Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at thinking, intelligent individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

12 June 2009

Edward Hudgins: Uncharitable Attack on Charity

Edward Hudgins of the Atlas Society wrote an interesting article on a group called the National Committee for Responsible Philanthropy (NCRP) which is the kind of organization Ellsworth Toohey would have encouraged. While in general Ayn Rand's novels are dramatizations of the conflicts between an individualistic, rational, life-centered morality and philosophy and collectivist, irrational, and anti-life moralities, the real world really does have evil-doers who are perfectly capable of replicating a stark dramatization of evil and irrationality from an Ayn Rand novel.

This charitable watchdog group is headed up by a former ACORN organizer. This group issued a report saying
Philanthropy at its Best must serve the public good by contributing to strong, participatory democracy that engages all communities.
It adds that a well-managed charity must:
Provide at least 50 percent of its grant dollars to benefit low-income communities, communities of color and other marginal groups…
Provide at least 25 percent of its dollars for advocacy, organizing and civic engagement to promote equality, opportunity and justice in our society.
Ed Hudgins points out that this is nonsense, which it most certainly is. Charity at its best serves the purposes of the voluntary contributor and does so in a manner which does not use force to impede others in living their lives. Period. There is nothing wrong with giving to a charity that supports the Classical Music station of WBJC in Baltimore even though few people living in the often rich poverty of today in America choose to listen to it. In fact, doing so may help to preserve a rich heritage in intelligent music and be a very decent thing to do. Or, one might choose to give money to The Atlas Society, which directs its programs and education efforts at everyone about equally. There is no reason why they should target their message to groups defined by race or income. And, of course, as Ed points out, a charity dedicated to finding a cure for epilepsy should probably give as much of its money as possible to medical researchers without regard to the 50% and 25% rules produced by NCRP.

Ed also quotes Xavier Becerra (CA Democrat) as saying
“Taxpayers have rewarded [foundations] for being there for America.” But, he added: “At the same time, those of us at Congress have an obligation as the representatives of the people to make sure that their money—taxpayer money—is being well invested.”
Ah....so Congress has the right to redirect the money that individuals give to charities to see to it that Congress believes the money is being well-used. In fact, he twists the individual into being a taxpayer, uses that to say the money given to charity is taxpayer money, and then claims the usual power to spend taxpayer money that he would have for government revenue from taxes. One would think anyone would see through this extremely faulty argument, but surprisingly many do not.

Ed also noted that there was a move afoot in the Obama despotism to tax the charity gifts of the so-called wealthy, before many howls forced them to back down. Clearly they wanted to remove capable and wealthy people from the boards of charitable organizations and keep them from having a role in directing the purpose of those organizations. This would also make charities more dependent upon government grants, which would let the government re-direct their purposes.

It is clear that the so-called Progressives want total government control over charity in America and want it used for their agenda only. Of course, if you recognize that the Progressives have an agenda of mixed fascist and communist goals, control of all charity is readily recognized as being essential for the purposes of their total control of the American people. Individual choices even in charitable giving will not be allowed. This is the Totalitarian Dream, that Obama oulined in his acceptance speech before the Democrat Convention in Denver, CO.

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