Friday, November 14, 2014

Forced Redistribution v. Charity

In a recent article in Investors Business Daily (, Betsy McCaughey discussed the fact that President Obama has sought emergency funding for Africa, in the amount of $6.2 billion, ostensibly, to combat Ebola. In the article, Dr. McCaughey said, "helping Ebola victims is the right thing to do..." and I agree with her sentiment, at least at some level. However, somehow, it seems that some people have lost sight of the fact that the U.S. government's money does not belong to the U.S. government, per se. It comes out of taxpayers' pockets. Sure, people who make several hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars per year, probably won't miss the few hundreds of dollars per person that it will take to complete this charity work. But, every dollar that the government takes from hard working, lower middle-class workers (too patriot-minded to take government "benefits"), represents a dollar that they could otherwise spend on their own families -- and let there be no doubt that many of those families suffer through their own personal; day-to-day struggles; struggles for which no government, at any level will allocate or distribute funds to relieve. Don't get me wrong: I have no problem with charity and those people who want to contribute, of their own volition, toward completion of the cited efforts, should certainly have that opportunity -- regardless of their financial situations. I just don't think it appropriate for the government to compel people, through threat of violence, to provide charity. For example, Bill and Melinda Gates would be well served to donate $6 billion out of their personal funds, for these efforts. They would thereby receive the praise and adulation they desire; they would demonstrate the real meaning of charity; and they would set an example of philanthropic giving for the rest of the "one percenters," from across the globe.

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