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Posted on Sun, Jun 13, 2010 : 6:35 a.m.

There is no ‘social justice’ in government programs

By Guest Column

It is trendy for many who support the latest wave of government-sponsored social programs to use the concept of "Social Justice" as justification. Let's examine this considering three constituencies, those pushing the agenda, those who would be made to pay, and those receiving the assistance. First, those pushing the agenda should not be confused with those who believe in the charitable principle of helping the poor. It is not defensible to take from one to give to another, certainly not in the name of charity. I have no issue with asking those who have more to help those with less.

Consider that Americans are known as the most charitable people or nation on earth. Why is that? Is it because the socialistic practices of Europe have not yet been rammed down our throats? Is the average European any less charitable, except that his spirit has been soured by government interference in his pocketbook?

Also, for the proponents of social justice who link to their religious beliefs, I suggest they examine themselves to see if they are not guilty of the sin of pride. They presume they know how things should be, to the extent of forcing the actions of others. In any case, from a moral standpoint, the end does not justify the means. For those who would be made to pay, I can see them becoming less charitable in spirit and in action. I can also see them judging negatively those who receive what is taken from them. To deny this is to deny human nature. There are some in this group who are also in the first group, who claim they do not have enough taken from them by the government. I wonder if these people really earned wealth, or stumbled upon it by accident of birth or whatever. If they are not clever enough to find a good place for their largess, shame on them. It is hard for me to believe they need government bureaucrats to do what they are unable to do better for themselves, that is, find people needing help. For those who would receive the assistance, who will not admit it is better for them to learn to help themselves rather than get by for another day? And I'm not talking about the infirm or challenged, but the millions of able-bodied among us who are under-performing compared to the talents given them. Find the social program that has been successful and reduced in size over the years, since its supposed purpose was to "help" people. No doubt any of these programs claimed it would lift people out of poverty. Doesn't that suggest the number of liftees will become smaller? Do you know any such program?

Compare those born in America who started with nothing but received government assistance to immigrants who came to America also with nothing. As a group, which is better off over time? Why? Is it not because the immigrants helped themselves, given the opportunity this country has afforded them? What happened to the native-born Americans who received the assistance? Why? When you see examples of those receiving assistance, how grateful do they appear? How much do they value what is given to them? Much? Some? Any? Not at all? Look at public housing and you'll find the answer. What about me? I am not in any of the above groups. I do not want and have never wanted what I did not earn. Raised poor by a single mother and grandmother; parental guidance ended at age 15 when mother died; I benefitted from the good influence of extended family; began part-time work at 15, through high school and college, still working 47 years later.

Government did less than nothing for me, sent mother's Social Security death benefits but made me pay them back because, as a working student already married and with a child, I was making too much money. The success I have is from my mother, family, private business employers, and frankly from learning I was responsible for my own well-being, no one else. This appears to have worked for me. What's wrong with the formula? Finally on this subject, I am looking for a leader who can inspire others to be more charitable, not one with the delusion that mandated actions will have the same results.

Arthur J. Godfrey is a resident of Ypsilanti Township who has worked in the private sector for his entire career.



Wed, Jun 16, 2010 : 11:57 a.m.

From Godfrey's column: "... It is not defensible to take from one to give to another, certainly not in the name of charity...." In an earlier comment: "... You want to punish the people who have earned their position in life, by taking their money from them?..." Given the way the economic world works in practice, this represents a double standard, as those who live comfortably well-off have usually been on the receiving end of social largesse. In reply to both of the above statements, a quote from writer and journalist Don Marquis (1878-1937): When a man tells you that he got rich through hard work, ask him: Whose?


Wed, Jun 16, 2010 : 8:18 a.m.

I have no issue with asking those who have more to help those with less.-Arthur J. Godfrey then do it! Take it upon yourself to go out and convince the "doers" of this country to help all of those that meet your criteria of deserving help so that "social justice" need never be heard in the halls of congress again! We can then live in a utopia where we know that all of those people still suffering are doing it by their free will. Have fun with that. I would suggest starting with Jon Menard. Let us know how that goes.


Wed, Jun 16, 2010 : 8:13 a.m.

