Monday, July 18, 2005

Charity Is Not Spending Other People's Money

Here is an article that accurately summarizes my personal feelings regarding the entire "Live 8" affair.

Brief PP Commentary:

There is what appears to me to be a simple fact that is often lost on a fairly large number of people as well as the two major political parties in our country: Person A has no right to feel smug, superior, righteous, etc, after lobbying the State to take money, property, wealth, assets, etc, from Person B and redistributing it to Person C, regardless of C's situation.

Walking around campus both in my undergrad, grad student, and professor days, I saw students, university intellectuals, politicians, make these great moral grandstanding claims about why Group X, being victimized by situations, history, bad luck, etc, deserved to be subsidized by taxpayers and businesses. Upon Group X's getting what they want, the intellectual or politician is lionized and receives the praise of men. But the intellectual and politician merely spent the money of other people, not his own. Furthermore, people who didn't pay the taxes were ultimately threatened with the sort of nightmare that a predatory government can inflict --- liens, holds, arrest, seizing of private property, etc. This is hardly charity, but, in its starkest and most uncomfortably honest terms, it is the State using the threat of bad-things-in-general to redistribute wealth.

Let's use accurate language in these situations: when rock singers want to lobby governments to forgive debts to foreign countries, no matter how much their hearts may be sincere about it, they should really state something like: we want taxpayers and businesses in the wealthier nations to pay for our version of justice, utopia, and the like. That would be a lot more honest than the preening and self-righteous posturing coming from a group of artists.


Blogger centuri0n said...

Hey PP:

If every man, woman and child in the US handed over $140 to pay off the African debt, we'd pay off every nickel of it. That means I'd have to pay $700 to pay off my house's share.

For the record, in each of the last 7 years, I have paid $700 a year to support a family in Africa that has nothing through a Christian charity. I don't regret or resent it becuase the poor will always be with us, but what I'm saying is that I have paid my share 7 times over.

On the other hand, I think Bob Geldoff now earns a living asking other people for money -- a better living, I am sure, than when he was a Boomtown Rat. I wonder how that all works out in the moral calculus?

Monday, July 18, 2005 2:00:00 PM  
Blogger Pedantic Protestant said...

Good question, Frank. That deserves its own thread!

Monday, July 18, 2005 5:29:00 PM  
Blogger steve said...

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Tuesday, July 19, 2005 7:57:00 AM  

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