Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others.
~ Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Paved with good intentions

Hard to believe someone who is retired could be too busy to post on their own blog, but it happens. Sometimes, however, I read of something that simply must be commented upon, even if it means shifting priorities a bit (and I can hardly believe following this blog is a priority for anyone ;-)

If you've been paying attention, by now you probably understand my belief that, while some who push for socialism are indeed evil, so many are simply useful fools. People with what they feel are the best of intentions, wanting to help their fellow man. People who think it is all right to steal from one person to help another. (This is usually done by taxation, although it occurs in other ways as well.)

I have a young friend, a former coworker, who is a bright young man who truly cares about others. He is a registered nurse, as I was during my last occupation (of many). Having experienced hard times, having seen his family situation reduced by the manipulations of a corrupt and unfair banking/financial industry, he is anti-corporation and leans toward the socialist (actually Karl Marx-ist) belief that it is acceptable to take "from each according to their ability" and give it "to each, according to their need." He is an otherwise honest young man who just cannot grasp that helping others in this fashion is still theft.

He has not experienced what some of us know, that society as a whole did a pretty good job of providing for those truly in need without the intervention of government. Family charity, private charity, church charity, and assistance from social groups have been helping those in need for many, many years. Unfortunately, this did become more difficult as the disposable income that many had - even if it was only in the form of what food they could hand to a traveling "hobo" out the back door of their home - was taken from them in the form of higher taxes, additional fees passed into law when additional taxes couldn't be justified or passed by majority vote. You know, mandates like being forced to purchase health insurance whether you need (or want) to purchase it.

As so many others have written, socialism appears to be an attempt to attain the "perfectable" in mankind, if only the ungrateful beasts will accept what their "betters" tell them is the proper way to reach perfection. (For now, we will leave out the fact that socialism is actually merely a tool of the elite to use in controlling the "masses" and getting them to do what is desired by said elite.) So we have many people who hope that some "change" will bring about an improvement in the living conditions of the poor, of those in need. Some of those people are even willing to have the fruit of their own labor stolen - via taxation and other means - to provide for those in need (and we will avoid trying to determine what "need" means for the moment, as well), although most of them want the money to come from those "filthy rich" people who did nothing to earn the millions they have in their possession. Hell, even if they did earn it. They don't need that much money, do they?

At the place both I and this young man worked, we had other coworkers. One lost all of his meager possessions in a fire, caused by another resident in his apartment building. One lost her job due to a vicious and vindictive superior who mistakenly believed this woman did her some personal harm (accused her husband of the theft of drugs - something he had actually done in the past, by the way, as had this superior at another facility, although it was actually another nurse who turned her husband in for the alleged theft). Donations were organized for these two people in need (although the superior was successful in preventing organized group assistance for the woman - who was supporting an elderly parent at home, by the way - so we did it individually) , and their situations were made a little easier to deal with.

At roughly the same time, we had another coworker, a young lady who had gotten over her head financially. She and her husband had purchased a large home with a good bit of acreage, with a balloon payment. At the same time, she invested in a scheme to make money by raising meat goats for sale. Also during this period, she decided to try to get 100% disability (basically her full paycheck, due to the tax relief of disability) for the "psychological stress" of having to work in the proximity of her ex-husband who was employed by the same service. He was a dick-head ;-) While trying to justify this disability, she refused to work anywhere near her husband, and got approval to take some time off, although not with her full income. Due to the situation, she found herself unable to meet her financial obligations of mortgage, paying her bills, etc.

While the first two people did not ask for any help, they were not responsible for the problems they faced, so I had no issues whatsoever with both organizing the assistance we were all able to provide, nor in giving myself. In the third case, the woman actually talked another coworker into gifting her (not as a loan) several thousands of dollars, and still hinted quite broadly to me and to others of us that she could use some money to "help her out". She did not get a penny from me, and wouldn't have even if I hadn't known about the $2000+ she got from one of us.

Socialism would view all three of these cases as being equal in need. Indeed, people currently receive aid they neither truly need nor deserve, in the sense that choosing to stay home instead of working negates any true need. Admittedly, our current welfare system encourages not working, as it is easier to stay home and get welfare than to work, especially when you consider the costs of transportation, child care, clothes and/or uniforms, union dues, etc. The incredible amount of fraud that is accepted as part of the cost of the system is simply amazing, as well. Since it is not "their money", most bureaucrats in the welfare system do little to prevent the fraud, and when attempts are made to prevent it, it often happens that said bureaucrat is merely using the same system to keep someone they disapprove of from getting help they may actually need.

It is quite an education reading of how some of our "institutionalized" poor have learned to game the system. I read of a young lady who keeps having children (by various biological fathers). As the aid she can receive for these children is limited, she basically abandons the new infants she gives birth to, but this young woman's mother then is able to take the same babies in as foster care, for which she receives $2500 a month. IIRC, she splits some of that income with her daughter. (I apologize for not providing a link to that article, but it was from a believable source, as I recall, not from some "conspiracy" web site.)

When the productive members of a society have the fruit of their labor taken by force from them and then see it given to those who are simply unwilling to work for what they need, eventually you will end up with a society where there are too few productive workers to support the non-productive ones. Then that society collapses - as has happened a number of times in the past in various parts of the world. Those who believe they can get socialism to work in this country, when it has not worked in any other country which has tried it, have the best of intentions, for the most part. They think it is possible to lift mankind up to a state where each will live as well as anyone else, without effort or commitment or even a moral base. If they have their way here in America, they will soon learn the folly of that sort of thinking. Unfortunately, we will all pay the price for it, as will our children and grandchildren, even those of us who know socialism doesn't work.

An even greater danger exists because those who "pull the strings", as it were, the people who believe themselves to be the elite, people who know what is best for the rest of us unwashed and uncouth individuals, people such as Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and John McCain - who all think of us ordinary citizens as oafs and fools who need to be led - don't care whether or not socialism will truly improve the lot of the citizens of this country. They simply believe that they know better, and will run things as they see fit. If it improves life for us, fine, but their first motivation is power and control, not our well-being. Their idea of socialism is actually oligarchy. And their intentions are not good, at least for those of us who believe that the individual has rights that supersede the needs of the group, that are superior to the desires of the group, of society as a whole.

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Sorry, folks. I was completely ignorant about comment rules. Anyone can post, but I'd prefer a name, even if it is made up. Anonymous posts just seem cheap, if you know what I mean. Also, if you want to argue a point, that's fine. Cheap shots and name calling towards me or another person commenting (ad hominem) is rude and will get you banned. Other than that, I'd love to get some comments.