Originally Posted by carolynrosa
People here seem to think I must be a rather negative person or something, like I'm against charity somehow or something. But what's really sad, is all of you who seem to believe that if people were not forced to 'help' through threats of violence and jail, that no one would help. That's a really sad veiw of the world.
And yes, look at Katrina. Who got in there and gave and helped the most, and with the least bureaucratic bullshit? Was it FEMA (who deliberately turned away people bringing food and water, and cut the local police communications lines so that they could have power over everything and everyone) or was is the generous average citizen, who helped not under threat, but out of compassion?
I don't necessarily believe that government programs funded by tax monies are very efficient. However, before we had taxes and government-funded social programs, things were not better. People were not rushing to help the poor then, either. The haves continually and egregiously abused the have-nots. I can't think of any time in history when the haves have really worked hard on behalf of the have-nots just because they have a social conscience. Our government started enacting social programs in the early part of the last century BECAUSE things like the problems described in Upton Sinclair's _The Jungle_ were happening. People were being worked 60 to 80 hours a week and were not paid anything even approaching a wage they could survive on. It continues today with our $5.25 minimum wage. You don't see big corporations running out to give the working poor a leg up just because it's the right thing to do.
I'm not sure what the answer is, but I'm pretty sure that it's not "let's just hope that those in need have people to help them out." Generally, the people who are in need are there in large part because they DON'T have those people.