Saturday, October 15, 2011

OMG, Neighborly Help Without the "Help" of Government

One of the biggest scams going is the government's portrayal of charity and neighborly help as something that must be done through government. It is an insult to decent people everywhere. People do not need to be forced at the point of a government gun to be charitable.

President Obama often uses the phrase, "It's the neighborly thing to do," when he is about to run a government charity scam, with your money. In truth, neighbors tend to be very neighborly and helpful in times of need, with no role for government necessary.

Private charity is a skeleton of what it could be because most now assume that the government is helping out the needy. But folks in Stafford County, Virginia apparently believe there is no government agency that handles the earth opening up and swallowing a house, so they do the neighborly thing.

WaPo reports (My emphasis):

When Michele O’Leary got married 26 years ago, she never thought she and her husband Dan would ever be able to afford a house like this: Two stories with a
finished basement and two decks, in a neighborhood with good schools for their
two children, close to I-95 in Stafford County.

Now she and her husband are praying it doesn’t fall into the giant landslide that opened up in their backyard.

The earth started moving last month, after the earthquake,hurricane and tropical storm battered Virginia. First they saw a crack, just a line running through their and their neighbor’s backyard. The next morning they were really worried: The earth had dropped some three feet overnight, she said...

Their neighbor, Ora Barnes, moved to Northern Virginia to stay with family. The O’Learys are living in an empty house lent to them by another family at their church while they try to determine what caused the problem and if the two houses can be saved. An engineering team has been working, paid for with funds donated by their church and others in the community. Insurance doesn’t cover the damage for either family, a friend, Robin Bennett, said.

If government left the charity business, private charity would boom. Creative people would enter the sector. Government charity right now has to be considered charity delivered in the form of a long line at the post office or DMV. Further, there is no real incentive for the government to get these people off the dole. Recipients of government "charity" are big voters---for the continuation of the money grab.

Private charity, without a government role in the industry, would look much different. Those on charity might actually be helped to become more attractive to employers.

Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach him to fish and he eats for a lifetime, and the number of fishermen grow. Pass the fish to the hungry from you through government and some fish are raked off by government, while some fish rot and, becasue of the new tax on fish, the number of fishermen decline.

1 comment:

  1. Rob

    Here is a little piece about an under-reported (of course) about who helps who after disasters. And the report has accidentally rediscovered some Hayekian insights about the importance of local knowledge in a disaster.

    It's neighbors who are the real first responders. Police, fire and ambulance are great, but lets call them what they really are 'second responders'.

    Here is a brief video from the author of the study. He was a disaster survivor himself. See here.