Oh, Man! I just have to laugh when someone says that Rich Rod "earns" his millions annually! Too funny. How about a more real world analogy Angela... Before you you have a cornucopia of food, turkey, brisket, veggies galore, smoked fish, pate' pies and cakes. The kid down the street has Dept of Ag peanut butter, has Multiple Sclerosis and a drug addicted father. You have a deep strong desire to punish Dad for his poor decisions so you also punish the child so that none of your pie might reach dad. You will cry out that the child has "every opportunity" to succeed, when the reality is he does not. Take a look at stats of how many lower class individuals reach upper middle class and how many upper middle class children reach lower class. What you will find is that the odds of reaching upper when starting from lower are quite low. This does not mean I want to take all of your money and give it to a welfare queen, but it does mean we need to look at the structures that keep the impoverished impoverished. That means looking at "leftist" programs with the same rigor as those policies that allow BoA to use your money to pay out bonuses to millionaires.


Wed, Jun 16, 2010 : 7:54 a.m.

Bob, I agree that corrupt politics is a cause. However, the Supreme Court disagrees. What we call "legal bribery" the Randian Supremes, and those that appointed them and those that elected the Appointers, call that bribery "FREE SPEECH". The Citizens United case is being lauded in so-called conservative circles while the astroturfers on "the street" decry the results it will bring, more BOA favorable regs, more BP favorable regs etc. It is about greed and selfishness.


Wed, Jun 16, 2010 : 7:48 a.m.

ANGELA, yes, I can see how badly RR and Brandon are "punished". Their lives must be living Hell.


Wed, Jun 16, 2010 : 5:47 a.m.

Clownfish- The anti-trust laws were gutted by randian philosophy. They were gutted by corrupt politics. I just saw first quarter "lobbying" (which means legal bribes)by financial institutions. Chase, BOA, Goldman Sachs, etc. all gave congress more than a million each in one quarter. They are essentially writing the financial regulations. So these regulations will be tolerable to them, and will destroy their smaller competitors. I have no problem taxing, but I realize we aren't doing this in a vacuum. Brittany Spears can move to Ireland and lower her tax burden dramatically. The Wall Street firms we love to hate are moving their trading branches to London and Toyko. If we want jobs in the US we have to look at the bigger picture. Poorly structured taxes and regulations are destroying our economy.


Tue, Jun 15, 2010 : 11:28 a.m.

Clownfish You want to punish the people who have earned thier position in life, by taking thier money from them? Does that mean if you and I are eating and you have more than I do I can take what is on your plate. If my child gets a C in class and one of her classmates gets an A Then they should both get B's, because it wouldnt be fare for someone to get what they have earned and keep it


Tue, Jun 15, 2010 : 7:55 a.m.

I also have no problem taxing Rich Rodriquez to help pay for our court system, taxing David Brandon to pay for roads, taxing Lloyd Carr (heavily) to pay for books and computers for schools.


Tue, Jun 15, 2010 : 7:52 a.m.

Addressing the authors points: It is not defensible to take from one to give to another, certainly not in the name of charity. Yes, it is defensible. I have ZERO problem taxing Britney Spears to pay for dental care for an impoverished child, or for food for an unemployed nursing mother. I have no problem taxing a dead person to pay for the clean-up of a despoiled aquifer or river.


Tue, Jun 15, 2010 : 7:45 a.m.

ChelseaBOB: You are correct in your assessment of Big Business's corruption of our system, IMHO. However, I think you need to look at who put those congress critters in place, how those people achieved this and what philosophy was used to get this done. I would submit that it was done via a Randian vision of the world. While so many libertarians have been worried about Big Government they have allowed Big Business to "take the freedoms" that they claim to love and they have lowered competition at the same time by gutting anti-trust laws. In an effort to not appear too "European" or socialist the so-called left democrats have been party to this destruction of a fair business climate. ---- I would like to read specific examples of how these "lazy people" are killing our country. I read above about the "millions and millions" of people draining the money out of others pockets by being unwilling to work. However, welfare roles had fallen dramatically over the last decade or so. What has skyrocketed is SS and Medicare payments. Most people paid into that WHILE WORKING.


