Howard Blitz

More About: Welfare: Social

Means as important as ends to promoting Peace

The libertarian notion of volunteerism, raising funds from voluntary payments, and free enterprise that the United States of America was founded upon has become an anachronism. Individual car washes, private solicitations by youth and private foundations given non-profit status by government officials, and unregulated businesses receiving no financial support from government (extremely few, if any), are about the only vestiges left of the rugged individualism that created the American society individuals live in today.

The vast majority of fundraising is done through the solicitation of government grants, the very antithesis of the beliefs elicited in the United States Constitution and Declaration of Independence. Last week’s article reporting that $52,000 from both the Arizona State Legislature and the federal congress to fund Yuma arts is an excellent example of how numb Americans are to their dependency on government for their survival. The sadness is in the fact that very few individuals recognize the immorality of utilizing government funding since the means to obtain those funds is coercion.

The validity of the purpose for which the funds are used is not in dispute. The arts are essential and an excellent way to educate youth and adults alike in the diverse cultures and aesthetic performances that exist in the world. To bring artists from around the world to expose as many individuals as possible to the variety of cultures is absolutely necessary to help enlighten others and even to encourage peace in the world.

However, one cannot promote peace when at the same time one promotes war through the coercive force of government in obtaining the very funds one desires. The federal and state governments only receive funds through the coercive force of taxation. If a private individual or private organization such as those receiving the funding attempted to raise funds in that manner, they would be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Yet when laws are passed by a majority vote, the use of government coercive force becomes credible.

Fredric Bastiat described this activity as legal plunder. Karl Marx, however, posited the position that the ends justify the means, the mantra of the socialist welfare state, not one of freedom and free enterprise. By restricting government to its only purpose, that of making sure that all individuals are free from being coerced into doing anything, then individuals and private organizations can go about the business of raising their own funds through voluntary, not coerced payments, from the individual.

Freedom and free enterprise is the individual making his own decisions about how he is to spend his money. The socialist welfare state is one where the government, through a majority vote, takes from one through coercive force and gives to some one else. The ends are never questioned, but it seems that the means are not either. The means are critical if peace is to endure.

American society has now turned into one gigantic pick pocket scheme whereby individuals through government force steal from one another in order to get what they want. Government handouts of approximately $20,000 to each Yuma organization as reported last week is a relatively small amount (although coercing even one dollar from someone is wrong), but when one calculates the number of those handouts world wide, one understands why government debt including social security and Medicare stands at over forty trillion dollars today and why individuals have a very difficult time making ends meet for their families.

Volunteering, raising funds by asking, or selling instead of coercing individuals to buy lends itself more to promoting peace. Individuals need to be as cognizant of the source of funds and the means by which they are obtained as well as the purpose for which those funds are to be used.

Scholarship applications continue to be taken by The Freedom Library for its education program in order for individuals to learn more about the United States Constitution. Remit a completed application by going to www.freedomlibrary.org, call 726-8050, or stop by The Freedom Library any Tuesday at 6 PM to give yourself an opportunity to earn a $1,000 scholarship. Individuals of all ages 12 and up are eligible.

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