More on Charity

I am always a little discomforted by what I call “charity bragging”. Anyone who grew up in a church has probably encountered the phenomenon. The act of doing good works is not enough; one must be seen doing the good works. It doesn’t necessarily mean hypocrisy in milder forms, although in some respects I think it verges awfully close. A classic example is a local furniture retailer who donates plenty of product and money when called upon. However, he always manages to tie it in as some sort of self-promotion. He rarely does it in an offensive way, but he is obviously seen to be donating.

I bring this up only because a lot of things I have seen recently are reaching that point. People seem to be awfully self congratulatory over the amount of money the US is giving for tsunami relief. I realize part is reaction to some ignorant piece of eurotrash throwing around comments like “stingy”. Well done you and all that, but I’m thinking the people on the ground don’t much care how impressed with yourself you are. The places where the money is going suck. Even if they clean all those places up to "before tsunami" conditions, they’ll still be crappy places, relatively speaking. Make some substantive changes here at home that will improve their lot (hint: agricultural subsidies and tariffs). It’s a better deal in the long run than writing a check. However, as most of us realize on some level, it’s a lot easier to write a check than do the hard work. In this case, the hard work isn’t just schlepping relief supplies halfway across the world. More necessary hard work is figuring out why the third world is a basket case and how to encourage the people there to fix things.

On a related note, some lefties are expressing faux outrage about the inauguration. The event is going to cost 40 million dollars. Some idiots think we should give that money to tsunami relief and scale back drastically. After all, there’s people starving in the third world! My only question for people of this ilk is fairly simple. What did you give up so that you could donate to charity? I think it’s more than a bit hypocritical to ask people to do things you are unwilling to do. If you didn’t inconvenience yourself to donate, why should anybody else? It ain’t like people weren’t starving somewhere during every single inauguration this country has ever had. I can’t help but think many of these same people weren’t singing the same song when Bill Clinton was sworn into office.


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