Tue, Jun 15, 2010 : 6:07 a.m.

Murrows Ghost-The US marginal tax rate for corporations is the highest in the developed world. See this link; That is a simple fact and means that anyone who has a good idea and wants to develop it will be punished if they develop it here. We have had several missteps with deregulation, but virtually all deregulation in the past 30 years was in regards to large corporations. They bought their congressmen in both parties, and rewrote the rules. Bis business and big government are hand in hand. Small business, on the other hand has had no respite from ever increasing paperwork and regulations. Small business is where jobs are created and the economy grows. We are choking that off. Tea Partier? Hardly. This issue is not a political one. It is about the lifeblood of our country.


Mon, Jun 14, 2010 : 9:10 p.m.

That same sentence, and the one that follows, from Godfrey's essay: "... Is it because the socialistic practices of Europe have not yet been rammed down our throats? Is the average European any less charitable, except that his spirit has been soured by government interference in his pocketbook?..." Western Europeans, by and large, feel happier compared to Americans in regard to what they get in return for taxation. They get less sour — really! Here's some of what's "rammed down" their throats: free universal health care for all; robust support for child care services and other social programs; extensive mass transit and train systems; free (or affordable) higher education; stronger environmental & consumer protections; income and rent assistance for the unemployed; and wide support for the arts. Most Western Europeans would express varying degrees of horror at the idea of switching to the way Americans handle these things. They know their standard of living would inevitably drop. Instead, a healthy debate goes on over the quality of the services being provided in their countries. Consistent support for eliminating major European government programs for public benefit can be found only among the small, neo-fascist parties of the far right. These groups make strange bedfellows for our native libertarians, corporate Republicans, and tea partiers over here on this side of the pond. ------------- @ChuckL: Madonna and Justin Timberlake  =  Superior Beings Filthy rich, yet they keep on truckin' year after year. Let us bow in praise.

birch creek john

Mon, Jun 14, 2010 : 7:35 p.m.

Mr. Godfrey tips his hand when he uses this phrase: "Is it because the socialistic practices of Europe have not yet been rammed down our throats?" At that point I had no choice but to tune him out. How can there be any sort of empirical validation to a statement like that? Does everyone in Eurpope agree with that statement? What a bunch of clap trap.


Mon, Jun 14, 2010 : 5:19 p.m.

Echos of Andrew Mellon, "...liquidate labor(harruph...harruph), liquidate stocks(harruph...harruph), liquidate farmers(harruph...harruph), liquidate real estate(harruph...harruph) it will purge the rottenness out of the system. High costs of living and high living will come down. People will work harder, live a more moral life. Values will be adjusted, and enterprising people will pick up from less competent people." Note: (harruph...harruph) added by me. I have a theory about why "Superior Beings" are superior (meaning CEO's of corporations.) You see, naive ones, if ordinary people got paid what the "Superior Beings" get paid, they'd run off to Florida and never work another day in their lives. What makes "Superior Beings" superior is that they get paid what they do and still keep working!


Mon, Jun 14, 2010 : 4:29 p.m.

You are that leader that you are looking for, plus I think we need a leader who can get the millions of able bodied people off the teat of the middle class. How a group could allow themselves to be demeaned to the point that they live off those who work. For one I cant believe they let this post. I would have assumed one of the editors would unwrap thier arms from around the tree they were hugging long enough to press delete. Anyway, this country needs more people like you, I only wish more had your beliefs on this subject.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Mon, Jun 14, 2010 : 4:26 p.m.

Act III, Scene 2 of "Hamlet" has something to say about Hot Sam's objections. Good Night and Good Luck

Hot Sam

Mon, Jun 14, 2010 : 4:18 p.m.

This thread has turned in to an unfortunate barrage of partisan talking points with no connection to reality. It would be refreshing to hear the detractors answer Mr Godfrey's points.

Hot Sam

Mon, Jun 14, 2010 : 4:04 p.m.

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness." --John Kenneth Galbraith A Canadian socialist living in a Keynesian of the most ignorant quotes on record...

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Mon, Jun 14, 2010 : 3:49 p.m.

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness." --John Kenneth Galbraith Good Night and Good Luck


Mon, Jun 14, 2010 : 1:52 p.m.

