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Author Topic: "requesting some enlightenment..."  (Read 16364 times)

empathyonthefence

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"requesting some enlightenment..."
« on: August 17, 2003, 07:45:52 pm »

hello! i'm sabrina, and i'm currently in the process of deciding if becoming an FSP member will be something i do in celebration of my eighteenth birthday.

naturally, i oppose excessive government and believe that little good can be achieved through force. however, after reading a few posts (albeit not enough to make an definitive judgment), i was put off by some posters' seemingly callous attitudes towards those who fall on hard times and, under our current system, end up on welfare or whatever else. it seems as if some people would like to run somewhere where they won't have to be bothered with those less fortunate, and while i'm CERTAINLY not promoting welfare, i have a problem with characterizing people as "lazy free-loaders" without so much as a thought for how these people landed on the welfare rolls. to me, this seems to be an indicator of certain people's lack of concern for others (and/or ignorance of the very real problems that lead to such dependence), and how are charities (our alternative to stealing from the public) supposed to survive if people are focused more on their right to own guns than whether or not their neighbors are cold and hungry? it seems all well and good in theory to say that charities will support those who still find themselves in need of help, but i guess i need to be reassured that there actually are people here willing to act in that capacity.  :)
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Penfist

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Re:"requesting some enlightenment..."
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2003, 08:04:14 pm »

If some of us seem callous, Empathy, perhaps its because we've been taken advantage of our entire working lives. Every year since I entered the workforce, I have worked harder. Every year, I have been penalized more for that particular ethic that drives me to peform.

Don't think for a moment that most FSP participants are heartless ghouls. We're not.

We just want government out of the process of charity and goodwill.

I have asked those folks that hang out at freeway exits with signs claiming they will work for food if they would like a few hours of work, mowing, painting or something similar. I've never had one say yes. Some of them were outright hostile about it. One tried to spit on my car.

Most of the panhandlers I've met might as well have been the lead singer of Dire Straights, crooning about money for nothing and chicks for free.

In Hawaii, according to this article, http://www.cato.org/research/pr-nd-st.html, you can earn $36,000 a year be sucking the government teat.

I'm not heartless, just slightly jaded. I think you'd find that the more of my money I was allowed to keep, the more would go to benefit the "less fortunate."

Glad you're considering joining the FSP, and I hope something I've said has been helpful.

Trevor

hello! i'm sabrina, and i'm currently in the process of deciding if becoming an FSP member will be something i do in celebration of my eighteenth birthday.

naturally, i oppose excessive government and believe that little good can be achieved through force. however, after reading a few posts (albeit not enough to make an definitive judgment), i was put off by some posters' seemingly callous attitudes towards those who fall on hard times and, under our current system, end up on welfare or whatever else. it seems as if some people would like to run somewhere where they won't have to be bothered with those less fortunate, and while i'm CERTAINLY not promoting welfare, i have a problem with characterizing people as "lazy free-loaders" without so much as a thought for how these people landed on the welfare rolls. to me, this seems to be an indicator of certain people's lack of concern for others (and/or ignorance of the very real problems that lead to such dependence), and how are charities (our alternative to stealing from the public) supposed to survive if people are focused more on their right to own guns than whether or not their neighbors are cold and hungry? it seems all well and good in theory to say that charities will support those who still find themselves in need of help, but i guess i need to be reassured that there actually are people here willing to act in that capacity.  :)
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LeopardPM

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Re:"requesting some enlightenment..."
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2003, 08:16:56 pm »

Dearest Sabrina,
 
Quote
it seems all well and good in theory to say that charities will support those who still find themselves in need of help, but i guess i need to be reassured that there actually are people here willing to act in that capacity.
Very good question!  first off, realize that charities did just as good as our present system before the government took over these functions... there is no reason to assume that it wouldn't revert back to that same charitable status.

Plus, the more economically viable our state becomes through removal of the chains of the government, the more that the 'poor' would benefit.  One instance of this is the Minimum Wage Law - this law dramatically increases the unemployment of teenagers and those without high school or college degrees.  By doing so, it doesn't let these folks learn skills from employers so that they can earn higher wages (more skills = higher wages).

On down the road, once the nature of responsibility gets diffused through the people again, people will plan for and save for those unexpected times of hardship (they will become Self-Unemployment Insured) and folks will also tend to learn more than one skill so that if a particular industry goes on hard times (layofss, business failures, etc) they have a 'back-up' skill to gain employment with...

More directly, you wondering if any people here are willing to 'put their money where their mouth is' so to speak, I know and have read that they are - Myself, I will participate in helping parents of low income educate their children - either by donating time and/or money.  This is an area I strongly believe in (privatizing Education) and fulfilling the needs of those who cannot afford education is something we need to show other states that it can be done...

