Saturday, May 17, 2008


A recent conservation discussed our obligation towards our fellow citizens. One example was a couple, he was disabled and she had become injured. The question was: if you were aware of the situation, wouldn't you help? I answered maybe.

Do I have the resources needed? Can I spare them and not risk my own family? While the disabled and injured suggests that the couple bore no responsibility for their condition, but the nature of their situation was not offered. Had they overspent? Had they acted irresponsibility? Is it my responsibility to mitigate the consequences of someone else's choices?

I pointed out that while I might have some obligation towards them, I certainly could not be forced to take it. To be clearer, while I might have some obligation towards my fellow citizen, I can not off-load that obligation onto government thereby making my personal obligation the obligation of all citizens. That is the point: government does not have a personal obligation towards the citizenship: promote the GENERAL welfare.

Organizations like the Red Cross and the Salvation Army were formed by people and supported by large populations that feel a personal obligation towards those that have suffered some calamity. This is the appropriate way to work together to deal with personal obligations. Turning to the government to force (and that is what tax collection is) citizens to contribute to the specific welfare of specific people is a taking for private use.

Crossposted to American Conservative Party

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