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View Diary: The Weaponized Lie of Self-Reliance (59 comments)

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  •  Good Diary (5+ / 0-)

    Very deep thinking going on, I'd like to add my thoughts.

    Of course, the diary deals with the moral aspects of moralistic economic thought, but I am reminded by what Bill Clinton said. More or less, "it turns out that helping the poor is not only morally right, but it is also good economics." Hence, for example, getting poor kids to work in the school sweeping floors may make you feel good about yourself, and may teach kids "personal responsibility," but it may lead to a janitor losing his job (ironically, someone who did know the value of work, and maybe even someone who was a parent of one of those poor children on free lunch). It may also lead to those kids spending less time on their education. Overall, this will lead to a more impoverished society.

    In any event, if it is about personal responsibility, well it is certainly my personal responsibility to make sure those who have fallen on tough times get help. It is my personal responsibility to make sure kids all get the same head start. Furthermore, if others won't volunteer to do so, it is my personal responsibility to force them to do so through taxation.

    An argument on the right, often used by the Christian right, is that yes, charity is important, but charity ought to be voluntary. This is nonsense. Charity is still charity even if forced, because charity is not about the giver, it is about the receiver. That or you'd have to account for the fact that Christians are threatened by God under eternal judgement to do charity anyways.

    •  "The quality of mercy is not strained" (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      godlessmath, Chi, Gay CA Democrat

      I've heard them use that. "Strained" means constrained. I.e. you can't lose mercy or be worse for having it, nor be forced to it, simultaneously.

      Charity is not charity if it is not done out of love, but the people who argue that they don't want to do the right and good thing socially because they want to do it individually are self-evidently deceiving themselves. If you wish the right thing done, you want it done by all parties, by the tax money, by the donation, by the wealthy, by the poor, etc.

      Rationally, the right thing has been the logical thing for a long, long time. It is to the personal advantage of the selfish -- even if it's merely to avoid the Revolution -- to see poverty reduced, unfairness diminished, and pain alleviated. It is in American interests to support human rights abroad, because, as Jimmy Carter pointed out, when we support tyrants and monsters, they're overthrown, and we reap bitter fruit. The progressive and liberal case has long been the more rational.

      Everyone is innocent of some crime.

      by The Geogre on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 04:48:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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