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Enablers?

While reading some other folks blogs this morning, I came upon a post by Tchaka that made me wonder. He wrote that he likes to look out for his fellow man. That is a paraphrase of what he said, but the point is that he wants to help his fellow man (or woman). I like that. I think that we all do.

I like to believe that most of us would help an old lady across the street or pull over to help an elderly person change a flat tire. We have all given money to the guy with the "will work for food" sign before and most of us have given money to the Salvation Army Santa Claus. Anyone who sees a lost dog on the street will practically risk their own life to get the thing off the street and into their vehicle for the quick trip to the animal shelter. That is how we do things here.

Our country as a whole has pretty much been a help somebody in need type of setup. We send loads of dollars to other countries. Tell us about a hurricane in some other in our country or even some other, and watch the trucks load up with blankets and food. Take a look at church and charity organizations to find that Americans volunteer to help others in pretty high numbers.

Now back to Tchaka's point, and mine. We like to help our fellow man. But, should we help our fellow man because we want to, or should we be forced to help our fellow man? In other words, should I give to my church and favorite charity because I want to, or should I give because my government makes me? And at what point does helping my fellow man turn into enabling my fellow man?

I realize that our political leaders like to fight over what types of actions on our parts, should qualify for a tax break. In some cases, we can save on our taxes if we give properly. In a way, that is forcing us to give to our fellow man. We all like a tax break so we may give a little more. But, it is our money that we are giving, and we do have a choice at this point. Either give to a charity or give to the government.

If I give money voluntarily to the guy on the corner with the sign, I hope that I am helping him. However we all know that there is a chance that he will buy alcohol or drugs with the money. In my opinion. this would turn from helping him to enabling him. Instead of lending him temporary assitance towards getting himself out of a bad situation, I am helping him stay in that predicament. Although I may never see him again, from a societal standpoint, I am not helping things. But, what if we were made to give to him? What if our government simply took money from us in order to give to him?

When our government forces us to give our money to others, so that we may help them, where do we draw the line on what constitutes helping them versus enabling them? Do we merely just write the person a check every month for the rest of their lives or do we ask something in return? Should they at least try to get educated and try to get a job? Should we be able to ask them to stay drug and alcohol free, at least while we are paying for them? Can we at the very least, put a termination date on the free money?

This argument goes to the healthcare idea as well. Are the people who expect free healthcare going to be required to eventually pay into the system or do they get to live off it forever? At what point can we as a society say enough is enough, you must now contribute something?

Will we help or enable?

 

Comment balloon 12 commentsKevin Robinson • August 30 2009 08:31AM

Comments

Because we want to is the reason I will help my fellow man. It is not the Administration's place to tell me how they will take and spend my money. Thanks for a great post.

Posted by Terry Miller, Miller Homes Group and Tyler Apartment Locator (Miller Homes Group) about 8 years ago

Why must folks who do good deeds feel that they must broadcast their largess to the world?? 

Do they help in the spirit of charity?  Or, do they help others for motives of self-aggrandizement or sanctimony??

When I read a post of someone who describes their "good deeds, it always makes me wonder.

 

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) about 8 years ago

That is an interesting post and a lot of it is very true.  The problem with giving anybody anything, is that some people will ultimately take advantage of the situation.  Unfortunately, this is just the way things are.  However, does that mean that we make everyone suffer for the few that will take advantage?  Do we lump them all in one category?  It is hard to say.

Hopefully we can come together as a Country and decide what to do about healthcare in our Country.  Thank you for the thought provoking post. 

Posted by Brenda Mullen, Your San Antonio TX Real Estate Agent!! (RE/MAX Access) about 8 years ago

Kevin - another very interesting post. 

Without using the exact words, you've touched on forced charity - when the government forces you to pay taxes in order for them to give it to someone else.  This has at least two very negative consequences: 1) It makes people who are normally generous think twice before giving on their own - after all "the government's handling that for me now." and 2) It makes those who receive the handouts more inclined to become leaches - after all, they're not a burden to anyone in particular, it's just "the government" and "the government" has plenty of money.

