Charity is not a very good cure
Socialism will not eradicate the causes of poverty
Walter H. Schneider, 20117 12 25,
[Someone] said, Re: Problems with Charity, 2017 12 24:
»I have never volunteered at a homeless shelter i have volunteered my home as a shelter several times till people could get on their feet
In a few cases the f****rs watched TV all day …
In others they got their s**t together
But all probably never would have left had i not motivated them …
Btw i myself have been homeless 4 times in my life and four times i got my own s**t together because …being a white male, you’re on your own …
And that’s racist …..«
My response to “Someone”: I can relate to your experiences with helping people who are down and out. Here is one of our latest experiences.
My wife and I had leased the land of our farm to a good renter who is looking after it well.
In 2004 we left the house and the yard. Those are (were) serviced with power, two wells, telephone, satellite dish, septic-tank and -field, barns, machine shed, double garage, driveway, situated on 5 acres of land, all fenced. We moved into an older home in town, nearby, about 30 years old, but newer than most of the buildings at our farm. The house there was the oldest, it had been built in 1946, the garage in 1951, but all things were well there, functioning, in reasonable state of repair, not quite up to standard anymore but good.
We had lived there in comfort, ever since I had bought the place in 1973. Visitors complimented us. Jehovah’s witnesses who came to visit said, “It’s wonderful here. You have a lot to be grateful for.” I usually replied, “Yes, and I know how much work it took to make it what it is. If you wish to see what we had for starters, let’s go. I’ll take you to the back-40s.” None of them ever took me up on that (apparently because they did not wish to be reminded that natural resources are a gift of God, but that to improve them requires work, in this case work by humans), while other people who had been visiting when we still lived there told us, years after our our renters had moved in, kept telling us, that now, “The place doesn’t look anymore as good as did when you lived there, and it’s looking worse the more time goes by.” They told us much more and made comparisons to the circumstances of living conditions in localities that I am not permitted to mention, but I agree, our place was becoming an ever worsening blemish on the face of the neighbourhood.
Someone we know in our small community of 1,500 people had asked if we could help him out and let him, his wife and their young daughter live in the house and yard we had vacated. We agreed that they could, that we would sell the place to them (I had made him an offer that was available only to him that took into account half of the compounded inflation rate per the annual consumer price index and would not follow the enormously escalating prices of real estate. We agreed on that the rent would be $250 a month (plus annual increases to account for inflation), plus whatever they would use for power. That amount of rent was one third of the rent for a serviced lot in town large enough for a mobile home. They were supposed to and agreed to do all upkeep and repair, as the rent we charged them did not even cover the rent for just an unserviced parcel of land that size.
He was on a disability income but rode a Harley. Both, he and his wife, had smart phones. She had a part-time clerical job in the nearby city of Edmonton, making sure that she never worked enough hours to cause her husband to lose his disability income, but he augmented his income by storing cars and other vehicles, doing a bit of automotive-salvage work, wheeling and dealing and selling some other stuff I don’t want to go into. Still, officially, their family income was below the poverty line.
We had hoped that having a chance at owning a piece of property would help them to move into the right direction and to make something out of themselves. What was happening on the property we leased to our renters was abuse of our charity.
The rent and power were always paid on time, but I noticed about three years ago that the power bills escalated and were eventually triple of what they had been. I checked to see whether something was wrong with the power meter. The power company had told me that it would be a good idea to do that (they usually take increased power consumption as a sign of a grow-op, and I know all about that, because I had been for decades on their board of directors, but there could also other causes, such as faulty wiring anywhere in the yard).
There was nothing wrong with the power meter or any wiring, but the few RVs, trailers and trucks-and-campers that had been accumulating had increased in number to comprise a small village. He explained what they were all for: one for his mother-in-law, one for his daughter, one for his wife and him, and so on. There were enough of them to accommodate most of his considerable clan and then some more. A good number of them were connected to power, with cables that were snaking through the grass.