"... If Americans were the MOST charitable, we would not need government programs now would we? Companies would pay living wages, clean up their messes etc...." Good point!  Corporate Republicans and their compatriots among the libertarians aren't really serious about creating a functional, charity-based society with no government-based safety net for the general public. If they were, they'd lead by example — starting with the wealthiest among them. And not by bragging about how resilient and "self-sufficient" they are as individuals, but by voluntarily practicing basic social standards across the board, and in a very big way: • Widely set minimum wage levels at living wage standards. • Build a privately-run jobs program where businesses agree to collectively pool vast sums of money to effect a variety of ongoing stimulus programs that will substantially lower the rate of unemployment. • Where applicable, be willing to invest up front to protect the environment before starting any business project. Create loan institutions that assist newer or under-capitalized companies with this. Organize cleanup programs. • Organize large-scale disaster relief programs that would be on alert at all times, so that they could fly into action immediately. • Develop a strong national network of cooperatives and democratically-run businesses, so as to lower the need for labor unions. Have programs that encourage employees to collectively buy companies and to directly elect the board of directors. • Somehow build an enormous charity foundation that provides nationwide health coverage for seniors, including long-term convalescence. A huge, parallel charity could privately help underwrite hospital costs (making them affordable) including long-term catastrophic care. • Set up business associations everywhere that reward respect for the rights of all, and that isolate or penalize all forms of discrimination. • Advocate dismantling most of the military, since it represents a government program which poses authoritarian dangers within a self-reliant society based on the individual. • And the list could go on and on.... For some reason, intitiatives like these never happen.... Instead, the libertarian project, which sometimes comes to the aid of civil liberties (the Cato Institute and the ACLU occasionally fall on the same side), ultimately is about shifting more wealth over to the rich. Meanwhile, they'll contentedly stand by while this shift allows the "invisible hand" of the market to subsequently create greater poverty among the general population. This is class warfare. Libertarians preach the virtues of self-initiative — until the poor and lower middle class begin to do just that, and then join forces with one another.


Mon, Jun 14, 2010 : 9:32 a.m.

We should stop paying the medical bills for those that make poor choices. If one chose to get free housing, free dental, free clothing, free child care, why should the rest of us pick up the tab when the person chose to go to the most dangerous place on earth to tell them how to run their lives or to search for 20,000 liters of anthrax that was destroyed in 1991? Sounds silly when put that way, doesn't it? But, it that is what ya'll are saying.


Mon, Jun 14, 2010 : 9:23 a.m.

The 2 most socialistic institutions in America are: The military Churches. Who is in favor of getting rid of this cancer of socialism? Countries with the fastest growing economies have low corporate tax rates...and authoritarian governments (and use their waterways as cesspools): Country Growth Rate 1. Qatar 16.4% 2. Botswana 14.4% 3. Azerbaijan 12.3% 4. Republic of Congo 11.9% 5. Angola 9.3% 6. East Timor 7.87% 7. Liberia 7.53% 8. China 7.51% 9. Afghanistan 7.01% 10. Uzbekistan 7.00% 11. Turkmenistan 6.96% Singapore is also held up as a bastion of economic growth, but they have REQUIRED health care savings, MANDATORY screenings for influenza, no gum chewing and no democracy. Or even...gasp! Canada! Not authoritarian, but I bet the author of this article considers Canada to be close to Greece in it's fiscal stewardship. If Americans were the MOST charitable, we would not need government programs now would we? Companies would pay living wages, clean up their messes etc. Notice how, in China in particular, as the economic growth occurs, the people are beginning to join non-state run unions (or trying to. Notice how Mao, Pol Pot, the Nazis and others came after unions, teachers and govt workers, just like those that claim to seek the destruction of the "teachings " of these tyrants. I find that most interesting.

Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball

Mon, Jun 14, 2010 : 8:27 a.m.

Social justice is joke - since before the 30's (where it was a Communist chant) Anyone can go to school or the library and learn to be an AA professor or doctor. That is your individual right. That fact that people Choose not to learn is the choice the individual makes - they have other choices they have made. You have a life and are responsible for it.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Mon, Jun 14, 2010 : 7:59 a.m.