You've also reminded me of an article I saw yesterday about people being freed from "the plantation" going back to "Massah" for more handouts.  It's now not just individuals on welfare doing that - refining their lifestyle in order to avoid having to go back to work - but now it's corporationg - refining their behavior so they can keep the money the government gave them to "bail them out."  In other words, the government is creating bigger, more persistent problems rather than eradicating problems.  (The article was called "Back On Uncle Sam's Plantation.")

Posted by David Holzmann (Holzmann & Associates) about 8 years ago

I do believe that society as a whole needs to be there for the people that absolutely can't help themselves.  Let's face it, some people just simply won't be able to take care of themselves - orphans, the extremely disabled, etc.  On the other hand, the other 95% of the people need to be off the welfare rolls.  There are way too many people dependent on the government for everything. 

Often liberals that call other people "greedy" or "uncompassionate" simply because we don't like the government taking our money in the form of taxes (at the threat of fines or prosecution) and giving to other people for whatever reason the government decides is appropriate. If these liberals are so compassionate, then why don't they go and adopt a dozen or so orphans? Or why don't they spend every night and weekend along with half their income over at the local homeless shelter? Talk is cheap.  Most liberals are only compassionate with other people's money.

Posted by Rob Arnold, Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F (Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc.) about 8 years ago

Kevin~ The founding fathers of this country who actually wrote our wonderful Constitution understood this very point. They concluded by decree that the people and non profit orginizations, yes churches synaguoges and other religions should redistribute monies donated by the people.

Government was to be limited to the protection of the people's rights.

This administration and liberal congress are literally tearing up the Constitution in the name of financial crisis, and establishing another form of government right before our collective eyes.

Posted by Broker Nick, Broker Nick Relocation Broker Service (South Florida Real Estate & Development, Inc.) about 8 years ago

You are a wise man.  I'd write something profound here, but Nicholas' comment hit my nail right on the head.  We can clearly see what is happening.  The question that remains is, are we past the point of no return?

Posted by Janna Scharf, Coeur d'Alene Idaho Real Estate Expert (Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene) about 8 years ago

Like Janna I was going to make a profound statement, but since reading a post is also about reading the comments I have to agree that Nicholas has pretty much covered what I was going to say.

Posted by Suesan Jenifer Therriault, "Inspecting every purchase as if it were my own". (JTHIS-Professional Home Inspection Team) about 8 years ago

First, Nicolas did express it very concisely.  No one wants to deny orphans and the truly disabled.  They represent a very small part of society. 

I have become somewhat jaded when it comes to the plight of the "enabled".  My church maintains a thrift shop. We partner with birth right.  Birth Right would send expectant mothers with a voucher for baby clothes or maternity clothes.  Other organizations sent people with vouchers for themselves and children.

While I volunteered at the shop I cannot tell you the number of times I saw people come in who clearly were not needy taking advantage of the system.  One family the mother and father had more expensive cell phones than I did.  The two older children they brought with them had IPods. If they were not paying for cell phones they could afford baby clothes.  They refuse to pay for the most basic needs so I should pay so they can enjoy the latest in technology?

It was not one family I saw.  It was at least one per day.

I will not donate to any organization that uses professional fund raisers.  That is another misuse of our donated money.  The funds get eaten up by administration costs. I have no problem giving it directly to an Ambulance Squad or other organization that makes direct appeals.

All I'm seeing is the government wanting to spread wealth down to include members of society who may or may not be legitimately in need.  We have no choices.  Does this largess include the homeless our is it going to subsidize the lazy slackers?

Posted by Bonnie Vaughan, CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin about 8 years ago

Kevin - I featured this post in Silent Majority, I feel more people should read and respond to this post.

Posted by Broker Nick, Broker Nick Relocation Broker Service (South Florida Real Estate & Development, Inc.) about 8 years ago

Kevin-I loved the blog post, you said it all.  It is our money and we should not be forced to support others if we choose not to. 

Posted by Delaware Junk Removal Residential And Commercial Hauling Clean Outs, Whole House Clean Outs, Basements, Garages, Attics (Delaware Junk Removal 302-530-9186) about 8 years ago

Come on people, where are the interesting responses? Has everyone gone on vacation?

Posted by Broker Nick, Broker Nick Relocation Broker Service (South Florida Real Estate & Development, Inc.) about 8 years ago

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