Friday, September 16, 2005

So...are we suckers?

Flexo drew my attention to Ted Rall's article on Yahoo: Charities are for Suckers in which the author claims:

Cutting a check to the Red Cross isn't just a vote for irresponsible government. It's a drop in the bucket compared to what you'll end up paying for Katrina in increased taxes.

I certainly agree it will be a drop in the bucket, but I don't get how how it's a vote for irresponsible government...precisely because it's such a tiny drop in the bucket. He continues:

Tragically, that generosity feeds into the mindset of the sinister ideologues who argue that government shouldn't help people

The generosity that is less than 1% of what is needed? Feeds the sinister ideologues? So they argue to cut the "helping people" part of the budget by...a whopping 1%? I thought it was a drop in the bucket? How can a droplet be enough to bolster any sinister idealogue's argument?

It's time to "starve the beast": private charities used by the government to justify the abdication of its duties to its citizens.

So let me get this straight: This guy believes that if private charities are no longer funded ("starved"), the government will have an "aha!" moment and turn into Robin Hood? And I'm a sucker for giving a small donation to the Red Cross? ::: snicker :::

Let me be perfectly clear that I agree that this administration has been further disenfranchising our poorest people while padding the pockets of the truly wealthy. If you don't agree, that's fine, but I do believe that's been happening. But I think that putting an end to philanthropy will have ZERO effect on that trend.

And I also believe that if anyone is using philanthropical donation totals to justify "abdication of its duties to its citizens" that they are merely grasping at false reasoning for doing what they're going to do no matter what. And if that no longer becomes an excuse they will simply find a new one and stay right on track.

The only thing that can affect that "trend" is voting. The position that ending philanthropy will be a call to the government to care more for the disenfranchised is absurd. And don't call me a sucker.


  1. I also thought this was an interesting, and infuriating issue. People really have a double standard when it comes to being community-minded and helping others. Why is progressive taxation considered so terrible if rich people have to be counted on to cough up the money for all these social programs anyway? Why does "government," whose major critics all seem to be part of it, have to be necessarily the worst way of managing things?
    People like being able to choose their charities, I suppose, and no wonder. If I had the chance to check off what government programs my taxes would support, I"m sure I'd allocate the funds very differently than GWB would!


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