Monday, 25 January 2010

Why I don't believe in enforced charity

Certain bloggers (who shall remain nameless) have said in the past that if we didn't tax people to provide for the less well-off, things would all go tits up and everyone who was poor would starve to death.

Heartless, vicious cunts like Devil's Kitchen and myself believe that if people have the money and they see people worse off than themselves, they will, in general, take care of them. Not only will they take care of them, but by providing aid based on their better knowledge of the problem, they will provide better, more tailored and more caring aid than some faceless bureaucrat applying a one-size-fits-all policy.

But I digress.

I believe in the inherent decency of most people, and when I read things like this, I put two fingers up at those who accuse me of nihilism and accuse people in general of being naturally cruel and uncharitable.


Roue le Jour said...

"...everyone who was poor would starve to death."

Well, yes, they would now, because the bastard socialists have destroyed all the charities that would have helped them.

Anyway, no welfare state here. No dead grannies in the streets either. Funny, that.

John R said...

.....and of course the reverse is true, the more you tax me to help the poor (ahem) the less I'm likely to give voluntarily as I feel I've already "done my bit" with all the cash you've stolen from me. It's why Americans almost to a man (sorry, person) are great givers and charity workers. It isnt taken out of their pocket by the state, so they do it themselves.

So, high tax, less giving
Low tax, more giving.


MTG said...

Cynics aside, how could a reasonable mind entertain the notion that peerless taste forming the nucleus of your threads is not also host to a corresponding munificence, Obno?

Obnoxio The Clown said...

Errr ...

Costello said...

This attitude amongst the socialists is really very revealing of how they view humanity as a whole and themselves specifically. Basically they think pretty much everyone else alive can be split into two groups:

a) the rich (anyone who isn't poverty ridden or a socialist)

b) the helpless poor

Socialists think of the former group as largely consisting of absolute scum and would happily sit by and watch others die in poverty in misery while they, alone, have the good and benevolent nature to help the latter group. But they cannot/won't help all the poor using their own funds and efforts - good God no! - and thus they require the state to create laws that allow them to steal, legally, from others and to use this money as they see fit.

Jim said...

We do have concrete examples of what happens when there is no safety net - travel to places such as Africa, India etc. I have been to India, and seen a man lying dead on the side of the road, with a horrific broken leg, the bone sticking right out of the skin. Thats what does happen in societies that do not have some basic form of social care. I do not want to live in a society that allows such things to happen.

Thats not to say that the current system of hosing cash at the deserving and undeserving alike is to my taste either.

My preferred option would be a much more localised system, paid for and administered locally. No over-arching national framework, just a myriad of little schemes in every town and city, tailored to the needs of each particular area.

A localised system would also have a greater chance of be self policing - you are more likely to get caught fiddling the dole or sick if your neighbours can see the link between the level of their contributions into the system, and you working and signing on at the same time.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

Sorry, Jim, I don't buy that. Most of India and Africa is desperately poor by comparison to the UK.

The point I'm making is that even though we are all tightening our belts, we are still well-off enough to respond admirably to others who are worse off.

I've also spent a lot of time in Africa, and where people have the slightest bit to spare, they will.

People are not generally inherently nihilist and will generally look after each other. said...

Government welfare doesn't work. It breeds more dependency rather than actually helping people. As an example, in the old days, before the government promised to pay for every child you had, and to give you a house on top, there was actually some social stigma attached to getting pregnant if you didn't have your life in order, what with it taking MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF RESOURCES TO RAISE A CHILD.

Now, because of government "welfare" there is a whole generation of people who think there is nothing at all wrong with having multiple children when you DON'T EVEN HAVE A JOB! It's insane.

In a free market, somebody looking for welfare would have to go to a charity, and look the person in the eye and explain WHY they needed the money. The money they got would be from local people in the community, who would also want to be assured the charity wasn't just giving out money to anybody who asked.

Through this natural, HUMAN, arrangement of charity, people would feel much less good about taking when they didn't have to, the organisations would themselves police it on top of that, and yet people actually in need of help would get it.

Today you have people queuing around the street at the dole office in the morning, cider in hand, waiting for their paycheck. It's insane.

So when you imagine a society without welfare you don't need to get as much in charity donations as the government spends today. You only really need to raise, maybe, 5-10% of that (factoring in how much more efficiently private charity uses its money as well).

From my anecdotal experience, TONS of people I know give to charity. People DO CARE. And saying there would be people dying out on the street in the absence of the state "taking care" of people is just yet another government scare story that I'm not buying.

cuntface said...

Am I the only one who doesn't give a fuck about Haiti? If you don't either Obnoxio, I dare you to blog it. Go on, it'll be funny. Say "I don't give a fuck about Haiti"

Anonymous said...

I think true charity is anonymous.

The Clown obviously has a secret ego desire to not just know people are reading his ramblings but also to be publicly observed to be handing out cash to the poor people.

You smug, patronizing bastard.

I'm overemphasising the insults to make my point btw (it works two ways you know).

Obnoxio The Clown said...

I have the stats from Google that tell me my blog gets read and I have no particular urge to offer my charity in public.

But you're right about the smug, patronizing bastard bit.

Anonymous said...

OK, fair enough.

What/ who would be the proxy for charity if it wasn't through the state?

Obnoxio The Clown said...

Why would you need a proxy? What would it do?

Anonymous said...

If they're not going to be publicly given the money, surely it must be through some third party.

"Poor people", especially those who genuinely want a way out surely don't deserve to have their dignity further damaged by being forced to accept direct handouts from people better off than them.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

Ah, gotcha. Well, if you cast your mind back a couple of years, before the term "charity" became synonymous with lobbying on behalf of the government...

Also, if you can stand it, ask DK about friendly societies.

williamsjk said...

I'm still loving the success of Charlie Simpsons fund raising - wonder if the next government could use him to help lower the deficit, hew certainly knows more about fundraising than any politician!

Obnoxio The Clown said...

Yeah, he made it voluntary and he did something in exchange for the money.