I'm not an objectivist, I'm a libertarian, so I respect the foundations of objectivism.
My point, as a Libertarian, is that people should be free to choose what they do with their money.....
If you want to give your money to St. Jude's, that should be your choice. If you want to give your money to Habitat for Humanity, or your local church, or the abandoned cat association of San Franciso.....whatever.
I support people being charitable, but here's how.
1) I believe that government is best handled at the lowest level possible. Similarly, I believe that charity and giving is best handled at that level. (in most circumstances). We don't have "communities" as much anymore because everything is handled by some crook who lives/works 1000 miles away.
2) I think there's some HUGE misconceptions about who gives the most in this country. I see self righteous liberals who don't give anything....
Fully HALF the richest politicians in Congress are Democrats. Nancy Pelosi is worth an estimated $150M. You don't see her giving her wealth away to feed the poor and cloth the naked. Instead, she wants to increase taxes on people who make 1/100th of what she makes.
You don't see Hollywood socialites and their sniveling liberal supporters giving money. Instead, they give their "time" (which most of them equate with money) and support to causes they deem will give them the most exposure. If Sean Penn ever did something without a publicist or a cameraman there to make sure EVERYONE knows just what a sweetheart he is, I'd remove him from that stereotype. I see celebrities give their once used $1000 shoes to auctions and then give the proceeds to charity.....makes me sick. And they get a tax writeoff in the process. Very noble.....
Being a liberal socialist is EASY for people like actors and musicians, who are LARGELY successful because of blind luck and fortune. That's not to say they didn't work hard....but even they acknowledge it was more a matter of luck....as there are 1000's of talented actors and musicians that never make it. It takes some luck.
Similarly, it's easy for someone who's been born into money to be self-righteous about giving money....they've never had to work for it.
Contrast that with the guy who works half his life, learns from an employer, decides he can do it better, opens his own business, slaves away tirelessly, loses sleep, stresses over payroll, and credit balances to vendors and deliveries, and insurance and everything that goes with being a business owner....and once he FINALLY makes it, now all the sudden, some liberal ****face wants to tell him he should pay more.....
I don't agree with that philosophy.
Like I stated earlier, the government is frought with fraud waste and abuse. If a dollar given is 100%, then the amount of money that actually reaches the needy in any effective manner is much less than that.
Secondly, as I've stated in OTHER threads.....if you can't make it, if you can't be successful in America, then you should just kill yourself. You can't make it ANYWHERE. We have more opportunity here than any place....which is exactly why people move here in droves.
Thirdly, all these socialist retards....have no answer when you ask them why people are risking their very lives to swim 90 miles of shark infested water to come to the US from Cuba.....if it's so great, then why does everyone want to leave. If it's so great, maybe the Cuban leadership should give them a choice, see what happens.
Helping someone is a delicate balance between helping them up off the ground to their feet, and becoming a crutch for them.
Our social systems, JUST like European systems have become entitlements that give no incentive to prosper, and give every incentive to continue being a drag on society.
The biggest problem in this country, the one that NO ONE WILL SPEAK ABOUT, is the fact that the people who are int he best position to have children (educated, well earning, healthy, etc) are NOT having children. The people in the WORST position to have children (uneducated, poor, drug addicted, genetically inferior and disease prone) are multiplying like rabbits.
THAT is why we're destined to fail as a nation. Eventually, somewhere in the distant future, a group of like minded, capitalist, self starting, people will get fed up with supporting all the others, and there will be a secession and/or a civil war to start a NEW, better nation devoid of all the societal dregs that drag us down.
If you're looking to see whether you're liberal, conservative or libertarian...here's some test questions.
"Should we legalize drugs?" Liberal. Yes. Conservative. no. Libertarian. Yes, if we have to decide, do it at the state level.
"Should we overly tax cigarettes and alcohol?" Liberal. Yes...how else can the state pay for the free healthcare. Republican. Yes, they shouldn't be doing it in the first place. Libertarian. No. If we'd let people die of lung cancer and liver disease, the problem would take care of itself. If we have to decide, do it at the state level.
"She we allow gay marriage" Liberal: Yes, everyone should think like me. Conservative: No, it's morally wrong and everyone should think like me. Libertarian: Yes, marriage is a religious institution and none of the government's damned business anyway. If we have to decide, do it at the state level.
"Should we tax the rich more than the poor?" Liberal: Yes, the rich have too much money and the poor are only poor because of the cruel mean world we live in. Conservative: No, unless you suggest raising taxes on Corporations, then yes. Libertarian: Absolutely not. The rich person consumes less government resources than the poor man, in reality, we should tax them less. If you're poor, it's because you choose to be poor.
"Should people be allowed to own guns?" Liberal: Absolutely not. I don't understand guns, they scare me and I can't conceive of defending myself....criminals are only evil and violent because of the cruel harsh world we live in. Conservative: Absolutely, it will help us to enforce or morality on others. Libertarian: Yes, it's pretty clearly outlined in the 2nd Amendment.
