06 April 2014

The Evil Roy Slade Way

I was reading a movie review type blog where one of the posters couldn't understand the stance of conservatives about government welfare programs.  I felt compelled to write him an answer to the question he posited: " why is it evil to want to help those in need?"  

"It isn't," was my reply.  "It becomes evil when you use force to accomplish it, and government is force." 

If I don't pay the taxes imposed on me, government agents with guns will eventually show up at my house, after a deluge of threatening letters and legal notices, and arrest me,  auction off all my property and throw my family out in the street.  If I resist they will kill me.   That is the threat behind all your wonderful state-run charitable schemes.   It behooves us then to limit, to the absolute minimum, these coercive "good works" rather then expand them. 

When I send my hard-earned money to the I.R.S., I don't feel charitable.  I feel like I have been mugged.  I am paying protection money so I can keep on working and living in my house.  I am being extorted.  It doesn't matter if some good is being done with the extortion money.  It doesn't matter if the extortion is done by the mafia, or republicans or democrats or communists or socialist or fascists or some despot.
You may say it is my great privilege to assist my fellow man.  You may say this is just a cost of doing business, living, pursuing happiness.  You may say that people need a nudge to get them to be "good".  You may be in the majority.  But it is still evil to enforce charity.  By it's very nature, charity must be freely given.  To give wisely and voluntarily to a good cause both enlightens the giver and the receiver.  I don't feel generous or enlightened.  I feel like my pocket is being picked.  

I also notice that rarely, if ever, is the recipient grateful for the gift, but looks on it as an entitlement. 

There was a low-income housing project built here in Portland, downtown on some very expensive real estate and when it was noticed that the units were bereft of air conditioners... well, a group representing the subsidized renters-to-be sued the developers of the place and got that remedied in a hurry.  

That's akin to a friend asking to borrow your car and insisting that you have the broken radio fixed and fill the tank by the time he comes to pick it up.

What has this to do with Evil Roy?  Well let me light a candle here.  In the "EVIL ROY SLADE" movie there is a scene where the title character, played by John Astin (Sean's father) explains how he makes friends by putting a gun to a person's head and asking them if they will be his buddy.  Unsurprisingly, nobody refuses.  "I got a lot of friends that way," says Roy, smiling.    

It is not much different when fifty-one percent of my neighbors vote for some measure or school bond, or some lefty-loosey politician and Roy's wheel gun swivels in my direction.  "How would you like to help buy the homeless some shopping carts so they don't have to steal them from grocery stores?  Don't bother answering," he grins toothily, "we already know you want to be a caring giving generous citizen instead of one of those mean stingy bigoted repugnanticans.  Here's your wallet back."

I'm not really being generous, and I am not really Roy's friend.

I do give freely and generously of my time and money to some causes I approve of.  I'm sure you do also, but you might not approve of mine and I might not approve of yours.  But so what?  

For instance, you may  think the "redneck" baptist who gives his $20 to the African Missionary Fund is totally deluded.  He may think your $20 given to the Lesbian Outreach Program is encouraging perversity.  But again, so What?

The big WHAT is when either of you forcibly plucks money from the other and gives it to a cause they abhor and contrary to their wishes, and that is what is causing the great divide in this country.   It is not the contending ideas that divide us so badly, it is one side or the other gaining the seats of power and forcing laws on the other.  

I think abortion is one step down from murder.  I would not give one penny to support it.  You may think I am wrongheaded and you decide to send a check every month to Planned Parenthood for pregnant teen womb vacuuming.  Go ahead.  I may think you are angering God, but you are free to risk your soul as you please.  

Just don't demand at the point of a gun (remember Roy and those government agents) that I and everyone else in the country chip in 

Our country right now is very divided on the matter of health insurance.  One side thinks things should go on as before, with even less government interference in the health industry, and with maybe some assistance to those who can't afford insurance. 

The other side thinks it is a great idea to compel everybody to sign up and pay for health insurance.  And not just any old health insurance plan; no, it has to be a government approved bundled plan, and if you don't get it you will be fined.  

Have you noticed that almost everyone is getting away from bundled cable TV plans, full of channels they don't want or need, and signing up for streaming internet services and paying for precisely what they want and nothing more... and that the Affordable Care Act is going the exact opposite direction?   

Me, I prefer as much of my life to be as voluntary as possible.  I don't like anybody telling me what I have to do, or else, so what I propose is that we move as much government from the involuntary to the voluntary that we can.  Less government, more volunteerism.  More liberty rather than less.  


If your ideas for helping other people are worthwhile, then trust others to contribute, voluntarily.  If you trust in your fellow man to do the right thing and your cause is just, why do you need force?  Just say goodbye to Evil Roy.  

But if you get a chance, view his movie.  It is a hoot.

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