Charity vs. Entitlements

My friend, beej, asked a very good question in my Welfare Zombies post.

so, i am starting the process of applying for assistance to afford my meds. while these programs are offered by the manufacturer, i am fairly certain it is only b/c of government mandate. am i therefore an entitlement zombie by definition or just overwhelmingly poor? would i be more noble if i ordered my meds from canada or worse for not just seeking assistance, but assistance based upon socialized medicine, another favorite of yours?

i know you personally know i’m not saying this out of hostility, but i wanted to make sure i disclosed that to your readers. this is an honest question and your reply will recieve my utmost respect, even if i disagree in thought or action.

I should point out that beej is a real life friend.  The kind of friend that has had keys to my house.

I am very pro-charity.  There are people with very real needs in the world.  My problem is not at all with organizations stepping in to meet a need.  These are noble things.  Many corporations do it for the tax write-off, and I’m fine with that too.  The difference between private charities and welfare is the choice.  I can choose to support a charity that is doing work that I feel is worth investing in.

Supporting a charity that is doing good work in line with my own values is an excellent investment.  I support charities that have a goal of moving people towards self-sufficiency.  I would not voluntarily support any organization that did otherwise.  If someone else does, that’s their prerogative.

Sure, in a perfect world, no one would need charity, but we don’t live in that world.  But charity is not the government’s business.  Maybe it makes me somewhat of an idealist, but I think if the government would get out of the charity business, private charities would be able to do a lot more actual good.  I know if I brought home more of my paycheck, I would be able to give more than I already do.  There are so many worthy organizations that I just can’t afford to support.  There are others that I do support.

No beej, I don’t think you seeking help makes you any sort of zombie.  You are seeking help in order to continue to be a productive member of society.  Every situation is different.  You are not a mindless drone sucking out of the system.  You aren’t suffering a delusion that you are entitled to anything.

2 thoughts on “Charity vs. Entitlements”

  1. I’m really glad that Beej asked for this distinction, as it is an important one to make. With all the bleeding-heart liberals trying to make out the GOP as being composed of a bunch of cigar-smoking, martini-drinking millionaires stomping on the backs of the poor in their suits and top-hats, it’s invaluable for people to hear that even the most conservative of the conservatives still believe in helping the less fortunate.

    I may wear nice suits, and drink martinis and smoke cigars, but it’s been years since I last wore a top hat or stomped on anybody – and they deserved it! And, they weren’t poor! But, enough of that little tangent.

    I don’t think I’m alone as a conservative that wants everyone – every last individual – to have every possible opportunity to rise above their circumstance and make themselves successful. If that means that they need a meal at a soup kitchen, or an SBA loan, whatever! If it will help them to make something more of their lives, let’s make sure they get it. But, let’s make sure that happens through the proper channels.

    As you said, the government has no place in charity. You wouldn’t ask your barber about financial advice, and you wouldn’t ask your banker to represent you in court any more than you would have a stock broker cut your hair or turn in a loan application to your lawyer.

    Anyway, I better wind down before I have to just post this on my own blog. Maybe I’ll go to the butcher and have him make me a new pair of shoes. It makes as much sense as all of these bail-outs here recently…

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