Government doesn't belong in the Charity Business

I think we took things too far when we started allowing government entities to collect extra taxes to be used for charity and social assistance, and then distributing it as they think best. 

 

As soon as that happened both the giving and taking became impersonal and subject to rules made by people who were not handing out their own money.  In many cases the bureaucracy benefits when they collect and when they hand out more, giving them no incentive to scrutinize or challenge those who claim to be needy or empathize with taxpayers who are paying the bill. 

 

Under this system no one looks the recipient in the eye like previously had to happen if they wanted charity from friends, neighbors, or even religious institutions.  None of those institutions would have put up with the belief that there are people who will need to be supported for their entire lives just because they were born in generational poverty.  It's time for US to put an end to institutional irresponsibility and make charity a personal thing once again.

Comments

opher goodwin Added Jan 4, 2019 - 1:17pm
Depends what you call charity.
A government has a responsibility to care for all its citizens. That is what it is elected for.
Cullen Kehoe Added Jan 4, 2019 - 1:49pm
Many journalists and smart people claim universal basic income is just around the corner due to AI's ability to put millions more out of work. 
Ryan Messano Added Jan 4, 2019 - 2:10pm
Great article, Riley.  False, Opher.  The Constitution never made it the governments duty to do income tax or welfare.  No wonder you dislike me so much, you are a Vesuvius of false information.  We can't hardly read any of your comments without coming across more fake news.  Then you get petulant.
Adolf Dick McMenace Added Jan 4, 2019 - 2:25pm
I fondly remember when I was in the Army, and every year, we were "advised" to be charitable, in the form of giving blood and money to what was called the CFC - Combined Federal Campaign, which was a lengthy list of various groups with their palms perpetually extended. I didn't mind donating blood, but money was another matter, as I had plenty of blood, but not so much money. The usual speech went something like this:
 
"We have a goal of $1500. If we reach it, a 3-day pass for everyone. If we don't, there will be full barracks, uniform, and motor pool inspections on Saturday and Sunday and nights during the week, in addition to classes on the importance of being generous, although we take back 90% of the money we pay your sorry asses anyway. Oh, and in case anyone asks, you're NOT being pressured or coerced in any way, shape, or form. Don't write your Congressman either, or you'll be very, very SORRY. So, give 'till it HURTS, because we have to LOOK GOOD."
Dino Manalis Added Jan 4, 2019 - 2:51pm
 Charity is personal, but government needs to do a better job of making people independent, not dependent on government.
Neil Lock Added Jan 4, 2019 - 2:53pm
My goodness, Riley! I just released an article of very nearly 3,000 words, on this very subject. And reaching very much the same conclusion. Serendipity, or... is it one of the "laws of nature" that different people make the same breakthroughs at the same time?
Leroy Added Jan 4, 2019 - 3:03pm
I agree 100%, Riley. Government welfare dehumanizes us.
 
Michael, it was similar at work, except far more sinister.  United Way was the company charity.  You were expected to make monthly contributions automatically deducted from your paycheck.  Every year there was a push for 100% participation.  I took exception to the idea and didn't want to contribute to the limousine service for its CEO.  It was managed by department.  They would publish the names of those who hadn't contributed in an effect to shame them.  It never bothered me...LOL...I have no shame.  My last boss during the campaign published the list.  I was among two others.  A week later he published an email announcing 100% participation.  I just scratched my head because I hadn't contributed.  Indicators have a way of being met.
Ward Tipton Added Jan 4, 2019 - 3:04pm
Get the government out of charity, and even out of the arts and sciences. Period. 
 
While we are at it, those government fines for big corporations should be used to ease the burden of the taxpayers, not to subsidize the cause du jour selected by government bureaucracies. 
 
We also need to do away with Civil Forfeiture as a means to add even more funding to the machine. 
Riley Brown Added Jan 4, 2019 - 3:08pm
Opher, whenever I see a person take something the own, including food or money, and give it to another person to help them out, I call it charity.  Charity is to help them improve their lives.
 
I don't care how rich or poor the giving or receiving entities are, but I do have strong opinions about verifying the real need so we make sure we don't waste our limited resources on people who aren't as needy or deserving as others who often get less so those who don't really assistance can also get a slice of the pie.
Riley Brown Added Jan 4, 2019 - 3:15pm
Cullen, I could envision a world where AI and robots did most of the work but as long as government is collecting taxes and distributing it a few things will continue to happen.
 
The government entities will try collect as much tax money they can so they can continue to grow by handing out as much as they can to as many people as they can.
 
The slice of the pie that goes to the government for collecting and distributing the funds will continue to grow.  Government employees are usually less efficient and much more costly than private organizations like Churches, at both those functions. 
 
