THE NATURE OF CHARITY

1151ab454aeca285248a3eb69711f3f8Article by Barbara Cornell.

Syndicated from Barbara Cornell’s personal blog.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was originally published on 07 September 2013.

Nearly 4 months ago, a friend of PJ’s called and said he and his fiance (we’ll call them Lerry and Alissa) could no longer stay with his mother and they needed a place to stay for «2 or 3 days until the new house was ready to move into.»

While they stayed with us, they did considerable damage to my house, let their children run loose to destroy my property and endanger my pets. Neither of them had jobs, although Lerry claimed he would go back into self-employment as a contractor, and because they had no way to get around, I let them use my car (the one I used to commute and conduct business; I have another one for personal use). They never washed any dishes, they never cleaned the room they used, they left their dirty underwear piled up in the floor literally knee deep, they played the television loudly all night. Also, while they were there, Lerry remodeled my kitchen and did a fantastic job of it, so it was a mixed bag.

welfareworkDuring this time, I was forced to face down the worst of my demons: resentment. Alissa, a woman of 23 years, has already birthed and abandoned 4 babies (2 of them she dumped off on her sister, one of them she dumped off on her ex-boyfriend’s grandmother and the other she’s never said where she dumped that one off.) She collects food stamps and public assistance for each of these children, even though they are nowhere to be seen. She does nothing. All day every day. She does nothing. On the days she gets out of the bed at all (which is about half of them), she sleeps 16 hours, then she visits the bathroom, then she sits on the couch watching television until she goes back to bed. Lerry brings her food to the couch then either she leaves her dishes on the couch (or on the floor or in the bed) or Lerry takes them to the kitchen. When Lerry paid for her to go to school to get her GED, she flatly refused to go. She makes no effort whatsoever to contribute to her own survival. I found that my resentment of her was overwhelming. She lives off of me, makes zero effort whatsoever to contribute, impedes my ability to earn a living, and while I am working at my job or building a business to support my family and her, she sleeps. I would like to think I don’t have such ugly emotions as resentment, but her presence in my house proved to me that was a lie I told myself.

But even after all of that, I still was willing to give them (or at least him) the benefit of the doubt. He seemed to be a hard worker and did good work, and if he chose women poorly, well…we all have our faults.

He showed me a house that was for sale (big, beautiful, two-story Victorian era house with hardwood floors) for practically nothing (squabbling among the estate’s heirs). I agreed that I would buy the house and he would remodel it and then we’d resell it and split the profits. It was a good deal. And it would help him get back on his feet, and give him a place to stay while he worked. By this time they’d been living in my house for over a month. The project should have taken a month.

The project went fine for about a month. Then he just stopped working. I would show up there at 2 or 3 in the afternoon, and they were both still in bed. Or they weren’t there at all. He took off a week to «grieve» over a friend (whom he hadn’t heard from in 20 years) who shot himself. He took off a day for Alissa’s birthday, took off 3 days to go to a doctor’s appointment and get a prescription. This, that or the other thing, and pretty soon, he hadn’t done a thing in an entire month. About every couple of days, there would be someone new I’d never laid eyes on living in the house with them (he told me they were homeless and willing to work in exchange for a place to stay.) I lost count of how many of these people he brought in, but it was at least 20, and they all live on welfare and have no intention of ever doing anything else. I was shocked to discover the size of the pool of these hopeless people living in this small town. Quite often, I would go to the house to check on the progress and it would be filled to the rafters with people I never heard of and Lerry would not be there. Gone…somewhere. I addressed with him repeatedly that I was allowing him to use my car as a favor and to make it possible for him to conduct business but he was not to loan it to anyone, and still many times I would see it around town being driven by someone I never saw before in my life.

As of today, I’ve given them a place to stay, a job, a car to drive, insurance, utilities and quite a bit of cash for going on 4 months.

other-peoples-money-98518703623Now, I’m willing to overlook a lot of things. All this time, I was perfectly aware that he was taking advantage of my generosity, I suspected he was skimming off the top of the project (kickbacks from the crew, stealing construction materials and pocketing the money, possibly charging rent from all his misfits, he claimed one of his crew stole a generator, compressor, tools and supplies but I suspect it was him) so I reined in his ability to do that, but I never removed all faith from him because I believe in generosity for its own sake, even if the recipients are not entirely worthy of it. That is the nature of grace, and I embrace that. People in desperate situations sometimes make desperate choices. «There but for the grace of God go I.» Also, I think we improve our character the most when we’ve been shown grace, been given things that we know we don’t deserve.

But there is a fine line between generosity and corruption, and there is a point at which generosity reduces the recipient’s ability to survive (not to mention the giver), at which point the giver becomes the corrupter. And we’ve far exceeded that. So, it was time to put a stop to it. I communicated to him last week that I was removing his authority over the project, sending a new foreman to supervise the job and he was to take instruction from the foreman. I still intended to carry through with my agreement to split the profits with him, but he had to be at work every day, he had to cease lying to me (he told me many bald-faced lies) and the project had to progress significantly from that point forward (we are already over budget and over-schedule and the project is far from done) or I would have to fire him from his job, repossess the car, and evict him from the house.

