Sunday, April 9, 2017

Government-Funded Do-Gooding – the curse of the modern age

Have you ever wondered how do-gooders without money, without power, do good to others? They get government to fund their do-gooding by expropriating funds from other people. What does everyone else get? We get a myriad of government programs with negative consequences. These sanctimonious pseudo-helpers create a death spiral for both taxpayers and those they profess to bless.

How do do-gooders get away with this? Do-gooders swathe themselves in a shroud of good intentions. For example, what happens when do-gooders lobby for the creation of government programs to help the poor. Taxes go up but even more destructive, people end up in poverty for the long term.

According to a Cato Institute study, The Work vs Welfare Tradeoff (2013), welfare beneficiaries in Wyoming earned $33,119 annually. With a state median salary of $36,130, these generous benefits create a “welfare cliff” encouraging low-income individuals to stay out of the workforce. But as the study confirms, a job is the best way out of poverty. 

The shroud clouds misleading methods so it should come as no surprise that these illusory good intentions lead to bad results.

But does this mean helping people a bad idea or are the means used by modern do-gooders the problem?

Let’s look at how this works. When a person wants to help someone he can do it in one of two ways. The old-fashioned way is to help someone directly using one’s own funds. In this situation, doing good is secondary to living a productive life. The giver gives his own money voluntarily. The idea is to help a person through a short-term time of difficulty. The idea is for the recipient to become more self-reliant. The idea is a hand up, not a hand out.

The modern way is fundamentally different. In this situation, the giver lacks his own funds and must get the funds somehow as he considers doing good his primary justification for existence. How is this do-gooder able to get the money he doesn’t have? He uses the power of government. Politicians are more than happy to help do-gooderize the victims.

That politicians give other people’s money away is not exactly news. How does this work together with the do-gooder’s primary justification for existence? Politicians are more than happy raid people’s wallets to help the poor because this help gives politicians unlimited taxing power. Medicaid alone cost Wyoming taxpayers about $260 million in 2015, for example.

What else happens when do-gooders use the power of government to do good to others?
After all, do-gooders need people to do good to. Do-gooders pervert their victim’s self-reliance, initiative and independence to create the dependent class necessary for the do-gooder to justify his existence. Do-gooders work to perpetuate dependency – they draw people into a dependent lifestyle. Politicians are happy to help because this creates a dependent voting heavily motivated to vote for glad handing politicians.

The results confront us every day. Anti-poverty activists, bureaucrats and philanthropists have increased welfare state programs to both capture funds from the productive and to draw the needy into a web of dependency. Do-gooders take both people’s money and people’s self-reliance.

Let’s take this to its logical conclusion.

The 20th Century has given us quite a few examples of how using one group to benefit another leads to a government policy oppression and how this has resulted in the starvation and murder of millions. One very evil man, such as a Hitler or Stalin, can’t do it all by himself. They need the help of do-gooders and their shroud of do-gooding to kick of their programs of oppression. 

But the ‘ends justifies the means’ mentality is not exactly new. And when the ‘ends’ are the greater good, justified by whatever means, we can get bad results. For example after the slaughter in 1649 of about 30,000 people, including women and children, Oliver Cromwell said to the English Parliament: “I am persuaded that this is a righteous judgment of God upon these barbarous wretches, who have imbued their hands in so much innocent blood and that it will tend to prevent the effusion of blood for the future, which are satisfactory ground for such actions, which otherwise cannot but work remorse and regret.” [Emphasis added by the author.]

Once a person decides that an individual is nothing more than a means to an end of a higher purpose, the tools of a totalitarian society can be unleashed. The complete disregard of the happiness of the individual, spying, and eliminating noisy nonconformists are necessary outcomes. Nothing is prohibited as long as the person means well.  It allows for the violation of the individual for the greater good, however defined.

Love of money might be the root of all evil, but lack of it is the seed. The ends justifies the means ideology has bad consequences because bad means corrupt the ends. Do-gooders and politicians get together because they have the same motives, they seek the same ends, to exists for, through and by others. But each individual is an end in himself, not the means to an end for someone else. In the face of all the atrocities of the 20th Century, why do do-gooders still support the measures of murders? Because they have been told that the death of millions might ultimately benefit a greater number. The ends justify the means, even if that means murder.

No comments:

Post a Comment