Many years ago I thought automation would result in one worker families, and 20 hour work weeks but instead we've grown government tremendously and now subsidize a huge portion of our population.  Those who do work usually have to work more than 40 hours a week and there are fewer one worker households than there were 70 years ago.  We havn't made progress, we've just taken lots of the people out of the workforce.
Ryan Messano Added Jan 4, 2019 - 6:13pm
Try to learn math, Michka. African Americans make up 12% of the population and 36% of welfare recipients.  You liberal whites are poison to the black community.  Not sure what other gobbledygook you posted, and no one really cares either.
George N Romey Added Jan 4, 2019 - 6:18pm
In a perfect world charity would be private base but it’s not reality. Possibly funding to private charities but not they are as corrupt able as government.
 
The public welfare system is about dependency, which I’ve seen first hand. Moreover it doesn’t do a good job of assisting those trying to become self sufficient versus those just trying to game system. 
 
However simply throwing people on the streets and we look like shit hole countries. Do you want homelessness people sleeping on your street?
Ryan Messano Added Jan 4, 2019 - 6:39pm
It worked fine before 1912, George.  Where there is a will, there is a way.  Again, it is the job of ANYBODY, but the Government, to help the poor and sick.
 
Try to think Jeff.  Whites make up 63% of the population, and less than 50% of the welfare recipients.  Contrast that with 12% and 36% with African Americans.  Did they teach you proportions, percentages, and ratios in school?  How do you even balance a check book, with your math skills?
John Minehan Added Jan 4, 2019 - 7:29pm
This may be of interest . . . . an approach that works in one place that might be worth examining.
Leroy Added Jan 4, 2019 - 7:31pm
As a friend once said about helping other people, "I pay taxes to the government to worry about that."  Sure.  It might be hard to convince enough people to provide enough charity, but that is only because the government already takes so much.  Many feel that they already pay their fair share.
Ryan Messano Added Jan 4, 2019 - 7:48pm
You know, Jeff can never go 3 rounds of an exchange of ideas, without resorting to lies or profanity.  Typical of leftists.  These are their smokescreens to extricate (look that word up, Jeff) them out of conversations they'd get smashed in. 
 
Ah so this is a"math problem of Jeff," eh? 
 
Yes, everyone on WB can easily tell your math is way off.  It seems you are the only one unaware of the fact. 
 
I really doubt you were any kind of a technician, Navy OR 7/11. 
You doubt most of what is true.  Nothing new. 
 
Drop the "I HATE jEFF, SO EVERYTHING HE SAYS IS WRONG. 
Try to get out of your he-motions.  No one hates you, you just simply, like the other leftists on WB, are in a fairy tale world. 
 
You are constantly making yourself the bigger fool every time you bash me. 
There is no way I can improve on your folly.  However, by constantly exposing you, your credibility even deteriorates with your lefty friends.  Also, you are really good at exposing the fakes on WB, as everyone who doesn't object to you strongly has issues with courage and/or apathy.
 
And no Ryan, I still won't leave WB before I want to. 
Suit  yourself.  What do you imagine your legacy will be when you leave?  Try to improve on what it is  now.  The most disliked, and profane liar eve to visit WB, who inspired nearly universal loathing in all he came across, not due to his righteousness, but because of his hideous filth. 
 
You need a new jihad.  You've lost this one like you lost your election.  Good luck, you'll need it.  Got cites for your "facts," clown?
 
You pass failure on your way to success.  At your current rate, you may never pass her. 
 
As for the cites, you can work for a change, and copy those stats and punch them into google. With a little searching, you'll get it.
Thomas Sutrina Added Jan 4, 2019 - 8:35pm
Riley, I have been accused of presenting the words of others.  I am guilty.  But why not present words of importance and which made these people know often world wide, famous.
 
John Locke, the most quoted philosopher by our founders, says: The law of nature teaches not only self-preservation but also preservation of others, 'when one's own preservation comes into completion.' In other words a society that fails to respond to those in need jeopardizes it own preservation.
 
The founders saw a great danger in overly generous welfare policy-that it would promote irresponsible behavior. That, in turn, would threaten the inherent natural right of every individual 'to liberty, including the right to the free exercise of one's industry and its fruits.'
 
While living in Europe in the 1760's Franklin observed; "in different countries . . . the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer."
 
Jefferson argued that " to take from one ...in order to spare to others, who, or whose fates, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it."
 
http://www.heritage.org/research/commentary/2011/07/what-would-the-founders-do-about-welfare/
FacePalm Added Jan 4, 2019 - 9:18pm
Riley-
i have a whole host of proofs from the Founders and others which concur with your premise, as well as a story Cong. Davy Crockett told, but first:
 
Opher-
A government has a responsibility to care for all its citizens. That is what it is elected for.
 