Yesterday, a member of the crew communicated to me that Lerry had stated that he intends to steal the car and leave the state. I’ve decided I need to repossess the car because (besides the fact that this morning it has a dent in it and he has not offered any explanation for that) I genuinely do not want to be in any way responsible for sending the man to prison, and if he steals my car I will have no choice but to report it stolen (I’m not so wealthy that I can afford to lose an entire car, I will have to file an insurance claim and that will necessitate having a police report).

Now, I’m not saying that every person who receives assistance is corrupted by it. But I think it is a rare person who can receive unmerited assistance for very long without being corrupted by it.

Lerry probably could redeem himself, but it’s obvious that further welfare would do nothing except harm to him.

Alissa, however, is irredeemable. She’s spent her entire life being paid to produce offspring for whom she shows no degree of responsibility. She is, as we speak, producing the next generation of people who are incapable of survival. If at any point, she had been forced to face the reality of having to do something to stay alive, she probably would have done that. But she is supported by a faceless state and she will never do anything to support herself as a result. She is the living, breathing personification of the destruction that is wreaked upon long-term recipients of welfare. The welfare system destroyed any chance she may ever have had to survive on her own.

I see the proof of the damage that is done by the guilt of the masses every day, first-hand. I suspect that if you are of the opinion that welfare systems help people, then you have never actually sat face-to-face with any of the people the systems cripple. And by advocating these systems while remaining ignorant, you are responsible for the damage done to peoples’ lives.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Since this story was written, Barbara and PJ investigated Lerry’s work progress and misuse of funds.  They found that he was defrauding them, as well as the welfare system, and was not getting any work done whatsoever.  They gave him notice of eviction and notified him of breach of contract.  Lerry subsequently sued them for breach of contract.  He lied to the lawyer who was representing him.  When the lawyer was presented with the evidence that PJ and Barbara had accumulated, he immediately dropped the lawsuit in exchange for a promise that they would not pursue criminal charges.  Lerry was evicted from the premises on 25 October 2013, as ordered by the court; he was not in the house when PJ arrived to evict him.  Lerry’s things were still inside the house.  After the police granted PJ and Barbara permission to enter the premises, they proceeded to throw away Lerry’s belongings.  Lerry attempted to muscle past Barbara with a gang of 6 thugs, but decided not to when he saw that she was armed with PJ’s 1911 .45 caliber hand gun (PJ had to go close out some business with a gunsmithing client of his; we speculate that Lerry waited until PJ left, thinking he would overpower Barbara once he was gone — PJ was only gone for 20-30 minutes; fortunately, he had the presence of mind to leave his firearm with Barbara).  All of Lerry’s belongings were promptly picked up by the sanitation department.

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THE WELFARE STATE: WHY WE NEED IT, AND HOW WE OUGHT TO CHANGE IT

Lincoln-on-welfareAn essay on ethical and political philosophy by Mark I Rasskazov.

There was a time when we did not need the welfare state.  Adults got jobs, got settled, got married, had only as many children as they could support, and, together, raised their children to become responsible adults capable of seeing to their own survival — in that order.  If something unfortunate happened to an individual which made it impossible for that person to survive on his/her own, then the community would come together — usually via the local community church — to make sure that that person had food, water, and shelter.  Once they could no longer work, the elderly were taken care of by their children.

This was not a world devoid of tragedy, but it was world where, by and large, people got by, and did not rely on government assistance (meaning: resources confiscated from innocent individuals by force) to do so.  These people did not need to be saddled with massive taxes and regulations because they accepted responsibility for themselves, and spent the necessary resources voluntarily to make sure that the unfortunate did not starve — and if a man was an uncontrollable drunk, then resources were not wasted to fund his habit.

Fast forward to today.

Most people who engage in substance abuse are on welfare.  People who are responsible for themselves are not having children — because they cannot afford to, due to massive regulatory barriers to entry into self-employment, which limits the creation of new jobs, as well as a massive tax burden upon almost every aspect of their lives — whereas those who cannot or will not make any effort to contribute to their own survival often have several children with multiple partners whom they no longer have any association with.  These children are frequently abandoned, or are raised by a single parent.  With each consecutive generation, more and more are growing up learning to take from the productive by force via government while contributing nothing.  They are not being raised properly, and they have no interest in supporting themselves — much less a family — and much less those members of society who have genuine a disability which would legitimately prevent them from being able to support themselves.  This is a recipe for total social, economic, and cultural collapse.

