Change is what Obama is offering – Change is what Obama is mandating. One of the things that he will mandate is that your time, your personal time, is no longer your own – it now belongs to the State.
Now, before the Obamanuts decend upon me in a fury, let me say that I have no problem with volunteering. In fact, during high school, I spent hundreds of hours (I might say a couple thousand but the memory of the actual count has dimmed over the decades) of my own accord, serving as a volunteer at my local hospital working in Transport, Central Supply, Outpatient, and the Emergency Room as a "Candy Striper" and as a Medical Explorer Scout. As an adult, I spent hundreds of hours volunteering at a local Boys’ Club for a swim team as a coach and as a meet official, again for a swim team in my local area, countless hours in church activities, and lots of time lately as an unpaid elected town official. I know what volunteering is, the good it does, and the benefits it accrues to me and others.
The point is NOT that I have volunteered lots of my time. The point IS, however, is that I, and I alone, decided that my precious time (precious as once it is spent can never be retrieved) here on this ball of mud was MINE to spend. Unless there is a time of absolute national (or local) emergency, NO ONE should have the authority, in a free society, to mandate how I spend my time.
"They" certainly have the right to ask, to cajole, to beg, to persuade me of the valor, the need, the satisfaction, of doing one thing or another for any one reason or another. But that cannot, and should not, force me to do ANYTHING if I so decide to sit in my chair and do nothing but veg out.
Yet, Obama believes that he, through the coercive power of the State, has that Right (OK, so where is THAT right enumerated in the Constitution?). Jim Lindgren over at the Volokh Conspiracy has a great write up on how Obama will tell our children (and YOU as parents will have no choice in the matter):
Community Service for all Middle and High School Children.
The most worrisome of Barack Obama’s proposals is his goal of bringing most charities under the federal umbrella in part by inducing all middle and high school children to do 50 hours of community service every year.
The details are on his campaign website and in his speeches calling Americans to service.
By requiring almost all public middle schoolers, starting at the age of 10 or 11, to join his new cadres of community service workers and become part of his “civilian national security force,” Barack Obama shows himself to be out of touch with American traditions of individual volunteerism.
There is nothing wrong with a family allowing a child to volunteer at a young age: in the summer when I was 11, I spent several nights a week working for free at a concession stand in a little league baseball park. My parents were comfortable with this community service because at all times I was under the supervision of my mother’s best friend. Parents then and parents today would like to choose whether their 11-year old child takes on even a part time job, and they would like to choose the job and judge for themselves whether the working conditions are suitable.
With his myriad proposals for new "Corps" and his proposal for universal service for all school children, Obama is trying to bring the charitable activities of 50 to 100 million people –- about half of them children –- under state control. That our government is even capable of running a service program on a scale never before attempted is a matter of faith, not evidence.
As with this post ("Democrats believe that charity is ONLY via taxes") concerning the Chair of the Ohio Democrats, it seems that the Liberals are absolutely convinced, unlike our Founding Fathers, that the State is preeminent and that we, the governed, are too dumb, lazy, or uncaring to give to charity or do volunteer work.
I would really like anyone on the Liberal side to defend this creeping Maoism policy other than "public service is great!". I agree, serving others is great – but only when it is given voluntarily and not mandatory. Go ahead; tell me, persuade me that mandated volunteerism is not just another oxymoron!
The next part is EXACTLY what both Doug and I have discussed on MTNP and here and in our local papers for a while now:
Community organizing’s roots stretch back to the 1930s and Chicago organizer Saul Alinsky, founder of the Industrial Areas Foundation and author of Rules for Radicals. But it wasn’t until President Lyndon Johnson’s ambitious plan to end poverty through massive federal spending that the Alinsky model—grassroots organizing, neighborhood by neighborhood—really took off. Starting in the mid-1960s, the federal government directed billions of dollars to neighborhood groups, convinced that they knew better than Washington what their communities needed. The federal funds, eventually supplemented by state and local tax dollars, helped create a universe of government-funded community groups running everything from job-training programs to voter-registration drives—far beyond anything Alinsky could have imagined. Some 3,000 local social-services groups were soon receiving government funding in New York City alone. Many were new, but the money also helped turn traditional charities that had operated on private donations into government contractors.
Those who led these social-services groups became advocates, unsurprisingly, for government-funded solutions to social problems. To defend and expand their turf, organizers began heading into the political arena, wielding the power they had accumulated in neighborhoods to build a base of supporters. In New York, operators of huge social-services groups like Pedro Espada in the Bronx and Albert Vann in Brooklyn won election to state and federal posts after heading up large, powerful nonprofits. By the late 1980s, nearly 20 percent of New York City Council members were products of the government-funded nonprofit sector, and they were among the most strident advocates for higher taxes and more government spending.
It is as Doug and I have said – traditional charities, sponsored by individuals’ time and money, have been usurped by social-service professionals both in the scope of work and the cost of that work. As Dr. Brooks noted, as taxes go up as they are diverted to fund charity work provided by professionals, not only does the amount of money given dry up, but so does the number of hours of volunteerism.
We are seeing this take place here in the Lakes Region as some of the traditional charities are crying out for help as the government funded NGOs continue to expand. It is sad to see that the very people who truly wish to help the needy, by the very manner of how their processes of funding and working now happen, are causing the following to happen:
"I give of my time and treasure" turned into "I gave at the office" and now it is "they force me to pay via my taxes".
As a young college graduate immersed in the world of tax-bankrolled activism, Obama adopted the big-government ethos that prevailed among neighborhood organizers who viewed attempts to reform poverty programs as attacks on the poor. Speaking to an alternative weekly on the eve of his 1995 run for state senate, Obama said . . . that “these are mean, cruel times . . . .” He derided the “old individualistic bootstrap myth” of American achievement that conservatives were touting. Self-help strategies “have become thinly veiled excuses for cutting back on social programs, which are anathema to a conservative agenda,” he wrote in a chapter that he contributed to a 1990 book, After Alinsky: Community Organizing in Illinois. (He also depicted leftist community organizing as a harder task than similar efforts by the Christian Right, telling a reporter in 1995 that “it’s always easier to organize around intolerance, narrow-mindedness and false nostalgia.”)
Nice to see that he hates people like me…yeah, his reaching out to the conservative Evangelical vote will work out REAL well as his Hope and Change campaign starts to get recognized, publicized, and exposed. But only if people actually take the time to read it and contrast it to the real freedoms that we posses and should have been taught in school.
Oh yeah, right……panic time!!