Not in America, though this is the lie European governors have told their citizenry for centuries.  Read what follows, even though you most certainly won't agree:
 
“I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents...”  
  —James Madison
 
"They are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare... To consider the latter phrase not as describing the purpose of the first, but as giving a distinct and independent power to do any act they please which may be good for the Union, would render all the preceding and subsequent enumerations of power completely useless. It would reduce the whole instrument to a single phrase, that of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States; and as they would be the sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please.... Certainly no such universal power was meant to be given them. It was intended to lace them up straightly within the enumerated powers and those without which, as means, these powers could not be carried into effect."
 --Thomas Jefferson, Opinion on National Bank, 1791
 
"Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution, of course, lays out the delegated, enumerated, and therefore limited powers of Congress. Only through a deliberate misreading of the general welfare and commerce clauses of the Constitution has the federal government been allowed to overreach its authority and extend its tendrils into every corner of civil society."
-- Edward H. Crane, Founder and president of the Cato Institute
Source: A Constitution of Liberty, Cato Institute 1995 Annual Report
 
"To lay taxes to provide for the general welfare of the United States, that is to say, 'to lay taxes for the purpose of providing for the general welfare.' For the laying of taxes is the power, and the general welfare the purpose for which the power is to be exercised. They are not to lay taxes ad libitum for any purpose they please; but only to pay the debts or provide for the welfare of the Union."
-- Thomas Jefferson(1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President
 
"[T]he government of the United States is a definite government, confined to specified objects. It is not like the state governments, whose powers are more general. Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government."         
-- James Madison (speech in the House of Representatives, 10 January 1794) Reference: Elliot's Debates
 
"We must not permit our respect for the dead or our sympathy for the living to lead us into an act of injustice to the balance of the living. I will not attempt to prove that Congress has no power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member upon this floor knows it. We have the right as individuals to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of congress we have no right to appropriate a dollar of the public money."
-- Davy Crockett(1786-1836) American hunter, frontiersman, soldier and politician
Source: 1827, spoken on the floor of Congress concerning a proposed relief bill for the widow of a naval officer.
 
"I cannot find any authority in the Constitution for public charity, ...[it] would be contrary to the letter and the spirit of the Constitution and subversive to the whole theory upon which the Union of these States is founded."
-- Franklin Pierce(1804-1869) U.S. President
Source: 1854, he vetoed a bill to help the mentally ill
 
"For Congress to guarantee a right to health care, or any other good or service, whether a person can afford it or not, it must diminish someone else's rights, namely their rights to their earnings. The reason is that Congress has no resources of its very own. Moreover, there is no Santa Claus, Easter Bunny or Tooth Fairy giving them those resources. The fact that government has no resources of its very own forces one to recognize that in order for government to give one American citizen a dollar, it must first, through intimidation, threats and coercion, confiscate that dollar from some other American. If one person has a right to something he did not earn, of necessity it requires that another person not have a right to something that he did ea
FacePalm Added Jan 4, 2019 - 9:20pm
earn. To argue that people have a right that imposes obligations on another is an absurd concept. A better term for new-fangled rights to health care, decent housing and food is wishes. If we called them wishes, I would be in agreement with most other Americans for I, too, wish that everyone had adequate health care, decent housing and nutritious meals. However, if we called them human wishes, instead of human rights, there would be confusion and cognitive dissonance. The average American would cringe at the thought of government punishing one person because he refused to be pressed into making someone else's wish come true. None of my argument is to argue against charity. Reaching into one's own pockets to assist his fellow man in need is praiseworthy and laudable. Reaching into someone else's pockets to do so is despicable and deserves condemnation."
 --economist Walter E. Williams
 
"The constitutionality and propriety of the Federal Government assuming to enter into a novel and vast field of legislation, namely, that of providing for the care and support of all those … who by any form of calamity become fit objects of public philanthropy. ... I cannot find any authority in the Constitution for making the Federal Government the great almoner of public charity throughout the United States. To do so would, in my judgment, be contrary to the letter and spirit of the Constitution and subversive of the whole theory upon which the Union of these States is founded."
-- Franklin Pierce(1804-1869) U.S. President
Source: May 3, 1854, President vetoed a bill
 
"Welfare rights are pseudo-rights: They rely on the force of law to take private property for the use of others without compensation and without consent. Public charity is forced charity; it is not a virtue but a vice."
-- James A. Dorn, V.P. for academic affairs at the Cato Institute, director of Cato’s project on Civil Society
Source: Wrapped in the pretense of morality, The Washington Times, August 29, 1995
 
