Friday, September 11, 2009
First, Aaron's comment to which TT is responding
Wehell, i do agree with you that individuals should, on some basic level, take matters into their own hands when it comes to helping others, and if govt. helps to facilitate this process, and possibly inspire it, then i am all for it; and i am not opposed to personal volition being a major instigator of aforementioned charity, but i feel we, as an enlightened and ever increasingly liberal society, must take it upon ourselves- ie our govt.- to give a hefty push in the direction of what some know to be right in terms of domestic policy- universal healthcare.
But, really, how are we, in this ever increasingly fast paced world market we operate in, supposed to find time in the day to go help someone with something as specialized as healthcare? It would decrease productivity on many levels when we are in dire need of it. When we install govt. programs to take care of the poor, we are just doing the inevitable- outsourcing charity. We outsource everything these days- everything- and not just businesses, either. Manual laborers, food service employees, accounting, production of computers, etc, etc. Those are examples of how we are becoming more specialized as a society, which means we dont have time to putt around on things like charity.
Not to say charity is bad- not at all. Just take a year or two after college to volunteer nationally or, dare i say it, internationally. All arguments about not wanting the govt. to take more of your money, mainly because it is inevitable, aside, i feel this is a noble cause. It is the mark of a truly enlightened society, i feel, to help every one in the populace it can, and it is the responsibility of that populace to bear the burden.
And that is my 27cents. I know with you being a libertarian and all that we will disagree on this, but its the way i feel. Still got mad respec for your, highly nuanced, and intelligent ideas. The floor is yours, sir. haha.
Response to Aaron regarding the incarnation of outsourcing and specialization in charity:
"When we install govt. programs to take care of the poor, we are just doing the inevitable- outsourcing charity. We outsource everything these days- everything- and not just businesses, either. Manual laborers, food service employees, accounting, production of computers, etc, etc."
- Outsourcing and specialization do not require centralization.
- As I recall, outsourcing has had some rather negative effects in the U.S. when it comes to the lower economic classes.
- On the other hand, if outsourcing is such a great solution, and since said outsourcing is performed from an expensive source to an inexpensive source, maybe we should outsource public education too. We could bus all of our kindergartners down to Ecuador, and bring them back when they're in their mid-twenties (or late teens since they are presumably so much more efficient). I'm sure that would work out well.
- As for specialization, it's great if we're talking about only surgeons performing surgery or only experienced banjo players playing the banjo in public. Even choosing to invest in some individual or organization that you believe is providing a worthy service is, to my mind, an admirable decision. But, outsourcing the very selection of charitable organizations or individuals to some other individual or organization seems a bit, well, apathetic. If you have no control over the use of that money and do not care to have any control over it, but rather, you simply assume it is being used in an acceptable manner (based upon your own definition of acceptability), did you really give in order to help, or did you give to assuage guilt? If that money is in fact used "for a good cause," then I am glad, but you have no guarantee of that, and you do not seem to desire one. Your solution really only simplifies your interface to it. You are merely pushing the complexity (and I would argue the responsibility) onto others.
- Who indeed has the time? And yet, I would venture to guess that you eat most days, which takes time. You may even take vacations. Why not? You've worked for them. You've earned them. But, what is the priority, your Alaskan cruise or the kid that is going to die tonight in Atlanta from malnutrition? Well, if we all have a responsibility to help others, how is it that the act of moving money around, in hopes of somehow at some point positively affecting the life of someone somewhere who may or may not need it, able to magically remove that responsibility? If you are required to help the less privileged among us, doesn't that require or at least imply your responsibility to ensure that you and your money are in fact helping? If so, what metrics do you use to judge choices you have paid others to make on matters you are unlikely aware of concerning people you have never met regarding situations you likely don't even comprehend? Does charity require a college degree to comprehend? Must you be an engineer to discern the inner workings of this aged groaning old mechanism? Is charity a mysterious black box to be poked and prodded in order to analyze the response, waiting for that wonderful day on which we finally unlock its mysteries? Wow, it really shouldn't be that complicated.
- Find someone with a need, and help provide for the need. When approached by someone with a need, help provide for the need.
- If your response to someone that asks for money is "I gave it to the government to give to you. Go talk to them." then I do not think charity is really your concern.