One has to love it when "white folk" wave the flag of racism, as if they have any idea what it means. The book definition of racism is "the belief that race is a primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race." The implication that "social justice" is aimed at certain races is itself ignorant and racist--it reveals a belief that only racial minorities benefit from the concept of social justice--that it is a trait of their race that they need such help. As for everyone having equal opportunity in this country, well, that's another myth. The child born in the Detroit ghetto does not have the same opportunity as does the child of a doctor in A2. The child born in the rural slum that is much of Northern Michigan does not have the same opportunity as the child of a university professor in A2. A child born on a Navajo Indian Reservation does not have the same opportunities as a child of any race born in most places in Washtenaw County. In the end, Social Justice is precisely about providing opportunity. Those who decry social justice either don't understand that basic fact or they oppose others having the opportunities they have had in their lives, opportunities that are mostly by accident of birth. Good Night and Good Luck


Mon, Jun 14, 2010 : 7:13 a.m.

What in the world is social justice? Just another politically correct term to mean racism. Yes RACISM! This is just class warfare. Everyone has an equal opportunity -- just not equal outcomes. Geez -- what a ridiculous notion -- Social Justice -- just more people wanting a free handout and not wanting to be held responsible for their own poor choices.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Mon, Jun 14, 2010 : 6:07 a.m.

Chelseabob wrote: "Over the last 25 years, however, that tax burden has risen steadily, to where it is one of the highest in the developed world. That coupled with government regulations that have grown enormously has hampered small businesses, which create the lions share of economic growth." This is a fairy tale. Beginning with the Carter administration the nation's regulatory apparatus has slowly but surely been gutted. Carter and Clinton did almost as much damage as did Reagan and the Bush regimes. For but one example, the banking industry is far less regulated than it was 20 years ago--and see where that got us. Trucking. S&L. Airlines. EPA gutted under Reagan and the Bush regimes. MMS turned over to the coal and oil industries under the Bush II regime. The list is almost endless. As for taxes being "high", there are only two nations in the western industrialized world that have lower per capita taxes than does the US: Mexico and South Korea. The top marginal tax rate in the US was above 90% in the 1940s and 1950s, and above 70% throughout the 1960s and 1970s. It is currently at 35% which is the lowest it has been since the end of WW2 with the exception of 1988-1992, when it dipped to 28%. So the statement that taxes have been going up for the last 25 years, while technically correct, is fundamentally misleading. But such is teapartyist logic and "truth telling".


Mon, Jun 14, 2010 : 5:45 a.m.

For many years the United States had one of the lowest tax and regulatory burdens in the world. The economy thrived, and politicians were able to try their "social justice" experiments with impunity. Over the last 25 years, however, that tax burden has risen steadily, to where it is one of the highest in the developed world. That coupled with government regulations that have grown enormously has hampered small businesses, which create the lions share of economic growth. Large corporations, meanwhile, have virtually eliminated antitrust actions and feed at the public trough through their lobbying actions. These large corporations thrive by eliminating jobs and stifling innovation. Large unions do the same, with leadership ignoring the needs of it's membership and cultivating political connections. This country is in a death spiral, and unless dramatic changes are made we will have no funds for social justice programs. We will be lucky to maintain even basic services.


Sun, Jun 13, 2010 : 9:02 p.m.

"... Those who argue the "common good" are really arguing about what's '"good' for them... e.g., state workers, teacher's unions, govt bureaucrats, etc." And, e.g., the corporate boardroom: "What's good for General Motors is good for the country." Please don't neglect our pals who wear the $600 suits! And, let's finish with this deeply cynical, socialist sentiment: "People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices."... That old school Adam Smith!  He's just so 18th century!


Sun, Jun 13, 2010 : 6:56 p.m.

Very interesting. Then we are sure that "Arthur" will NOT be taking Social Security, Healthcare services and Medicare when eligible. Plus anytime he gets a refund from his taxes he will be donating it to his favorite charity (not him). That way we will know he/we truly does not "need" government programs. And if he becomes "one in need" he can count on "generous individuals" to feed him and provide him with a place to live especially if incapacitated (for years) along with thousands of others that believe his way.