"The mania for giving the Government power to meddle with the private affairs of cities or citizens is likely to cause endless trouble, through the rivalry of schools and creeds that are anxious to obtain official recognition, and there is great danger that our people will lose our independence of thought and action which is the cause of much of our greatness, and sink into the helplessness of the Frenchman or German who expects his government to feed him when hungry, clothe him when naked, to prescribe when his child may be born and when he may die, and, in time, to regulate every act of humanity from the cradle to the tomb, including the manner in which he may seek future admission to paradise."
-- Mark Twain, [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910)
 
And last, a great story:
Davy Crockett Gets a Constitutional Lesson
 
The bottom line is this: charity is the voluntary giving of any individual or church/mosque/temple/ anywhere in the world, hence the popularity of sites like GoFundMe and etc.  Governments are never supposed to give any kind of charity, because doing so creates dependence, not independence.  With weakened men and women, very little can be accomplished.  With strong and self-sufficient men and women, great things DO get done.  It is in the interests of Good government to promote the latter; it is in the interests of BAD governance to create dependent weaklings.
The Owl Added Jan 4, 2019 - 10:23pm
Why is no one on the left seriously question why the tens of trillions of dollars that our federal and states  has spent on education and welfare hasn't produced more positive results?
 
For that matter why aren't more people on the right pressing for better accountability for the use of these resources?
 
Why?  Because far too many on the left and right, the unions and government workers, and, yes, our political class profit throughout from the lack of scrutiny.
 
It may be good that the Democrats with their renewed energy have taken over the house and promised greater oversight...
 
Unfortunately, their interest in oversight is driven by personal hatred and politics, not for the good of the people.
 
I greatly fear another two years of venom and obfuscation with little or no progress on the issues that The People believe to be important!
 
Such a shame for political parties that believe in results to be so short sighted and obstinate.
 
opher goodwin Added Jan 5, 2019 - 5:24am
Riley - I think that a government has the prime aim of caring for all its citizens. That means looking to the future to what will create the best circumstances for its citizens - so things such as education, health, infrastructure, law and order and defence are obviously in its remit. An uneducated population becomes a poorer one. An unhealthy population becomes economically poorer. It also needs to created a healthy society and gross inequality leads to a dysfunctional society, so pay levels and progressive taxation is also in that remit.
The measure of a civilized country is how well it cares for its weakest members. Compassion should be the basis of any civilized society. I believe a government has the remit to provide care for those in need. That need is not charity. It is helping people get back on their feet, caring for the sick, elderly and disabled and those who have fallen on hard times. The emphasis should be on assistance to get back on their feet.
I do not see that as charity. I see that as civilized behaviour.
A society that does not care for its sick and disadvantaged is a heartless, callous place that does not deserve to be called civilized.
Dr. Rupert Green Added Jan 5, 2019 - 6:00am
@ Riley. Are you saying my friends in Appalachia must be denied their welfare checks, food stamps, and WIC? Will that not have a negative impact on Whites' birth rate, allowing those who you are implicitly deriding for being charity cases to breed at a faster rate?
TexasLynn Added Jan 5, 2019 - 9:59am
Riley,
Good post.  I couldn't agree more.  I'm constantly amazed at how you manage to pack so much information and so many points in such a small space.  Being succinct has never been one of my strong points.
 
Just to address one of the many point you made...
 
What we see today is an issue of bureaucratic evolution.  A bureaucracy may be created to address a societal issue... but evolution (or the nature of men) always move this beast into a mode of self-preservation and growth/power.  The original mission becomes secondary to the bureaucracy’s existence.  The bureaucracy becomes a cushy government jobs program... oh… and they distribute charity (I mean entitlements) too.
 
Of course, that evolution also involves a morphing the original purpose.  We may have initially sought to provide the basic needs of our poor... now the process has been hijacked to redistribute wealth and continues to move further and further towards that purpose.
 
Almost all departments and agencies in a big government will go through these transformations.  Theoretically, it will all eventually collapse under its own weight.  My bet is on Social Security to provide us with that first big object lesson.
 
This is but another lesson in the basic truth "That government is best which governs least".
The Owl Added Jan 5, 2019 - 10:18am
Opher...Your remark that "the prime aim of caring for all its citizens" encapsulates where you and I differ on the role of "government".
 
Your view suggests that government's aim the assurance of care for all of its citizens.  My view is that government should complement the abilities of individuals, families, and communities to maintain an orderly society, not to impose arbitrary standards or that governmental functions are beyond the scope needed for essential harmony.
 
Freedom is assured by a government that governs least, not by one that intrudes on the quiet enjoyment of lives of its citizens.
 
