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Charity vs. Welfare
by Ross Elliot

An interesting juxtaposition occurred recently on NZ television. On opposing channels, at exactly the same time, two shows were televised that illustrated the manifest differences between public and private, that is, collective and individual, action.

On one channel was a documentary about the NZ welfare system. On the other, a live broadcast of a charity fundraising event entitled "Fight for Life".

The welfare documentary was nothing short of an apologetic whitewash which served (sought?) to give emotional fortitude to the limp-wristed advocates of taxpayer-funded dependency. Chiefly, it featured images of dirty single-parent homes (are soap and detergent that expensive?) and undignified ingrates. It interviewed those who administered publicly-funded programs designed to alleviate (exacerbate?) the suffering of the impoverished. The only solution proposed was an increase in expenditure. The one (laughable) example of the success of state programs was the employment of a former single-mother by the Department of Work and Income! Pu-leeeze!

By contrast, the private fundraiser presented a series of celebrity boxing matches aimed at raising funds via corporate sponsorship, $5,000 dollar-a-plate tables and telephone donations. It raised millions. The fundraiser was for the purposes of preventing teenage suicide. New Zealand has one of the highest teen suicide rates in the world. The welfare sideshow was a clue as to why NZ has a high self-kill rate. Apparently, welfare is doing itís bit for the planetary overpopulation problem.

The welfare documentary was on a publicly-owned network and the fundraiser on a privately owned channel. I wonder if anyone saw the sad irony of this?

Following the fundraiser, members of New Zealandís governing uberWank, the Labour-Green coalition, expressed distaste and disdain for the event. Labour parliamentarians were banned from participating in such events (a shot at the buggers would be a fine thing) and a Greenís spokesperson could not fathom the eventís value. Go figure. Bill English, a celebrity participant and the leader of New Zealandís opposition party, National, had the stinky brown stuff knocked out of him; a foretaste of the impending election.

Greshamís Law states: bad money drives out good. The meaning of this is that where government seeks to offer provision, charity ceases. Why give your support voluntarily when the state is already dishing out your expropriated income? Why offer goodwill to your fellow man when that same fellow man has a lien over your pay-packet?

Decades, and trillions of dollars, of welfare payouts have not solved one problem. They have only aggravated existing sufferings and created new ones. A culture of dependency, entitlement and expectation has been cultivated. Too many have come to regard the State as provider and protector. But, they have also found the bureaucracy to be a cruel taskmaster. Masochists have been created by their millions, have submitted willingly and reveled in their squalor, waiting, gagging, for the next handout; prostrating themselves, ready to suffer any indignity for a chance to suckle at the State tit.

Man is a generous being and finds it hard to forego an opportunity to help his fellows. He gives willingly to those who exhibit genuine distress. But, charitable acts also have a market mechanism at work. If a philanthropist sees his charity squandered and his kindness ridiculed, he soon curtails his goodwill. Many gave much to the Fight for Life. They gave hours of their own lives in the form of money to a cause that was worthy. I hope that one day, benefactors like that will give just as much to destroy the system that created the problem in the first place.

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