So a few weeks ago was county fair time. This means, among other things, that it is also 4-H beef time for my household. (my brother puts people together to buy the cows he selects (and he does a damned good job of selecting beef cows) so that no one needs to buy a whole cow). We decided to buy a 1/4 of a 4-H cow. We like 4-H beef, as it is , if not organically raised, damned close to it, and it helps a kid earn money for college or whatever.
So, to get to the point, in a roundabout way, I had to clean out the freezer to make room for the 200 lbs or so of "new" beef. After cleaning the freezer (which hadn't been done for about 3 years) I found that I had about 35 lbs of assorted beef, deer, elk, (and a 10 lb smoked ham from Who Knows Where) that was recovered from the depths of the chest freezer.
Placing the "new" beef into the freezer was going to be tough, as it also contains about 15 lbs of salmon patties, assorted "organic" seafood and other fish, about 20 lbs of assorted sausage, and other sundry things that I keep long term.
I know, I know...... get to the point of this post!
We decided to donate the "extra" leftover beef and other meats to someone who could use it. Times are hard here, in this area, if not as hard as they are in other locales, but still tough for many people. We have personally been lucky in that we haven't been hit as hard as others, we have decent sources of income that so far haven't dried up for us. The issue that we had was that the beef was not commercially packed, and therefore no local food pantry was willing to take it. I called a neighbor who is active in a local church and asked him if he know a family who could use about 30 lbs of assorted beef and other meat. He said he know a family that could use it, as there were parents, kids, and grandkids that were living in the same house to save money, and they could use the food. I told him to have the guy call me.
7 minutes later, a guy named Mike called, having been referred to me by my neighbor. He asked me if I still had the beef, and I said yes. He lives about a mile and a half from me. He asked if I was home , and I said that I was, but would be going out in a while...Or he could pick it up tomorrow....He arrived in less than 5 minutes.
Thanking me for the beef and other meat, he assured me that it would be put to good use. While not wanting to appear desperate to get it, he didn't waste any time getting to my house, nor loading it into his truck. I hope he can use it to feed his family. We had extra. We really have more than we need. We were glad to share it.
The thing that came to mind, after he had loaded the meat into his truck, shaken my hand, thanked me several times, was that I chose to give the food away. No one forced me, nor decided that someone else needed my possessions more than I. No one forced me to give a portion of my possessions to someone else. It was my choice, not the government's. It was our decision to give it away to someone who needed it. We could have kept the food, but chose not to, rather to give it to others in need. Nothing noble about it, just the way we both were raised.
Here's the thing....If you come by and tell me that so and so (perhaps a friend of yours?) needs an operation, and you are collecting donations for him/her, I'll likely throw a ten or a 20 in the hat. But again, that is my choice. I might not donate either. My choice. Depends....But the government takes my cash, and decides who to give it to. They decide who gets my money. They decide how much of my money they take, and decide what happens with my money without any input from me.. Make no mistake,... it is MINE. The government takes it. Technically, I am paying my taxes voluntarily, but the fact is that it is by the threat of force, or imprisonment, or confiscation of my property if I do not choose to "volunteer" to pay my share....which is also determined by the government. Nowhere in my copy of the constitution does it mention giving collected taxes to others, for any reason.
What I did with my extra food was charity, helping out my fellow man. What the government does is theft, not charity. They take, and give it away to others. State, local and, of course, federal officials decide who gets my hard earned money. I get no input, no real say, as to who those recipients are. This is theft. If I knock you down and take your wallet, it is theft, even if I give that money to a church later. A significant portion of the tax money that is taken is not used "for the common good" like police, and roads, and fire protection, and military defense of this nation, but is given to others, in the form of housing, food (or food stamps), or cash payments, all given to others without my permission or my input. Theft, plain and simple, no different that if I take your wallet and give it to another person.
This is what the new health care initiatives will be to an even greater degree. THEFT. "They" will take YOUR money, your hard earned wages and add additional money from your employer, and give that value to another person, or persons. It will not be your choice how the money is spent, nor will it be your choice how the remainder that is taken in "your" name is spent. You will not have choices as to how your "health care funds" are spent, even on yourself. You will take what care "they" decide to give you..... "Sorry, we are aware that your money helps 2 other people ......we spent your money on others, and there is none left for your angioplasty.....Yes, you have put in enough to pay for it several times over in the past 5 years, but we spent it all on those who don't pay into the system. Some of it went to care for the illegal gardener that your neighbor uses...some went to the guy and his wife who while they both CAN work, choose not to because they get nearly as much from the government by not working....... Some went to pay for that unwed mother's child who needed 6 months of hospitalization because she drank during her pregnancy.. and some went to pay for the other girl's 3rd abortion....But I am sorry that there isn't enough for you.....Hope you live long enough to get to the top of the waiting list....shouldn't take more than 6 months...
Thanks for taking care of all those other people too, BTW, we appreciate it, even if they don't...You see, without people like you, we wouldn't have jobs in the new government health care system, and we'd be on welfare too..."
You see, it is about choice....I chose to give away my food...You may choose to give to a charity. You may choose to tithe to a church. You may choose to give that homeless person money at the stoplight....Or, You may choose not to do any of those things.
I chose to help someone in my community. Thousands and thousands of people do so every day. Corporations too. But keep squeezing people and businesses, and soon there will be even less charity than there is right now, (which is down about 20% from even 20 years ago). But this is a choice, not a tax. People with extra choose to give to those who have a need. But the giving is voluntary.
I'm coming to your neck of the woods this weekend, speaking at ERM's Third Annual Winter Seminar in Portland, CT on Satu[...]
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