Charities are for suckers: Ted Rall showcases his ignorance
A piece entitled "Charities are for suckers," penned by Ted Rall is running over at Yahoo. It's worth a read, because I think it accurately showcases the biggest problem with our government today - namely, the ignorant fools like Ted Rall that have a fundamental lack of knowledge about the founding and history of our nation.
Rall starts out:
Hurricane Katrina has prompted Americans to donate more than $700 million to charity, reports the Chronicle of Philanthropy. So many suckers, so little foresight.
Government has been shirking its basic responsibilities since the '80s, when Ronald Reagan sold us his belief that the sick, poor and unlucky should no longer count on "big government" to help them, but should rather live and die at the whim of contributors to private charities.
The man talks about "big government" as if it was something intended by the founders, happily flourishing for 200 years only to be destroyed just 30 years ago by Ronald Reagan. Give me a break. Anyone who's bothered to read a book about the history of our nation not assigned by their Civics teacher knows that "big government" was specifically not intended. Not to say that a government can't be designed with that aim in mind -many governments have been, just not ours. Perhaps Rall meant to cite to Cuba, China, to the now defunct U.S.S.R., or to one of the many, many, many other governments intended to operate as he describes. He has the power of sheer numbers on his side - Rall need look only to the ash heap of history for thousands of examples.
Why should New Orleans' dispossessed have to live in private shelters? We live in the United States, not Mali.
It's exactly because we live in the United States, Mr. Rall. I suppose one could make the same argument about anything, "Why should citizens have to buy their own cars? We live in the United States, not Mali."
It's ridiculous, but people evidently need to be reminded that the United States is not only the world's wealthiest nation but the wealthiest society that has existed anywhere, ever.
And others need to be reminded just how the United States attained that status.
The U.S. government can easily pick up the tab for people inconvenienced by bad weather--if helping them is a priority ... Cutting a check to the Red Cross isn't just a vote for irresponsible government. It's a drop in the bucket compared to what you'll end up paying for Katrina in increased taxes.
This aptly demonstrates the ignorance of so many like Rall - he doesn't want individuals to have to pay for the disaster recovery efforts - instead, he wants the government to pay for it. Where does Mr. Rall think that the government gets its money?
I'm reminded of Congressman Crockett's famous Not Yours To Give speech, delivered on the floor when the House was debating appropriating money for the benefit of a widow of a distinguished naval officer.
"Mr. Speaker--I have as much respect for the memory of the deceased, and as much sympathy for the suffering of the living, ...
We have the right as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right to appropriate a dollar of the public money. Some eloquent appeals have been made to us upon the ground that it is a debt due the deceased.
"Every man in this House knows it is not a debt. We cannot without the grossest corruption, appropriate this money as the payment of a debt. We have not the semblance of authority to appropriate it as charity. Mr. Speaker, I have said we have the right to give as much money of our own as we please. I am the poorest man on this floor. I cannot vote for this bill, but I will give one week's pay to the object, and if every member of Congress will do the same, it will amount to more than the bill asks."
He took his seat. Nobody replied. The bill was put upon its passage, and, instead of passing unanimously, as was generally supposed, and as, no doubt, it would, but for that speech, it received but few votes, and, of course, was lost.
To hear Rall's version of history, you'd think that the above quoted speech was given by the evil Ronald Reagan in 1983, not by Representative Crockett over 150 years ago.
If you were to ask Ted Rall, he'd probably have no idea that the famed and storied, universally revered and widely heralded Davey Crocket was a Congressman.
Posted by jkhat at September 14, 2005 06:10 PM
The trackback entry for this page is : http://www.inthehat.com/mt/mt-tb.cgi/1080
|The Unabrewer linked with Ides of September linkfest.|
|# September 15th, 2005 7:24 AM BrianH|
|I've been seeing that "We're the United States! We're wealthy enough to pay for it!" meme on a lot of topics lately (health care, Social Security, housing, etc.). Now I don't know exactly where it's coming from, but I suspect it's from a leftist organisation. It seems like their strategy has shifted from outright change to leftist ideals to a more gradual "guilt people into big programs" approach. The idea is to get people USED to having the government take care of everything. Then they can just pile it on.
Some interesting reading:
It's the Communist Party USA document
"The Road to Socialism". Seems to match up with Mr. Rall's points pretty well. It's an updated version of the Comunist Manifesto and is pretty thick in ideology, but the outline is burried in it too.