Sun, Jun 13, 2010 : 5:58 p.m.

Are there libertarian talking points? I feel I've heard this exact rant from my libertarian friends in the past week.


Sun, Jun 13, 2010 : 3:37 p.m.

This article is nothing more than a series of hackneyed generalities strung together, devoid of any critical thinking.

Me Next

Sun, Jun 13, 2010 : 2:39 p.m.

I am in complete agreement with the author. One exception. I'm looking for an Oath-Keeping Servant that will Faithfully execute The Duties of the Position of Trust they apply for. I'll follow my own path & I have a right to do so in Peace & Safety. All crimes can be defined in terms of Stealing, murdering, or destroying what has been Produced. Note on Corporate Welfare. Absolutely. The World's Financial Crisis puts Private USA Companies in better positions than Politicians want American to know. I'm all FOR BACK to listed/enumerated. If I'm not too big to fail or the dying homeless is not too big to fail then those sucking brandy & flying on our dime are not too big to fail. We Americans can handle the slack. By all personal means go feed whomever you want from your own pocket & labor. Gov is a pocket with a hole in it that sustains the very people that causes the hunger. Help yourself - just don't make my decisions for me or any other FREE AMERICAN. "Spiraling Health Costs" caused by whom? Gov. You go ahead & surrender to be the Slave of a Private Company or Gov. I assert my Right to make my own decision when it comes to me & mine. What evidence did Congress have that I cost taxpayers anything? What ownership papers do they have to make me into an Interstate Service or Product to be fined, penalized & Imprisoned for NON_CONSUMING of private sector? NONE. They can't declare me guilty without my day in Court, without witnesses, without evidence required. Lately I have been thanking GOD for the Form of governing I have to fight injustice with. By what authority am I declared GOV. Merchandise? Your MERCHANDISE? Believe it or not - in order to steal someone else's RIGHTS, you must first give your own away. Constitutionally - you can't give mine away so stop trying. Help yourself with your labor, maybe others will see you helping at your own expense & pitch in. What I do is between me & GOD. What you do is your own business. Rome didn't have the US Constitution & a "more perfect union" of Sovereign States. Look at the Positive. We are free - we are owed service & in return we pay reasonable taxes. Granted we do not enjoy what we are paying for but we can vote the BUMBS out.We can cut off all the private sector leaches & public servant parasites. Do we want to or not? I'll live free till I die & I Trust my final JUDGE. Let the seas roar & the winds blow.

John Galt

Sun, Jun 13, 2010 : 1:57 p.m.

Don't worry. The country is bankrupt (it just takes time for the other countries that are loaning us money to figure it out. They still see the U.S. as the country it WAS 50 years ago). We will not be able to even maintain the promises already made with these social programs. Let alone, pile more on.....In the next decades we will see the economy collapse. The "Legions" will withdraw back to the homeland (due to lack of money to maintain the bases overseas) and the intetrnal collapse will result in a new political system. The "Visigoths" are pouring across the borders. Sounds like the fall of the Roman Empire? History does not repeat, but it often rhymes.

Hot Sam

Sun, Jun 13, 2010 : 1:47 p.m.

@Tom I am trying to find the place where I found all of the four measurements you mention, but it seems to be alluding me... I do recall the US leading in two of four, and being quite close on the others...


Sun, Jun 13, 2010 : 1:43 p.m.

Terry, Please see link below about americans perceptions of their generosity The reason why I bring this up, is that the author, who I am sure is a hardworking and proud person does not seem to understand that many of the new government initiatives are not "Social Justice" but just "Common Sense." Something had to be done about the spiraling health care costs, any american of normal means under 65 could be ruined with in a year. Republicans are really good at is getting 50% of the population to vote against their own self interest. One method the Republicans used to do this is to play off the prideful, which unsupported statements like the "Americans are the most charitable people in the world" or Poor people are lazy.... I am thankful that we had an administration who took a common sense approach to take a first step in solving national crises.

Marshall Applewhite

Sun, Jun 13, 2010 : 1:26 p.m.