"Should we allow freedom of speech, under all but the most absurd circumstances?" Liberal: Yes. Conservative: Yes, unless it's inconvenient for me and offends my beliefs, then no. Libertarian: What does the Constitution say?
"Should we separate church and state?" Liberal: Of course. I hate churches and anyone who believes in God is either dumb, uneducated, unenlightened, or all of the above. Conservative: No, I don't care what the Constitution says, we were founded on Christian principles. Libertarian: Yes, although the founders were Christian, and the Constitution has references to God, the underlying pricinciples are in place to ensure that the majority doesn't infringe on the minority. Christians will not be the majority forever. The best solution is little to no government at all, that would greatly reduce this issue. In the end, believe what you will, just keep my tax $ out of it.
I could go on and on....
The following user says Thank You to RM99 for this post:
99% of the people that complain to me about their job or their pay or their relationship or whatever, I usually ask them......"so what are you doing about it?" The response I get is usually crickets.
When I was in the service, guys would complain....which was partly understandable....you signed up to a contract, maybe you didn't know what you were getting into. I never let someone whine about it if they'd "re-upped" because you have no excuse at that point.
As a civilian, I could never complain about my job, because I have the means to quit, work harder, work for myself....whatever.
People whine about their station in life, but for the most part, the vast majority of people are there because of choices they've made...good or bad.
I don't feel one bit sorry for the guy who's 80 and working at McDonalds. He made his bed, now he can sleep in it. And he must have some really terrible family ties.
Whatever you believe, God, fate, karma, whatever, rewards those who help themselves.
When I give to charity, it's usually to "true" victims....like St. Judes or Wounded Warriors or something along those lines. A child who has a terminal illness, hasn't even lived to adulthood and isn't in their position because of being lazy, or inept, or averse to authority or whatever. Wounded veterans deserve our thanks and gratitude, we all enjoy our lifestyle and prosperity through the service they provide.
And as I said earlier, the majority of children being born are from parents who shouldn't have children. If you look at census data recently, the stats are disgusting. Why someone who's dirt poor, can't seem to practice birth control is beyond me. You can throw mountains of cash at education and our education system is still going down the tubes...why? It has little to do with teachers and their pay, and everything to do with our declining citizenry and our parents. The "average" parent today is less quality than 30 years ago.....our school systems are flooded with children who don't want to be there, parents who could care less and voters who can't understand why we're pumping $Billions into the system with little to no improvement.
At the end of the day, fear and greed and survival are still the best motivators for human achievement. Socialist and liberal policies remove those motivators. Criminals aren't afraid of justice anymore. People aren't afraid to **** off in school or at their job....because they know that the good old government will be there to give them money, food stamps, free cell phones, etc, etc, etc. I hear commercials on the radio for "free" government provided cell phone service and it makes me want to vomit. Why are my tax $ going to provide someone with a free cell phone. What the hell is going on these days? Why does someone who's supposedly "poor" have a color television, smoke cigarettes, is 50 lbs overweight and spends money on itunes and rims for their car and every other damned thing that should be considered a "luxury" to a person of meager income?
I'm sorry, if I have to work 80 hours/week to enjoy the standard of living I find acceptible, then it pisses me off that I get 20%+ lopped off my check so that some other lazy **** can have 5 children and go to the grocery store on my dime.
I generally agree, but the challenge with this thinking is that the arm gets chopped off with the infection in the hand.
It strictly is not a matter of 'how hard you work'. Nobody can convince you otherwise. Sometimes it is government oppression, sometimes it is familial/cultural issues, sometimes it is... ........ .....
I used to think just like you. It is funny to read your work as I see so much of myself in your comments!
There is something to be said of effort, but there is also something to be said of disproportionate effort or leverage.
For instance, in Hawaii, there is a culture if you are not from here, then they do not want to do certain things for you. If you were black and in Mississippi, do you believe that it is strictly a matter of hard work and you will end up even with a white dude with the same effort.
I can't convince you otherwise that it is or would be, but take a look at the Billionaire charts for a moment on forbes. Do you really believe that these people who have 1% of the money put in 99% of the effort????
There is momentum, leverage and other laws at work besides attraction and 'hard work' at play. My concern is not for those that will work hard and pay taxes, they will continue to do so and that is their right. But, no matter how high taxes are, I will always do the best I can do.... Monetary items or luxuries are temporarily in our custody, nothing more...
I have done the drugs, had the sex, partied all I wanted to, but now, my focus is to teach my children that it is more important to save a life, lend out a helping hand, then to get one more car in your garage or one more trip to Lake Cuomo.
Put your energy into helping others, and imagine! You may not see a physical difference in the settings around you (big house, fake blonde wife with fake boobs and an attitude to match, bentley, etc..)
So, I thank you for your hard work and to pay more taxes. As, I drive on those roads, leverage those benefits in many ways and my children thank you as well.
P.S. I am concerned that you think 'life is harsh' as it should be? I think that is the main philosophical difference between us. Life could be amazing for all if given the opportunity to see it.