And yes, there are balances and trades that are made to achieve the aim.  But society is better off refraining from making moral judgments that do have broad, almost universal support of the governed.
 
 
Tamara Wilhite Added Jan 5, 2019 - 10:43am
Thank you for recognizing this.
opher goodwin Added Jan 5, 2019 - 11:36am
Owl - yes that is where we fundamentally disagree. Many families and communities are dysfunctional - not surprising really when there are so many low IQs, damaged individuals, abused victims and products of poor upbringing. 
The function of government, much like that of the meetings of the elders in olden times but on a bigger scale, is to ensure the best decisions are made in the interests of the community/nation. This requires forward thinking and planning and the interests of all members being considered. 
I think the best minds need to be focussed on these issues. That is why it is incumbent on us to elect those best minds. They do a far better job that leaving people to their own devices. Large societies of millions require intelligent planning.
Now given aside that we do not always elect the right people and that we do not always agree with their decisions we still come out of it very well. We have a great deal of individual freedom, wealthy societies that successfully cater for millions of people and a great deal of stability and safety.
I think that governments are far better at delivering education, health, infrastructure, defence, power and law and order than anybody else. They are efficient and cost effective and are not looking to fleece individuals or exploit.
So what we have to get right is a way of electing the right people then we'll have it cracked.
Michael Dolan Added Jan 5, 2019 - 12:01pm
Many Many of our politicians are 100 pct.thieves. Also many are degenerates who become millionaires. Rapist have been elected president. The collapse of America is happening day after day.
Thomas Sutrina Added Jan 5, 2019 - 12:53pm
Opher Goodwin, the data shows that the USA federal government fails at achieving what you tell us they are responsible for, " I think that a government has the prime aim of caring for all its citizens. That means looking to the future to what will create the best circumstances for its citizens."  It has been about this effort since ~1900, about a century of significant effort and the rate of periods of success are on an exponential decline.   Doubling down in spending and programs has only doubled down on the spiral decline.   Opening up welfare to more people and even illegal alien immigrants has had the opposite effect intended. 
 
The goal Opher Goodwin is not good intentions but good results. 
 
I included the words of John Locke [Jan 4, 2019 - 8:35pm] to show that a society that ignores the poor is destine to failure.  Religion is a structure of a society, and you can not find one that does not include the responsibility of the members of the religion to provide help to the poor.  Only Islam to my knowledge that is also the only modern religion to also be wrapped into a government requires taxes for providing for the poor.  All other stress that members of the religion freely choose to provide for the needs they see of the poor.  
 
The key here is that the local community made up of individuals by observation and the economic situation of the community determine what support will be given.  The reason is simple. FEEDBACK!!!!  With out a mandate the support will be adjusted.  I included the words of Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson to show the effect of mandated welfare and targeted face to face, feedback. welfare's measurement approach.   
 
Their will be those individual that are due to health or capacity not capable of improving their lives by their effort.  They shall be provide for differently then an individual that chooses to live off the public or those that have low self esteem and need to get off drugs and learn to love themselves, or those that lack skill needed but can learn them  or finally single parents having a job of caring for children.   Welfare is not tailored to the individual very well.
 
I am not including into welfare the 'pay as you go' programs like social security and medicare that are due to the fraud of how they actually are run do fall into welfare box.   Replacement programs for future individual need to be put in place that are honest.  
Ward Tipton Added Jan 5, 2019 - 1:22pm
"@ Riley. Are you saying my friends in Appalachia must be denied their welfare checks, food stamps, and WIC?"
 
When I grew up there, if you were able bodied and wished to draw a welfare check, you had to work for State Road. We used to joke about the five-handled shovel so they only had to buy one shovel for the entire crew to rest around the salamanders (heaters) but the fact is, if you did not show up to work, you did not get a welfare check. Socialist? Perhaps ... but effective. 
Riley Brown Added Jan 5, 2019 - 4:55pm
Ryan, no need to respond to insulting commentators who add nothing to the discussion, I'll just delete them. 
 
Months ago I thought it was better to let them make fools of themselves, but this one is so infamous that I think everyone is fed up with his childish behavior.
Riley Brown Added Jan 5, 2019 - 5:01pm
Thomas, I think Benjamin Franklin was quite right and the more liberal among us seem to have proven exactly that by making it possible for entire generations to live off the work of others.
 
What I find hard to believe are all the liberals who say their ongoing dependency is because we don't do ENOUGH for them.
 
If we suddenly did nothing for that group I bet 90% would be better off a year later than they are now, and all by working.
Riley Brown Added Jan 5, 2019 - 5:06pm
Facepalm, thank you for all your research and the information you presented, it is nice to know I'm not the first person to make this connection.
 
