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Democrats, Republicans, and Charity

Posted by Admin on | March 24, 2013 | No Comments

Members of the two parties have different views of society’s responsibility to help the needy. Democrats take the easy route and vote to raise taxes, usually on the rich (i.e. someone else) and have some government agency take care of the needy. Republicans feel that it is a citizen’s responsibility to help his neighbor.

In the Democrat world the government agency has a goal of continued existence. It’s budget grows with the number of needy it serves. As its budget grows, so do the salaries and size of the agency. The goal is to increase the number of needy recipients. To do otherwise is to set a goal of decreasing the agency’s size, influence, and budget. The voter gets the satisfaction of having met his obligation to his neighbor by voting to spend someone else’s money to help the needy. He is off the hook and can continue his day to day living satisfied that he is a model citizen.

In the Republican world private charity organizations have goals of getting the needy jobs and lives that don’t depend on the charity. For these organizations any increase in the needy means more work raising money to help them. The incentives are the opposite of the government agency. Citizens get their satisfaction by donating time and money directly to the needy through the charity organization. One can read about how these organizations used to work in “The Tragedy of American Compassion” by Marvin Olasky.

It’s easy to see why these two approaches work so differently. In the government agency solution a new applicant for assistance is a statistic. Enter the name into a database and a debit card is issued. Update a spread sheet to reflect the increase in recipients and the job is done. There is no real budget that limits the number that can be supported as the politicians who gain favor with voters by showing compassion simply increase the budget and eventually the taxes to support it.

The private charity organization, on the other hand, knows each applicant as a person. The exact needs are evaluated, the skills and capabilities are evaluated. Permanent solutions to improve the economic status of the applicant is sought. If there are issues such as substance abuse, the organization works with the applicant to eliminate the problem. The needy are treated with dignity and not treated as a source of income for the organization.

Convincing a voter that the Republican approach is better for everybody means exposing the voter to the unpleasant truth that what he thinks is compassionate is actually harming the needy by locking them into dependence. He must realize that the Democrat politician promising to use the government to help the needy is just using a re-election tool, and the demagoguery that equates the Republican non-government solution with hating the poor is tool to blackmail the voter. A hard sale.

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