How did we get here?

welfareFirst, we relieved children of their duty to see to the well being of their parents once they’d reached the age at which they could no longer work by instituting the Social Security System. Upon the infrastructure of Social Security, we then built a system whereby we relieved society of its duty to see to the disabled.  Once we accepted that, we decided that it must be the government’s responsibility to take care of everyone — regardless of what their problem might  be.  And so now we have more forms of welfare and personal subsidy than can be counted.  To name a few: food stamps, housing projects, housing subsidies, free phones, childcare subsidies, college grants…the list goes on.  This government (extorted) system of welfare was  (and is) distinct from individual charity in that, while private charity was a system of voluntary help based on assisting the unfortunate to deal with such things that would normally be their own responsibility, government welfare is seen as something to which the «unfortunate» (which is a term which has now been broadened in meaning to indicate anyone who sees themselves as a «have not») are morally entitled to.  Thus, there is a strong incentive on the part of the irresponsible and unenlightened to plunder as much from responsible, productive, self-sustaining people via the government as they possibly can.  This new system of institutionalized parasitism has severely undermined the very fabric and sustainability of our society, and (and this is critical) it is getting consecutively worse due to the fact that new births now tend to be to families that will not teach them to be responsible for themselves and help keep the system afloat.  While productive families generally tend to have one or two children, women on welfare frequently have five or six, from multiple male partners who are absent from their children’s lives.  This ensures that, over time, the population will strongly tend to increase in the number of those who demand welfare, while decreasing in the number of those providing it.  This, of course, can ultimately lead nowhere other than total economic collapse.

This brings me to the first key question of this essay: why do we need the welfare state?

WelfareSpendingChart

We need the welfare state for two reasons: firstly, getting rid of the welfare state at this point will cause human suffering and chaos on a scale which is unimaginable to the modern mind.  Once the «government cheese» stops flowing, those who have come to rely on it — those who do not have a job, and have never bothered to learn any skill which might enable them to survive — will take to the streets committing acts of theft, violence, and destruction.  Eventually they will all die out, whether at the hands of the police, at the hands of private individuals defending themselves and their property, or of exposure, disease, dehydration, or starvation. In the meantime, the amount of destruction that will be wrought upon society and the economy will be catastrophic, and will take at least an entire generation to rectify.  Secondly, at this point in time, we have reached the point that a vast swathe have had so much handed to them, that they take the means of their survival for granted, and they no longer understand even the most basic concepts of long term self-interest.  These people will continue to reproduce and have multiple children with multiple partners — even in the face of starvation — thus perpetuating the destructive cycle of institutionalized helplessness, depravity, and destitution for generations to come.

The bottom line is that the main problem, over the long term, is the birth rate of that section of society which relies on theft via government assistance for survival; yet abolishing the welfare state will, at least in the short and mid terms, make things much, much worse before things start to get better.

There is a simple way to mitigate both of these factors if we act soon — which brings me to the second key question: what do we need to do to «fix» the welfare system?

The answer is simple:

Keep welfare in place, but make vasectomies or tubal ligations mandatory for anyone who wants to receive it.

Let’s talk about this for a moment.

The individual is the rightful owner of his/her person and property, and the state has no right to  compromise this right in any way.  It is not within the government’s proper purview to dispose of the person or property of a human being except as punishment when that person violates the person or property of another individual.  However, no one has a right to government assistance — in fact, if a person accepts government assistance — except as part of a contractual agreement for public service — then that person is committing an act of theft against every person who is forced to pay taxes into the system which supports him.  Thus, by rights, the welfare system should not exits, as it is an institution based on mass theft.

However, as discussed before, welfare does exist, and we can’t get rid of it without experiencing serious short and mid term consequences.

iphone-welfareSo we need to acknowledge that if a person accepts government assistance then that person becomes a ward of the state.  This means that, unlike the person and possessions of a person that deals with others on the basis of voluntary interactions, that person’s body, mind, and property now exist at the whim of the state.  Once we’ve acknowledged this, the solution is very simple, and is as I have already stated.  You stop the welfare crowd from perpetuating itself. You give them enough to have shelter, food and water, but you take away their right and ability to have more children — and the children they already have must be properly accounted for in terms of how they are treated, and in terms of receiving some form of basic education with opportunities for vocational school or college preparation.  If the children are being mistreated or neglected, then the state will exercise the right to confiscate them and give them to foster parents.  At present, the government exercises this legal philosophy toward self-sustaining people as well.  This must stop immediately.  The government has no right, and should have no privilege, to make decisions as to the fate or future of a child who is born to parents who do not receive government assistance.  Yet it does have that responsibility to the children of those parents that do, and the government should exercise that responsibility.

From then on, receiving government assistance will be tantamount to removing oneself from the gene pool — which is just; the law of nature is such that if you cannot survive, then you are not fit, and should not reproduce — and this is more humane than the wild, because we are not letting these people die of starvation, thirst, or exposure to the elements.

Over time, this will correct our current culture which values parasitism over progress, ignorance over intelligence, and weakness over strength, and our country will be preserved from the complete collapse that is otherwise inevitable.