There was a construction boom in the oil industry at the time. Accommodations for workers were in short supply. Our charity was being abused, it was being exploited.
I told him that subletting to anyone was not part of our rental agreement and that the trailers and various other accommodations had to go (most were gone after a week). I also told him (last year) that I would have to increase the rent for the place to $500 a month. (They were only paying $250 a month up to that point.) He of course complained, whereupon I told him that I was paying the taxes (more than twice than what they had been when they had moved in), that rents everywhere had risen, and that they were still getting a good bargain. (Keep in mind that they had never made an offer to buy the place. (And why would they? Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?) They had begun an addition to the house, did not finish it, and had cancelled the construction permit in the same year that they had obtained it.
They paid the increased rent for about half a year, found another place, even more secluded than what they had been renting from us, and stopped paying rent and power to us. We gave them notice. It took us six month to get them off our place. They moved their stuff to the place they had found (the house there had been condemned a few years ago, apparently after it had been the target of a drug raid by the police and was found to have been used for a grow-op). They hauled truckload after truckload of debris from there and dumped it in the middle of the property they had been renting from us. (Talk about renters crapping on the living room carpet when they abscond! Some do it by the truckload.)
They demanded that we pay them more than a hundred thousand in compensation and left without paying the rent for the last six months as well as not paying the power for seven months.
The judge dismissed their claim for compensation and ordered them to pay $3,500 in outstanding rent and power. After the court case, they and some of their relatives who had been at the final court hearing went to the local bar, revelling and high-fiving, “We won!” What they had won was a court decision that ordered them to pay us $3,500.
It is now getting close to a year after they left, and they did not pay a dime on their debt they were ordered to pay. That is abuse of charity, elder abuse, and they celebrated it yet!
No repair or upkeep was done to our property, the 100′ x 100′ garden that we had is a wilderness. The house no longer has a kitchen counter, no kitchen sink, no fridge, no stove, no source of heat and no shower cabinet. The sump pump in the basement (keeping the basement dry in wet years, of which there is one now and then) had vanished and so had the satellite dish. The building addition they had stopped construction on in 2006 leaks every time it rains or the snow melts and would take more than $60,000 to finish and to make livable, except that would still not stop the water running off into the addition and flooding the floor of it. We have to write everything off and hope that the county administration will not come after us to have all of it demolished.
That is just one of our experiences with people whose official income is below the poverty line. I won’t bore you with any of the others, of which one set us back by more than $200,000 that we will not be able to recover and that put us into poverty.
My wife and I are in our eighties, and I need some of my teeth fixed, which is the most pressing problem I face right now, as some of those teeth hurt every day. I can’t even afford to have them pulled, let alone buy a set of dentures, but I am waiting for Marsha to make me feel better about all of that by asserting, “You have never volunteered at a homeless shelter have you.”
Certainly, we can sell some of the property we own, to solve our cash-flow problems, but that would deprive our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of what we hoped we would be able to pass on to them. The reality of that is that charity hurts. Charity hurts a lot of people. The hurting ripples through all of society. The hurting caused by charity has many sources. Many sources of pain caused charity cause many ripples.
That is exactly the problem that poverty poses to governments and their role in creating a massive mountain of debt that is left to those who come after us and are left holding nothing but the empty bag and must face that ever-growing mountain of debt. They will never be able to pay off that debt. (Contemplate the national debt clock shown here, and keep in mind that millions of problems such as those described here are not even part of the running total. See National Debt Clocks for current figures; links to figures for 52 countries that all are labouring to get out of the holes they dug for themselves, or are they?)
That is the problem with letting socialism drive things. Socialism transfers incomes and assets from those who have them to those who are said to be in need. That works until socialism runs out of other people’s money, and then the debts pile up. Socialism works a while longer, until there are no longer enough people able to keep up with financing those mounting debts, regardless of whether they are willing or not.
What happens then?