It will be interesting to see how many millionaires are "created" in the Washington DC area within the next two years. It's quite disappointing that the liberal lemmings gobble up "social justice" initiatives hook, line, and sinker. Historians must be disheartened to see that in this human nature experiment, humans will indeed kill the "Golden Goose" to ease feelings of personal guilt. Absolutely sickening.


Sun, Jun 13, 2010 : 1:10 p.m.

Terry, The author stated that Americans are the most charitable. I ask you the same question, what data do you have that Americans are the most charitable people on the world. Based on what data? Is it per capita? Is it total per country? Is it percent of income? Is it percent of GDP? Are you normalizing for the 1/3 to 1/2 that they get to deduct from taxes?? Tom


Sun, Jun 13, 2010 : 11:24 a.m.

People don't want charity, they want jobs that pay well (it's the economy, stupid). We let companies outsource our jobs overseas and still let them sell their crap here, how stupid! Productivity is up 82% since 1980 but we still work a 40 hour week, how stupid! We let companies either work people to death or throw them out into the streets, how stupid! Figures an article like this would come out when unemployment has reached levels not seen since the 1930's, how stupid!


Sun, Jun 13, 2010 : 9:49 a.m.

Americans are the most charitable people in the world. That is not just a generous exaggeration. The voluntary giving of the American people during times of need has been documented in many different studies. These studies show that Americans will give far more towards helping out their fellow man, in times of trouble, than any other private citizenry in the world. Here are statistics some of those studies have shown. * The American private citizens gave 1.78 billion dollars in relief when a terrible tsunami hit Asia. This giving was above and beyond what the United States Government gave in aid. Bringing relief to the suffering is in the very fabric of the American psyche. The Citizens of the US don't just give lip service to helping they reach out with their pocketbooks and with themselves in volunteerism. The very size of the dollars given dwarfs what any other developed nation could contribute. * In a few short months after the devastating Asian tsunami a major earthquake hit Pakistan causing great devastation there. The American people stepped up and gave 78 million dollars to aid the suffering there. * When America's own coastal areas got hit with hurricanes our people began sending in needed funds for rebuilding and relief. When hurricane's Katrina and Rita hit our shores, Americans responded and gave 3.12 billion dollars and relief efforts are still underway today. The generosity of Americans shines through year after year in their willingness to give in big needs and in little needs. Americans donate an estimated one-quarter of a trillion dollars to charities such as the American Red Cross, The Salvation Army and The American Cancer Society. This is in addition to what they give through their places of worship. It is interesting to note how some places in the world view Americans as selfish and spoiled when this is the exact opposite of the truth. This view of America serves the interest of certain groups or countries that would like that image to remain. An important part of the American dream is and always will be expressed in giving to others needs.


Sun, Jun 13, 2010 : 9:23 a.m.

The author states "Americans are the most charitable people on earth" Based on what data?

Hot Sam

Sun, Jun 13, 2010 : 9:07 a.m.

"""I assume the author would also end all corporate welfare, to be fair.""" That should be the first to go...

Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball

Sun, Jun 13, 2010 : 9:02 a.m.

"As government expands, liberty contracts.".

Craig Lounsbury

Sun, Jun 13, 2010 : 8:57 a.m.

In the time it took most of us to read the pontification of Mr. Godfrey between 200-360 people died of starvation somewhere in the world. A world that boosts 160 some billionaires. So I am less than embracing of the notion that if Government got out of the way the "inherent altruism" of human kind would solve the worlds social problems.


Sun, Jun 13, 2010 : 8:56 a.m.

I assume the author would also end all corporate welfare, to be fair.

Hot Sam

Sun, Jun 13, 2010 : 8:06 a.m.

Reaching in to your own pocket to help those in need is one of the most noble things we can do. Reaching in to another persons pocket is theft. Some folks would be better off reading Ayn Rand than little red books or mein kampf...


Sun, Jun 13, 2010 : 7:11 a.m.

I'm not sure the paper needs to get cluttered every time someone who read those stale Ayn Rand books decides to vent.


Sun, Jun 13, 2010 : 7 a.m.

Those who argue the "common good" are really arguing about what's "good" for them. E.g. state workers, teacher's unions, govt bureaucrats etc.