I'm also a believer in change when we see things don't work, and it's hard to make believe ever increasing amounts of welfare have decreased generational poverty rates in any of the liberal controlled inner cities.  I think if we yanked the rug out from under the able bodied among them, most would find jobs and start working, even if it was a min wage job washing dishes.
Riley Brown Added Jan 5, 2019 - 5:15pm
Opher, I might be wrong but I never thought it was our government's job to re-distribute wealth or ensure the welfare, health and happiness of our citizens.  I thought they were entrusted with much more global responsibilities, like ensuring our National Defense.
 
I considered it every families responsibility to try and care for themselves and all those they care about.  I realize that when you have Generational Poverty there are NO family members, and often not even other members of their community that support themselves, much less have what it takes to help other family or friends, but don't believe it's because they don't have what it takes to do that. 
 
In that case I don't think it automatically becomes the government's responsibility just because no one in that cultural group is willing to work.  Individuals who through no fault of their own who are in need do need collective assistance from us, like Vets who were wounded and can't support themselves, but they weren't born into a life on the dole, they earned our support via the horrible sacrifices they made.
Riley Brown Added Jan 5, 2019 - 5:20pm
Texas, thank you for the compliment.  I know my writing skills need a lot of work, but am always thankful when people seem to appreciate my thoughts in spite of those skills.
 
That also makes me very lenient with other writers whose skills are even worse than my own.  I know many are otherwise quite smart and often have enlightening views that I'd not otherwise know about if they weren't bold enough to contribute because they thought I'd be judging their writing skills not the content.
Riley Brown Added Jan 5, 2019 - 5:32pm
Thomas I don't know where you live but there are few things our government does as well or nearly as economically as can be done by our private sector in the US.
 
The government has all sorts of obstacles that make that happen.  First they offer pay and benefits to die for that almost no private companies can compete with.  The average government employee's pension is worth over $3 million dollars.  They also get every holiday you can imagine off and most are protected by union mandated rules which often trash their productivity.  They also have bureaucracies that rise far above any rational need, and all that has to be paid for even if it doesn't contribute towards what they do at all.
 
As a example, look at our public schools, they cost taxpayers about twice as much as it costs to send kids to private schools.  Everyone they hire is required to be super qualified, even to teach the ABC's to elementary school children.  All must have college educations that include courses like Algebra, and they must have teaching credentials which are not cheap to get either.  The all belong to Unions and have benefits to die for and multi million dollar pensions.  They also have a huge bureaucratic administration to support.  There is no reason an elementary school can't work with it's community and operate all by itself, but when the government gets involved we have central administration offices, and offices to control them, and end up spending half our money on people who aren't in the classroom, and often don't even work anywhere near the school.
 
Private schools hire qualified teachers, don't overpay them, and don't have administrators, managers, secretaries, and directors in offices somewhere else, and they get the job done just fine without them.  Of course they can do the job for half the price.
Ward Tipton Added Jan 5, 2019 - 5:44pm
"What I find hard to believe are all the liberals who say their ongoing dependency is because we don't do ENOUGH for them."
 
Remember, these are the same people that blame the state of Cuba on a capitalist system that has been out of office since 1958. 
Thomas Sutrina Added Jan 5, 2019 - 6:32pm
Riley, I live in the corrupt City State of Chicago, Illinois.  Corruptions is an art form since I was in grade school.  Mayor Daily asked Kennedy how many votes he wanted.  Much of what you have said in the paragraphs under the obvious one with my name is not related to anything I said directly and I can not see an indirect connection also. 
 
John Locke just pointed out that a government working with the consent of the governed in a Judaeo-Christian society has to consider the needs of the people.  That is why we have agencies that deal with disease outbreaks and natural disasters.  That didn't mean that government has to actually do anything.  It means they can not let the needs of the people to be ignored. 
Jeff Jackson Added Jan 6, 2019 - 6:54am
While I believe in some welfare, when we have three generations on welfare, there is a problem. Bear in mind that nowhere in our Constitution does it say that citizens have the right to reproduce. Overly producing welfare recipients should face consequences.
Dr. Rupert Green Added Jan 6, 2019 - 7:19am
@Jeff.  While I believe in some welfare, when we have three generations on welfare, there is a problem. Bear in mind that nowhere in our Constitution does it say that citizens have the right to reproduce. Overly producing welfare recipients should face consequences.
 
