Posted by: Greg Huff | January 30, 2014

Government is Coercion not Compassion

This essay was written just before the 2008 election.  It was posted on an earlier Politically Empowered site and so was lost.  I am re-posting it now so these thoughts and data are available.

 Recently candidate Obama wondered why McCain and the Republicans want to make “selfishness a virtue”.  This is an amazing statement especially since Arthur Brooks of Syracuse University in researching his book, “Who Really Cares”, says: “When you look at the data, it turns out the conservatives give about 30 percent more [money to charity]. And incidentally, conservative-headed families make slightly less money.”

Brooks found that the conservative/liberal difference goes beyond money:

“The people who give one thing tend to be the people who give everything in America. You find that people who believe it’s the government’s job to make incomes more equal, are far less likely to give their money away.”

This is only one of the reasons Socialism is bad. When the government gets involved in the charity business it muscles out the competition.  It not only ceases to be charity, it becomes something much worse.  It doesn’t just become “redistribution of wealth” it becomes extortion of the productive by the non-productive, of the able by the unable.

In her book “Atlas Shrugged” Ayn Rand via her character Francisco D’Anconia instructs the “liberal elite”, in the fallacy of money being “the root of all evil” or made on the back of the poor.

“But you say that money is made by the strong at the expense of the weak?  What strength do you mean? It is not the strength of guns or muscles.  Wealth is the product of man’s capacity to think.  Then is money made by the man who invents a motor at the expense of those who did not invent it? … Money is made – before it can be looted or mooched – made by the effort of every honest man, each to the extent of his ability.”

 In a brilliant essay Government is Not Compassion by Glen Allport he correctly identifies the true nature of Government and the dangers of projecting on to it a compassionate nature.

“Government is nothing more than structured, widespread coercion, and the idea that it can implement compassion for us by force is simply a vile and cunning lie.  It is cunning because people are primed and willing, even desperate, to believe it.  It is vile because government allows, facilitates, and encourages mass murder, widespread torture, needless famine, and every form of tyranny. ”

“As a result, the creation of an emotionally healthy, free, and genuinely compassionate world is most strongly opposed today by a tyranny that is being sold as Paradise.”

 You can read his article here:

To Obama you are selfish if you do not want your income redistributed by government.  To Biden you are not patriotic.

Forget for a moment the immorality of robbing the productive to give to the unproductive (of course it is sold as redistribution from the greedy rich to give to needy poor).  Think of it in practical terms of getting the most bang for your buck. You will find that the government is not only a bad steward of your income (much of that dollar being eaten up by the bureaucracy itself) but as with government programs of any kind, the fraud that takes place is rife.  It will cost upwards of forty cents on the dollar to administer and ferret out fraudulent claims.

Charity is a good thing.  Giving to charity makes the giver feel that he is helping another person in need.  The receiver gets a helping hand and knows that it is charity and in most cases tries hard to not be a burden on the giver.

This is turned on its head when the government gets involved.  Now, instead of being freely given it is extorted from the individual.  The receiver no longer has to feel he is being a burden to some one else because it is no longer “Charity” it is an “Entitlement”.  There is no reason to get off the program because you “are entitled” to have it.

At the same time it degrades the person receiving the benefits.  It puts him or her in an “out exchange” condition.  Being non-productive yet still receiving benefit is probably the most degrading thing you can do to a person.

So, Obama says it is “selfishness” to those that are the most unselfish.  He advocates extortion and redistribution over voluntary action and actual compassion.  He advocates inefficient and corrupt government entities over the more efficient and honest charities that will actually do some good.  He wants to enshrine that which will never work and disembowel those entities that do work.

It is a disgusting ideology.  If he is elected I pray we won’t have to bury too many people before his term is up and I hope it won’t be too late to recover from the damage done.

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