The "we can afford it" line might be coming from some other liberal group, but I think the goal is the same. Get people thinking we need the government to take care of us, then they can take over.
|# September 15th, 2005 10:30 AM BVBigBro|
|Come on, it's Ted Rall. |
|# September 15th, 2005 11:03 AM BrianH|
|OK, so should I know who Ted Rall is? He just reads like an ignorant lib to me.
|# September 16th, 2005 9:35 AM mbrlr|
|The government gets its money from several places, but individuals and corporations paying taxes certainly constitute a large portion of it. This situation in the Gulf coast is a national disaster that will affect the economy and life throughout the states, not merely in those states on our nation's border. I don't personally believe those hoops have to be jumped through here, but there is both an economic and border aspect to this situation that supports the federal government as the proper entity to help coordinate the assistance and expend public funds to deal with the problem.
And not all liberals are CPUSA members --- as long as we agree to the basics, we're cool with them. Really. No kidding.
As for the position of Davy Crockett --- did he die in the Alamo or was he killed afterward by Santa Anna? --- his position was that we should, of course honorably and on principle --- refuse aid to the widow of a US naval officer? Wow. You've now convinced me that all post-service benefits to the armed forces and their families should be done away with. Atta boy, Davy. I'll even give you the benefit of the doubt, after learning about this, on the disenfranchisement of tejanos. BTW, how much did Crockett give out of his own pocket to the widow? Just curious.
What's your position on the Marshall Plan and the sums expended there? If the argument is that the Marshall Plan was okay because it was outside national boundaries and that this isn't okay because it's along the Gulf coast...well, it will be interesting in the 2006 and 2008 elections to see how this extraordinarily ideological reaction and argument will play.
|# September 16th, 2005 12:26 PM marcus|
|Too often the left frames the argument as either 100% government or 0% government.
Jonah Goldberg over at National Review online likened it to the fire chief coming to one's house to put out the fire.
Who doesn't support the firefighters putting out the fire? Now, if the fire chief then starts to point out fire safety and prevention tips after the fire we are still okay. However, once the fire chief starts giving dietary advice and interior decorating advice he is out of bounds.
This is what we are talking about. Just because the government is allowed to take the lead in civil defense and national defense doesn't mean it has the right or duty to take the lead in every endeavor.
I agree, the situation down on the Gulf Coast has national implications and therefore requires a national response. That is not the point of the post though to argue that. The point is that Rall is criticizing private charity. Those people donating of their own free will are much more virtuous than any leftist demanding higher taxation. Virtue can not be coerced and when you get down to it taxation relies on coercion.
|# September 16th, 2005 8:32 PM BVBigBro|
|It's Ted Rall. He's not a liberal. He's not a democrat. He's a Stalinist. BrianH, he has a long history of truly bizarre articles; from Paul Wellstone being assassinated, to actively rooting for the Iraqi and Afghan terrorists.
As an aside, he is the worst cartoonist on the face of the earth. Draws like a 10 year old.
|# September 17th, 2005 10:20 AM BrianH|
|Thanks for the additional info BV. I had never heard of Ted Rall before (or if I had I dismissed him as someone not worth remembering). If he's a Stalinist then I guess the pointer in my first comment was right on.
I know that not all libs are communists (but the lines aren't nearly as far apart as you might think). I DO get a little suspicious when I see people start calling for more dependence on government handouts. I'd rather see more calls for ways to become LESS dependent. I had noticed the latest line seems to be "We're the USA, we can afford it.” It's an appeal to nationalism and raising taxes at the same time. What the people usually mean is "I want it. Those people have it. I want to take it. I can spend it better than them." There is no concept of private property involved. A lot like "From each according to his means. To each according to his need."
I found it interesting that the CPU USA has changed this slogan a little to appease US ethics (How can we fool them today?). It's now "To each according to his work." which is a capitalistic statement. Of course they're still trying to take power by sneaking in large social programs.
"And not all liberals are CPUSA members --- as long as we agree to the basics, we're cool with them. Really. No kidding."
Sorry mbrlr, but that puts you into the category of the "useful idiots" that the Soviets used to refer to. You're pushing their agenda, not the other way around.
marcus, I think you're right on.
|# December 5th, 2005 11:45 PM mbrlr|
|Well, at least the right thinks some of us are useful. |