Once again, I was reading the Huffington Post, and once again, some bigot in government said that people who use welfare or food stamps or some program or other are “freeloaders”. I have moved past the point of caring whether he or she thinks nothing bad ever happens to anybody. It does.
People lose their jobs. People are affected by racism or sexism or all kinds of problems which make it hard to get hired or paid a decent living. People give up. People have mental illness. People have physical illness. People get struck by lightning, or their house is hit by a tornado, or an earthquake. Sometimes they trusted someone who wasn’t trustworthy with their money or sometimes they made actual poor choices, but paid more than their fair share of consequences. Some people don’t have bootstraps any more. Some people are born into poverty and don’t know any other life. Some people are abused and need a place to live. Some people were abandoned and don’t have clothes or a house. Some babies are born with diseases that deform them. Some seniors have dementia and can’t take care of themselves. Some people in the middle have car accidents and are hurt or die.That’s pretty much everyone.
“Into each life, some rain must fall”, they say. It’s true. To think that you are above the fray is to deny reality — unless you are above the fray. It takes a lot of money these days to stay “above the fray”. If you’re able to, be thankful — and generous — because you’re lucky. It’s not true for others.
But since people do get sick or hungry or homeless — even if it’s not all of us — we had better put some money aside for them. All that most politicians have to do to see this is go to their own districts and look around. All that any of us have to do is go to “that” section of town and open our eyes. Surely, they can’t all be freeloaders. In fact, I would suspect that most of them aren’t.
If your kid were hungry, wouldn’t you want to be able to get them food? If you were homeless, for whatever reason, wouldn’t you want a place to live? Why, then, should others suffer and be mocked for it? If you couldn’t get out of bed, for whatever reason, would you want your family to be left out in the cold?
Enough already. Regardless of what people think, there is need and we’d better address it. And if that makes them freeloaders, then so be it — freeloaders, just like us.
6 thoughts on “I Don’t Care What You Think, People Are Hungry (Poor, Hurt, In Trouble…)”
I agree! There are some great charities out there to help the needy.
Bob: I’m glad we agree. How do you suggest we convince people to give to those charities? I think one of the problems with libertarianism is that people are actively choosing NOT to give to their less fortunate brothers and sisters, as is their choice — in other words, the human condition.
Our compassion meters seem broken as a society , this the need for the blog. Suggestions?
Actually you’re very wrong, it is one of the highlights of Libertarianism. It encourages the giving of time and money to charity, community, churches, and taking care of your family members and community. However today when the government steals half of our income, how can we have any money left for charity?
The government has actively undermined the idea of charitable giving by essentially becoming a giant charity (which is not a function of government, as you should know). When we have a friend or family member in need, our culture no longer has the mindset to take care of one another- instead our immediate reaction is to dump them in the care of government. That is amazingly pathetic, and I still don’t understand how you could be party to that mentality.
Government broke our society, and you go right along with them. You want more and more people to become dependent on government, and perpetuate a culture of dependance on others instead of self-reliance. It’s a nasty path and you seem to love pushing us down it.
If you want to fix the system, help push to stop the mentality of dependance on government. There are those in need, but there are also freeloaders. I think I’ve told you before about the people in my life who depend on government, and I consider all of them to be freeloaders who could be productive, contributing members of society if they so chose. But they don’t because they don’t mind sucking from the rest of us. However, I’m *sure* that if these people didn’t have the government to fall back on, they would not need any charitable support! This only leads me to conclude that if you take away the “free handouts”, that we would discover that a whole lot of “needy” are actually not needy at all and those few remaining “actually needy” could be supported by their friends, families, churches, and charities. And, I think you would enjoy living in a society that truly takes care of its needy instead of perpetuating a mentality of government dependance.
I’m glad you clarified. My first exposure to libertarianism was Lyndon Larouche and bumper stickers near the post office in California that said “send Jane Fonda to the moon” and such. I haven’t heard or seen much since except for “no government” rhetoric. No government doesn’t or didn’t seem to be plan — just an anti-plan.
I don’t think that “government broke our society”. I think that ungoverned/unregulated capitalism did that, thus the Great Depression. I think that government in the form of FDR FIXED America that by and large COULDN’T do what we both want — people getting their needs met.
I think we owe each other support as humans and I agree that people should take responsibility for their lives. I really do. But when the system is soooo messed up, government and real leaders need to step up and push us back in the right direction.
I think it’s not either churches or government, I think it’s both. I’m just not afraid of bigger government . We can disagree, but Europe and Canada seem to still exist pretty well with socialism as an option on the spectrum. I don’t mean totalitarianism. I mean shared economics and people worrying less
Libertarianism is a philosophy, not an issue-by-issue grouping. And it is NOT “no government” or anarchy or any such nonsense!
I know you like to read so may I suggest the book “Libertarianism in One Lesson”. I don’t know whether it is out of print. It is a book intended to describe Libertarianism so that anyone can understand it – the book isn’t intended as a “sales job” but obviously it’s written by someone who understands and believes in the philosophy, it is intended to just describe so the reader can understand. Nonetheless, I think you’d find it time well spent, even if you still grasp on to your existing ideals afterwards- even if you do, though, I guarantee you’ll still learn by reading it.
Thanks for the info. I’ll check it out so we’re all on the same page. I’d hate to think we were arguing about a misunderstanding.