Can one word a sentence make? Sure it can. In all such cases, you is understood to be the subject of the verb. In pondering your revelation regarding reproduction and the Constitution, one can merely say that the Constitution is about people and people reproduce. So, despite a lack of explicitly, the Constitution expects people to reproduce. I know that obeyable laws cannot be made up on the fly, they must be explicitly stated a proiri. So, as when one says go, it is understood to mean you go, it is likewise understood that a US CONSTITUTION WOULD NOT be needed if there were no people, and people reproduce.
Colleen Fitz Added Jan 6, 2019 - 6:31pm
As a former federal (DoD) employee, I can attest that we were all pressured (encouraged)  to sign up for the CFC. Many employees took issue with two things: 
1) There was no verification that the non-profit you selected would actually receive the donation, even though you got a piece of paper saying so. (I contacted one way back in the 80s when I was young a naïve, and they didn't have my name as a contributor!). 
2) If you're lazy or naïve you could select the option to spread your donation across ALL the non-profits. As of 2016 there were over 2,600 non-profits (501(c)3 orgs).  Do some research and read up on many extremist organizations that are on the list. Federal Govt doesn't need to be in the business of promoting non-profits...many of which are hate groups, such as the SPLC, which is one of many.
Why can't a Federal agency (whichever one approves the 501(c)3 status) simply publish a list of every one of them with a brief description of their mission/function. Citizens (federal employees or not) could then select from the list - all by themselves.
John Minehan Added Jan 6, 2019 - 8:24pm
Some state AGs publish such lists, covering charities recognized in that state..
John Minehan Added Jan 6, 2019 - 8:27pm
This is NY's data base . . . . 
Flying Junior Added Jan 7, 2019 - 3:46am
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
 
Maybe you are just living in the wrong country, Riley.
Ward Tipton Added Jan 7, 2019 - 4:09am
"Why can't a Federal agency (whichever one approves the 501(c)3 status) simply publish a list of every one of them with a brief description of their mission/function. Citizens (federal employees or not) could then select from the list - all by themselves."
 
There are websites that do this, in addition to publishing how much of their donations are used for purposes other than those intended with the donations. The more popular "charities" routinely keep seventy to ninety percent of all donations for "administrative" and "other" fees. 
Colleen Fitz Added Jan 7, 2019 - 9:50am
Looked it up...the IRS certifies organizations as 501(c)3 non-profits.
Cruised around irs.gov and all I can say is, "The agency is a behemoth." (But that's a subject for another conversation.)
Ward Tipton Added Jan 7, 2019 - 10:14am
A behemoth with an amazing selection of weapons and ammo as well. 
FacePalm Added Jan 7, 2019 - 11:13pm
Flying Junior-
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
 
Maybe you are just living in the wrong country, Riley.

 
Maybe you don't understand what Patrick Henry understood:
"I have the highest veneration of those Gentleman, -- but, Sir, give me leave to demand, what right had they to say, We, the People? My political curiosity, exclusive of my anxious solicitude for the public welfare, leads me to ask who authorized them to speak the language of, We, the People, instead of We, the States? States are the characteristics, and the soul of the confederation. If the States be not the agents of this compact, it must be one of great consolidated National Government of the people of all the States."
-- Patrick Henry(1736-1799) US Founding Father
Source: in Debates in the 1788 Virginia debates, stated on June 4, 1788
 
"The People" never voted on the Constitution, FJ.  Many court decisions state that Americans are NOT parties to it, for example:
 
"But, indeed, no private person has a right to complain, by suit in court, on the ground of a breach of the Constitution. The Constitution it is true, is a compact, but he is not a party to it.  The States are the parties to it. And they may complain. If they do, they are entitled to redress. Or they may waive the right to complain. " Padelford, Fay & Co., vs. Mayor and Aldermen of the City of Savannah 14 Ga. 438, 520
 
Patrick Henry also said this:
 
When asked why he boycotted the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention, Patrick Henry said "Because i smelt a rat."
 
The original stated purpose for the Convention was to amend the Articles of Confederation.  They did a bait'n'switch.
FacePalm Added Jan 8, 2019 - 6:35am
Colleen-
Why can't a Federal agency (whichever one approves the 501(c)3 status) simply publish a list of every one of them with a brief description of their mission/function. Citizens (federal employees or not) could then select from the list - all by themselves.
 
As best i recall, it's the IRS which approves or denies 501c3 applications.  i'd try the nice approach, first, and if that doesn't work, FOIA them...and if THAT doesn't work, contact Judicial Watch, who has a track record of great success in getting judges to order recalcitrant Public Servants to comply.
 
Again, assuming my memory hasn't failed me, 501c3's are corporate entities ("charitable orgs" are regulated as corporations), and the operation of a corporation is a privilege, not a right, so their public filings should be in the public record...and if not, it'd be a good idea to find out WHY not.
Ward Tipton Added Jan 8, 2019 - 3:37pm
508c3a I believe it is ... not regulated the same, still responsible for letting Uncle Sam know what is going on though.
Flying Junior Added Jan 9, 2019 - 2:25am
Patrick Henry was an important man in the founding of our republic.
 
