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Natural Disaters, Charity, and the Purpose of Government





Resident Egoist
Source: Capitalism Magazine: Charity Is No Function of the Federal Government:

Quote:
Last week, President Bush promised the nation that the federal government will pay for most of the costs of repairing hurricane-ravaged New Orleans, adding, “There is no way to imagine America without New Orleans, and this great city will rise again.” There’s no question that New Orleans and her sister Gulf Coast cities have been struck with a major disaster, but should our constitution become a part of the disaster? You say, “What do you mean, Williams?” Let’s look at it.

In February 1887, President Grover Cleveland, upon vetoing a bill appropriating money to aid drought-stricken farmers in Texas, said, “I find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution, and I do not believe that the power and the duty of the General Government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit.

President Cleveland added, “The friendliness and charity of our countrymen can always be relied upon to relieve their fellow citizens in misfortune. This has been repeatedly and quite lately demonstrated. Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the Government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character, while it prevents the indulgence among our people of that kindly sentiment and conduct which strengthens the bonds of a common brotherhood.

President Cleveland vetoed hundreds of congressional spending measures during his two-term presidency, often saying, “I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution.” But Cleveland wasn’t the only president who failed to see charity as a function of the federal government…. [I would call that anything but a “failure”—ed.]


Continue reading the full article and learn of the great intellectual foundations of this once-free country.

Other possible items of interest:

1- The Unconstitutional Congress, by Stephen Moore.

2- The Law, by Frederic Bastiat.
S3nd K3ys
Nice copy/paste. Now what's your opinion?
Resident Egoist
I thought my position was very clear Confused . Said position being the fact that giving out stolen property as charity is not a function of a proper government.
S3nd K3ys
Resident Egoist wrote:
I thought my position was very clear ....


No. You provided a source, a quote and links to more reading.

Wink
shr3dd
I'll add my opinion I guess... This to me is why I can not believe why Bush has taken the wrath for the disaster. It's not Bush's or an federal agency's duty or responsibility to do what they were blamed for not doing. Look at it this way, would you blame your plumber for not doing your dishes when he only fixes your sink?
Resident Egoist
shr3d wrote:
Look at it this way, would you blame your plumber for not doing your dishes when he only fixes your sink?


No, if one were sane and knew one's proper definitions, one would not. But if the definition of plumber has been perverted to include the functions of dish-washer, then certainly there would be reason to ascribe blame -- especially if the "plumber" himself thinks that it is his job to wash dishes. But of course, plumbers not being professional dish-washers, it is not an accident that they suck at it. Wink
shr3dd
lol I've never heard of a dishwasher being called a plumber, at least not in American culture (don't know if your in the US).

I'm just sick of people Blaming Bush for not doing something that he doesn't even have to do.
Resident Egoist
shr3d wrote:
lol I've never heard of a dishwasher being called a plumber, at least not in American culture (don't know if your in the US).

Actually, that was only an elaboration of your analogy.

shr3d wrote:
I'm just sick of people Blaming Bush for not doing something that he doesn't even have to do.


I don't know if you've noticed, but Bush himself thinks that it is his job to give out mandataory "charity" and handle natural disasters. I then think that it's only fair to blame him to the extent that he thinks he is responsible -- especially when through his deed and thanks to his beliefs, he actually prevented the right people and institutions [the true, professional dish-washers Wink ] from doing their job.


P.S: I do live in the U.S.
shr3dd
I wasn't elaborating my analogy I just thought you said something in your post about some plumbers being dishwashers. I was half reading it because I'm on the phone with my girlfriend.
thornhawk
With the hightened state of alertness towards terrorism, it was devestating to see the natural version turn sections of a developed country into scenes reminesent of war-torn developing nations. Many have commented on the Government's response (claiming it was racially motivated), however I consider it to be of complete surprise and unpreparedness. Grand plans and policies went astray as an entire city went under water. The real tragedy of course was the human suffering and despair that many images portrayed of disadvantaged people coping the full brunt of Hurricane Katrina. Combined with the fact that this was simply history repeating itself, many wonder how advanced we really have come...
mengshi200
a government should have conscience ,it is related to charity and moral sense.
shr3dd
Thank you for your highly-valued input mengshi. Conscience is the decision between right and wrong based on morals (or lack thereof) instilled by those we have learned from. Charity is a value related to kindness. Government should not be charitable. People should be charitable. If someone wants to lend a hand or a dollar to those in despair, that's a very good thing. However, I don't think the government should give away my money without asking.

