Many people I’m sure have read my blogs regarding true charity and how forced taxation is not true charity for the poor because it’s the government telling you how to spend your hard-earned money. This concept goes by another name: STEALING! There is NO moral justification for stealing, no matter how badly you might need some food, water, clothing, or money.
How does government welfare equate to this most grievous of violations against another person’s property, you ask? Simple. Think about the nature of government welfare. Their nature forces them to obtain funding through taxes. Taxes are something that we the people have no choice but to pay. The government takes this money and gives it to the poor people. If the poor people did this directly we would rightfully call that stealing, but because the poor people have gotten the government to do it for them it’s somehow A-OK?
A lot of people, even some of my Catholic brethren, including some clergy, have forgotten that while we have a moral obligation to do everything in our power to serve the needs of the poor people, Church teaching also says that those in need must also be Christ-like, and Christ never would’ve stolen money from people nor would he have used the Roman government to do the stealing for him through taxes.
Therefore, government welfare does not constitute charity at all. It does just the opposite. What government does through these programs is turn an entire class of people into thieves, thereby continuing, not abolishing, class warfare. The only way poor people can truly be helped is to help them with basic necessities in the short term, while at the same time helping them to help themselves by teaching them skills that they can take to the job market and get a decent job so that they can obtain such basic necessities as food, water, clothing, and even perhaps some creature comforts, on their own power. That is how poverty is truly treated.
People don’t seem to realize that the needy also have a moral obligation to obey the law. This means that the needy only have a right to ask that people help them out of the goodness of their hearts, not to force or use government to force people to help them.
The preamble to the US Constitution states:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Notice how it states to PROMOTE, not PROVIDE, the general welfare. There’s a world of difference between the 2 terms. “Promote the general welfare” means that government must provide en environment by which people can pull themselves up by their own bootstraps by fostering a free market where both commerce and true charity can flourish. If the founding fathers instead had “provide” instead of “promote” for general welfare we would have an environment where government turns poor people into nothing more than thieves by stealing money from us and giving it to the poor.
There are some people who don’t mind that government welfare programs only use government to enable the poor people to steal from hard-working American citizens. Who don’t mind that poor people essentially use the government to commit a crime that is rightfully called stealing. To those people I say that if you like having poor people, or anybody for that matter steal from you through government, move to a communist country, like China. Then see what promoting socialism over using the free market to provide true charity gets you.
Note: My good friend and former roomie Tom did point me out to a clarification I should make. I neglected to include the keyword “unwittingly.” this grievous exclusion of that keyword on my part did make it sound like I was generalizing and accusing a whole class of people of being thieves. I should have said that with these welfare programs government is UNWITTINGLY, i.e., without the knowledge or consent of the needy, turning the needy into thieves by stealing our money through taxation and giving it to them. And THAT is the difference between actual thievery on the part of the needy and government welfare programs. In government welfare programs the thievery is being done indirectly and the needy are none the wiser because the needy don’t care where the money is coming from. But I would bet that if it were explained to the needy in this way that the needy would also be all for the same gradual changeover from government welfare to private charity services that I support