Monday, March 23, 2009

But It's Not A Function Of Government

I read a well-written blog post by Danny Sullivan on his Daggle blog, As Obama Turns America Socialist, An American Reflecting On Life In "Socialist" Britain. It's a very well though-out essay using his experience of life in Britain as the basis for belief that Socialism, as it is "across the pond," is a good thing.

He makes an excellent point at the end of his essay that we in America need to get to a place where we are willing to care for those in our society who need assistance. I wholeheartedly agree with this ideal. Where I disagree with Danny is how to accomplish it. His contention is that it should be a function of the Federal Government to provide such care. I, however, believe it is unconstitutional for the federal government to do this and that it's really the function of individuals who can help to fill those needs.

I'm not entirely familiar with the constitution in Great Britain, nor all the ins and outs of their common law. So, it might be well within the purview of government there to provide welfare, universal health care, etc. to her citizens. However, I am familiar enough the the Constitution of the United States to know it is not within the authority of the Federal Government to provide such care.

My question remains: How did it become "OK" for people to rely on government assistance to help fix society's problems? Time was, long ago, that if someone saw a problem they would gather people together who agreed with them and they solved the problem. Many great charitable organizations were started from the idea that we, the people, need to take care of our fellow citizens.

My challenge to those who think the government should solve our problems is to find a way to fix the problems yourself. For example:
  • Is there a large homeless population in your area? Get some like-minded people together and start a homeless shelter. Enlist the aid of some teachers, doctors, and other professionals to volunteer and provide assistance to help people get back onto their feet.
  • Are there a large number of people in your area who don't have access to health care? Get some like-minded people together and start a free clinic. Actively solicit those in need to come in and start taking better care of themselves so they can attempt to head off the need for catastrophic care. Enlist the assistance of medical professionals to provide care and get money donated from the community.

    Can't do that? Then start a foundation and collect money to be used to pay for the doctor, dentist and hospital bills of those who need assistance.
These are just two examples of an unlimited number of potential ways to solve some of society's problems - and none of those need involve the government to do anything. All it takes is some imagination and determination to make things happen.

Chances are there are already charities involved in helping find solutions to issues you care about. Why not join with them and help others?

Lastly, although I firmly believe that is it outside the scope of the Federal Government to provide services outside those outlined in The Constitution, I do not believe it is outside the scope of the state governments. If the citizens in the individual states want them and the state constitution allows them, then I'm all for a state government providing such "socialistic" services.

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