Re: Gun Control or other subjects taking dominance in the forums
Don't worry, we all have our pet projects and it will not depend on all 20,000 people contributing to charities for low income, or advocating No Gun Laws, or whatever to make any of those happen... we will subdivide into the particular areas we are most interested in but probably will vote on all issues in the same manner...

I hope this helps in your decision for making the FSP your gift to yourself on your 18th!  Happy Birthday, Sweetheart!
Michael
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empathyonthefence

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Re:"requesting some enlightenment..."
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2003, 10:50:25 pm »

thanks so much for the responses! the more i read, the more i find that people aren't "heartless ghouls"; i'm just trying to relieve myself of the fear that the FSP would just be replacing a broken system with another broken system (even if this new system would be for "free"). thanks again!
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Scott ISMP

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Re:"requesting some enlightenment..."
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2003, 11:57:48 pm »

Hello I am glad you are looking into FSP :).  I am for one will be doing my best to help the needy.  There is some cases where there is homeless people out there that truly need help (job loss or what ever) I am for will be trying my best what ever I can do to help out.

In some cases the homeless where I live are greedy (beyond greedy) they think they are homeless they shouldnt work for anything and get free money.  Also this rich guy (hes a multi millionare where I live he was acting like a homeless to get more money)

Then there is some of the honest homeless people that acually took my offer and worked (I paided them good).. I guess basically its hard to tell the fake from the real.

Scott
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Tony

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Re:"requesting some enlightenment..."
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2003, 01:13:11 am »

Hey, I'm so generous I'll give milsurps to the homeless.  They can shoot their own game. :D  

Seriously though, just because we're focused on other issues that are more pressing to the fight for individual liberty doesn't mean we won't be donating time and money to charities that help the less fortunate.   ;)

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RidleyReport

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Re:"requesting some enlightenment..."
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2003, 01:29:58 am »

Welcome to the dock, Sabrina!  I hope you decide to come aboard!  We need a lot more teenagers involved than we currently have; you represent the future of this movement.

If you have any ideas for drawing in more young folks, I hope you'll post them.  
 
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Leonard

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Re:"requesting some enlightenment..."
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2003, 10:45:58 am »

There are certain things we libertarians like to talk about, and you are right, the nuts and bolts of (private) charity aren't among them.  There's several reasons for that.  Others have touched on some of them already.  I'll add one.

Voluntary actions are by their nature extremely particular to time and place.  In a free society, one responds to problems locally, as they crop up.  If there's a homeless guy on your street, maybe you try to help him find a job.  But if there is no such guy, you don't (obviously).  The plight of some other homeless guy two towns away is not your concern, since you don't even know he exists.

Charity is extremely particular.  What is the best thing to be done depends on many factors: how much time/money/other stuff you have to give, what and who you know, and also, the particular recipient involved.  Thus it is very difficult to talk about, except on a very particular, case-by-case basis, or extremely broadly.  As an example, in the very brief hypothetical I used above, I said "maybe" you would try to find the homeless guy a job - but then again, maybe not - maybe he has some cash, and what he really needs right now is just the directions to a cheap motel.  Or maybe...  or maybe... etc.  There are infinitely many possible scenarios here.

In contrast, the things you see talked about a lot here, e.g. gun rights, tend to be nice and cleanly defined problems.  Rights are like that: easy to define, easy to think and write about.   We can predict with high confidence how gun laws would be in a free state, because we have a broad and powerful theory about gun rights.

Charity isn't like that.  So we don't end up talking about it so much.
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empathyonthefence

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Re:"requesting some enlightenment..."
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2003, 12:10:31 pm »

There are certain things we libertarians like to talk about, and you are right, the nuts and bolts of (private) charity aren't among them.  There's several reasons for that.  Others have touched on some of them already.  I'll add one.

Voluntary actions are by their nature extremely particular to time and place.  In a free society, one responds to problems locally, as they crop up.  If there's a homeless guy on your street, maybe you try to help him find a job.  But if there is no such guy, you don't (obviously).  The plight of some other homeless guy two towns away is not your concern, since you don't even know he exists.

Charity is extremely particular.  What is the best thing to be done depends on many factors: how much time/money/other stuff you have to give, what and who you know, and also, the particular recipient involved.  Thus it is very difficult to talk about, except on a very particular, case-by-case basis, or extremely broadly.  As an example, in the very brief hypothetical I used above, I said "maybe" you would try to find the homeless guy a job - but then again, maybe not - maybe he has some cash, and what he really needs right now is just the directions to a cheap motel.  Or maybe...  or maybe... etc.  There are infinitely many possible scenarios here.

In contrast, the things you see talked about a lot here, e.g. gun rights, tend to be nice and cleanly defined problems.  Rights are like that: easy to define, easy to think and write about.   We can predict with high confidence how gun laws would be in a free state, because we have a broad and powerful theory about gun rights.