Someone breaks his leg and you feel sorry for him. I don't feel sorry for whatever reason. You give him a dividend of my paycheck for medical bills. I would call you the government and myself a taxpayer.
S3nd K3ys
shr3dd wrote:
Thank you for your highly-valued input mengshi. Conscience is the decision between right and wrong based on morals (or lack thereof) instilled by those we have learned from. Charity is a value related to kindness. Government should not be charitable. People should be charitable. If someone wants to lend a hand or a dollar to those in despair, that's a very good thing. However, I don't think the government should give away my money without asking.

Someone breaks his leg and you feel sorry for him. I don't feel sorry for whatever reason. You give him a dividend of my paycheck for medical bills. I would call you the government and myself a taxpayer.


Damn, dude. That was deep. Wink
shr3dd
I'm a sissy at heart. lol









Not really.
ronitvohra
shr3dd wrote:
I'm a sissy at heart. lol



Not really.


I was thinking when reading ur post..

gud u clear my doubts!lol Cool
earthchild
just out of curiosity, what do you think the government should be?
shr3dd
A small body whose only power is to make laws, enforce them, interpret the constitution, create/maintain armed forces, and provide it's citizens protection from those who wish to take away freedoms.

According to the Constitution of the United States, the government should protect our freedoms. Lately, they've been taking them away while trying to protect the lives of it's citizens. Government will never cease to try to protect citizen's lives, for without citizens, who will pay the government officals?
earthchild
but doesn't level of economic power affect one's freedom these days?

as in less money = less freedom

for example: if you don't have the money to buy a car, you don't have the freedom to escape a deadly hurricane
shr3dd
Capitalism, we don't need to rely on the government for economic strength.
illini319
earthchild wrote:
but doesn't level of economic power affect one's freedom these days?

as in less money = less freedom

for example: if you don't have the money to buy a car, you don't have the freedom to escape a deadly hurricane


Good point. But I believe the issue at hand is whether the FEDERAL government is responsible for those who do not have cars... especially since the government uses other people's money (in other states with their own needs) to finance its endeavors. While a federal government must protect its citizens as its central civic responsibility it must do so in a manner that does not jeopardize its own stability (by overextending itself) as the two groups are co-dependent. I think that one of the shortcomings with Katrina was the disparate ideas of where local responsibility ended and federal responsibility began.
Those without cars should have been helped by the local and/or state government. Where were the buses? Mayor Nagins' excuse was that there were not enough bus drivers. Is that an acceptable excuse? Hurricanes take days prior to landfall. Where were the city or state or nation-wide calls for bus drivers?
Within hours of two airplanes crashing into the WTC, the world saw Giuliani at the foot of the two buildings directing emergency personnel. Debris could be seen falling all around, and here he was the mayor of NYC delegating authority as he saw fit. In the days following the disaster, Mayor Giuliani held numerous press conferences, continued to take command of a shocked city. Where did he do this? In NYC.
Where was Nagin? well... I guess he had a car.
S3nd K3ys
earthchild wrote:
but doesn't level of economic power affect one's freedom these days?

as in less money = less freedom

for example: if you don't have the money to buy a car, you don't have the freedom to escape a deadly hurricane


Or if you don't have the money to buy a car, you don't have to pay registration, taxes, or have them track you with your cell fone.
earthchild
It's all relative I guess. My personal opinion (if anyone feels threatened and needs to attack it - I won't consider it my problem) is that lives are more important than revenue allocation or the correct usage of infrastructure. Of course they are important, but like I said before it's all relative.
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