Im not sure if Riley is living in the wrong country, but I can imagine with the inauguration of Gavin Newsom as the Governor of the State of California, our republican friend is having a bad day at the least.
Ward Tipton Added Jan 9, 2019 - 5:28am
Notice also the difference between the use of the word "People" vs "person" ... the People is the State. Persons are the individuals. A Natural Person is one to whom rights and duties are ascribed. A flesh and blood man or woman is the individual. 
George N Romey Added Jan 9, 2019 - 7:32am
Any one that thinks those seeking assistance are just lazy people on the dole (and yes there are some of them) should watch a documentary on Dayton, OH.  Once the production capital of the world it's now the capital of $10 to $15 an hour jobs.  I dare anyone on this board to tell me how to live on less than $30K a year.
 
Sorry not everyone can have a STEM degree from MIT.  In fact most STEM graduates are finding a tough go because of outsourcing technology or abuse of the HB1 Visa program (which Trump has not effectively addressed).
 
Interestingly and sadly a lot of those new low paying jobs in Dayton are coming from Chinese companies.  Because of shipping costs and a better class of workers in the US its now cheaper for Chinese companies to set up production in Dayton, OH and pay $12 an hour to American workers than to remain in China and pay $2 an hour to Chinese workers.
 
This is the future of America and these arguments about welfare are really inane and quite stupid because no one wants to address the real issue of a declining American economy.  We just paper over it with bullshit stats and have morons like Trump (and others) tell us how great the economy is doing.
Ward Tipton Added Jan 9, 2019 - 8:11am
"This is the future of America and these arguments about welfare are really inane and quite stupid because no one wants to address the real issue of a declining American economy. "
 
I would add excessive government spending to that ... but that is just me perhaps.
FacePalm Added Jan 11, 2019 - 7:32am
Ward-
To the best of my recollection, the word "person" originated from the Greek "persona," which referred to the mask Greek actors wore.
 
A man or a woman or a child are the "natural" beings; "persons" are those who are referred to in virtually all statutes.  Statutes only apply, as best i recall, to these fictions.  They do not apply to living men/women, etc., unless you can be tricked into stating(or that you have something only a "person" can have) that you are, indeed, a "person," and then their assumed jurisdiction is confirmed, then they proceed against your "person" that you think is you.
 
i could be mistaken - maybe i'll check my Black's 6th - but i believe that "People" is the plural of "men/women/children," collectively, not the plural of "person."  In normal English, this could be seen as a distinction without a difference, but in legal-land, definitions are of paramount importance.
 
Ok, Black's first definition of "People" is "State."  It's secondary definition says that it's the collective number of males past puberty in a State...and by inference, women, too.
 
Curiously, my Blacks has no definition of Straw Man; it does have a definition of "men of straw," but that definition had something to do with a secret sign between a witness and a lawyer, the witness being one with a piece of straw stuck to his shoe.
 
Doesn't have a definition of "man" or "human" either.  Curious.
Ward Tipton Added Jan 11, 2019 - 7:45am
Check your Blacks Law definitions. 
 
A person is one to whom rights and duties are ascribed. All humans are persons, but not all humans are persons. People is the state or the State. I only have a revised version of the 4th edition on this computer ... my unexpurgated versions are on a Hard Drive for a desktop ... which I am lacking at the moment. 
 
Human was originally defined as an animal. 
 
The flesh and blood man or flesh and blood woman differentiates between the flesh and blood man or woman and their legal fiction ... which is where you will find the definition of what we define as the corporate strawman ... though you are already aware of the SCOTUS ruling wherein it defines both us and them as legal fictions in relevance to jurisdiction. It does refer to the legal jurisdiction over the legal fiction, not the strawman ... though the roots of the word strawman are the same as those you have mentioned ... if I remember correctly but would have to check my notes, only some of which are available at the moment. 
 
If the current negotiations go well, I should be able to rectify a great many problems here in short order. 
FacePalm Added Jan 11, 2019 - 8:17am
Riley-
While i sympathize with the desire to "yank the rug from under them," i think that to do so suddenly would be quite cruel, perhaps akin to imprisoning a heroin addict and requiring that one to suffer through withdrawals.
 
Much better to wean them off slowly, while teaching them various ways to supplement their incomes even outside the strictures of "getting a job."  Teach the willing of their options, empower them with knowledge and mentors to help realize their dreams, and the engine thus primed will pump well for many years.
Ward Tipton Added Jan 11, 2019 - 8:36am
And perhaps quit punishing people financially for seeking to improve their lot in life and median quality of life.