Charity isn't like that.  So we don't end up talking about it so much.


excellent point. i wasn't really disturbed by the dearth of posts dedicated to mapping out ways to help the poor in the free state. what scared me was people's seemingly negative attitudes towards the less fortunate, particularly a thread where people ended up talking about teenage mothers. with little regard for the beyond awful situation these young women find themselves in, the poster railed on about entitlement and whatnot. i would hope that most people here would see the opportunity to correct this situation ("in the free state, we could greatly reduce the incidence of such situations by educating young people about contraception and safer sex instead of using public funds to promote abstinence-only sex ed as our current government does, and by eliminating destructive legal barriers to safe abortions should an unwanted pregnancy occur") rather than ranting on and on about how young mothers victimize the public. i was really turned off by what appears to be a lack of understanding/a rabid streak of "inconsiderateness", if such a word exists.
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.jacques-yves cousteau.

Stan

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Re:"requesting some enlightenment..."
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2003, 12:26:06 pm »

Welcome Sabrina,

If you were to ask anyone who knows me well, they would tell you that I am a *very* generous person.  I've even been known to go out of my way to help those who are in trouble because of their own bad decisions.  If there is a stereotypical cold-hearted libertarian, then I'm not it.

However, the government has no right to extort from me to give to the "needy".

What I do for others, is of my own free will.

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Re:"requesting some enlightenment..."
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2003, 12:43:39 pm »

One of the problems with the governments attempt to help those in need is they set up a beauracracy that consumes more of the money they extort than the amount used to actually help.
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empathyonthefence

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Re:"requesting some enlightenment..."
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2003, 12:47:54 pm »

of course the government doesn't have a right to force people to give to the less fortunate. i understand this, and i agree.

my whole problem was that we're saying we're going to replace publicly-funded social programs with charity, but it seemed like there would be no one interested in performing charitable works, because a few people seemed to hate the poor. a few people have assured me that people are willing to help, and that's cool.

now my concern is that there's a great opportunity to alleviate certain problems that contribute (greatly) to the poverty issue (like eliminating barriers to safe, legal abortions), but no one's really talking about it. why is that? are you guys anti-choice (gasp), or did i miss all of those discussions?
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*sabrina*
"when one man has the opportunity to lead an extraordinary life, he has no right to keep it to himself."
.jacques-yves cousteau.

SN Porc

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Re:"requesting some enlightenment..."
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2003, 12:53:07 pm »

You can be sure in the free state any, and hopefully all barriers to being a productive and independent individual will be eliminated.
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Stan

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Re:"requesting some enlightenment..."
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2003, 12:59:02 pm »

now my concern is that there's a great opportunity to alleviate certain problems that contribute (greatly) to the poverty issue (like eliminating barriers to safe, legal abortions), but no one's really talking about it. why is that? are you guys anti-choice (gasp), or did i miss all of those discussions?

I'm sure this has been discussed somewhere, almost everything has at this point!

Abortion is an issue that is difficult, and can divide libertarians too.

I personally don't like the idea of abortion being used as birth control, but then again, I don't like drug addiction.  That doesn't mean I would advocate laws to stop it.

Partial birth abortions cross the line as far as I'm concerned, but other than that, you could describe me as pro-choice.
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empathyonthefence

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Re:"requesting some enlightenment..."
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2003, 01:32:47 pm »

now my concern is that there's a great opportunity to alleviate certain problems that contribute (greatly) to the poverty issue (like eliminating barriers to safe, legal abortions), but no one's really talking about it. why is that? are you guys anti-choice (gasp), or did i miss all of those discussions?

I'm sure this has been discussed somewhere, almost everything has at this point!

Abortion is an issue that is difficult, and can divide libertarians too.

I personally don't like the idea of abortion being used as birth control, but then again, I don't like drug addiction.  That doesn't mean I would advocate laws to stop it.

Partial birth abortions cross the line as far as I'm concerned, but other than that, you could describe me as pro-choice.

1. who would use abortion as their preferred method of birth control? it's expensive, incredibly emotionally disruptive, and highly invasive. no one would do that, i cannot for the life of me understand why so many people say that! abortions are always a last resort, and aren't used nearly as often as people seem to think they are.
2. the term "partial birth abortion" is a catch-all, inaccurate term used by anti-choice conservatives to describe a number of safe and sometimes necessary abortion procedures. no one is delivering live babies and then killing them; this term is aimed at deceiving the public into supporting laws which criminalize abortion in general.
3. abortion should always be a decision a woman makes for herself. the issue of whether or not it should be legal shouldn't divide people because it's a personal decision. if you don't like abortions, don't have one, but it shouldn't be made unavailable to those who find them necessary.
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"when one man has the opportunity to lead an extraordinary life, he has no right to keep it to himself."
.jacques-yves cousteau.
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