something I'll always strive to pay forward. Taxes, regulations, and all the other government coercion only stand in the way. They invariably hurt more than they help. Let's start helping each other, instead.


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1 comment:

  1. For generations, Americans were the most giving; to charities, to benevolent societies, to others in need. Famous wordwide for personal giving and for helping another.

    Like in all other aspects of our lives, then the government stepped in and had to control charity too. Now churches and hospitals and shelters all suck at the government teet. With gov't thieving more and more, people have less and less. Personal giving is way done. And the gov't help provided is in dribs and drabs, has huge administrative staff, and comes with strings.