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Volunteer?(58 posts)

Jun 10, 2003 6:57 AM
Do you? After reading and pondering this typical Live Steam / czardonic exchange, (czardonic "Well they did it!" 6/7/03 12:29pm), I got to wondering who volunteers to help out? It seems to me that the stereotypic view is that, when it comes to volunteering in the community, liberals spend their time and conservatives spend their money. Czar's response that he is lazy and gives to the community by willingly paying his taxes, and that he is a "generous tipper" makes me think otherwise.

There are many events in Cheyenne that are put on to benefit worthy organizations, e.g., United Way, food banks, homeless shelters, park cleanups, etc. The events are typically sponsored by banks, retail businesses, and other entities identified as owned by conservatives. The people staffing these events are employees of those businesses. Now we all know that their methods aren't entirely altruistic, but they nonetheless give their time, talent and money without expectation of anything more than public recognition of the donation. The funny thing is that while the donations are made with the intention of increasing awareness of the enterprise in the community, the volunteers often see the good that they do and volunteer for more duties in other parts of the city. They serve on boards, they wield paintbrushes and rakes, and they clean up after messy events. And they are, more often than not, conservative in their politics.

Which brings us to the heart of the matter. While conservatives are seen as cold, money-grubbing, greedy and uncaring, the opposite appears to be true, at least in this community. When volunteers are called for, we are usually first in line. Is czardonic the atypical liberal, paying others to do the dirty work while he sits home watching TV and believing that he has paid his price for living in his community, or is that the way liberals are as a whole?

Your thoughts would be appreciated.

BTW - in the interest of humility and disclosure, I'll not list the volunteer work I do. Suffice to say that it is substantial.

re: Volunteer?TJeanloz
Jun 10, 2003 7:06 AM
I don't know that I'd break it down entirely as a liberal/conservative thing, because I volunteer a lot (both time and money), but the split among the people I volunteer with is probably 75/25 liberal/conservative (which partly reflects the Boston population).

I do believe that some liberals think that the Government is the most efficient means to help those less fortunate. I like to think that I, and the groups that I work with, are more efficient.

In general, my favorites are Habitat for Humanity and the New England Homeless Veterans Shelter, because I most appreciate the work they (we) do and the people served.
I would guess that...Dwayne Barry
Jun 10, 2003 7:09 AM
liberal vs. conservative (vs. some other political characterization) would be a poor predictor of volunteer activity and that searching for some kind of generalization is not useful.
The churchKristin
Jun 10, 2003 7:16 AM
Just a guess here, but I believe that you will find that most people who volunteer their TIME are active members of a protestant church. Giving back time, as well as money, is a large part of the social environment for devoted protestant church goerers. A large number of them are also conservatives.

Basically, most protestant churches in America emphasize giving money, volunteering and conservative thinking. So, I would guess that you'd find large groups of volunteers are also conservatives.
Maybe in the midwest,TJeanloz
Jun 10, 2003 7:23 AM
Exercises like these almost always expose the diversity of America. Here in Boston, I do know some people who volunteer who are actively involved in (i.e. go to) church, but it is definitely not a majority. No more than 25% - which somewhat reflects the city population.
Jun 10, 2003 7:33 AM
When I lived in New England, volunteering was totally not stressed. Not like it is in the church out here. But before I started going to church, I never was encouraged to volunteer my time anywhere and never considered doing so on my own. I should mention, that my office (and most corporations) have a program for tutoring inner-city kids. Employees are allowed to take 2 hours/week off to volunteer in the program.
But again,Dwayne Barry
Jun 10, 2003 7:25 AM
how useful is this, the two people I know who volunteer the most are my mother-in-law and her husband. Both fairly liberal, new-agers, hardly conservatives in any sense.

There are so many different areas and reasons to volunteer that trying to say it's a conservative vs. liberal thing is not useful. Hell, I volunteer promoting bike races and doing trail maintenance and I don't think I fit neatly into a conservative/liberal dichotomy. I think ultimately any volunteering is a selfish thing, in that, the reason the person does it is because it makes them feel good about themselves at some level. In my case, giving back to the cycling racing community that I get enjoyment out of his rewarding, etc.
Nope, its not always selfish. Sometimes its compulsiveKristin
Jun 10, 2003 7:41 AM
For years I volunteered because I was told to from a pulpit and it was better than staying home and feeling guilty. Tongue firmly planted in cheek.

Seriously, though. Your debate doesn't gel with me. I have volunteered for things I was passionate about and my purpose was truly to give back. I had no motivation about feeling better for myself--I already felt great because I had gotten through a very difficult circumstance. Afterwards, I simply wanted to help other people navigate through similar circumstances in their lives. Only being able to give for selfish reasons is a sign of immaturity.
I'm going to have to agree with you on that one...Dwayne Barry
Jun 10, 2003 8:20 AM
selfishness is a sign of immaturity (what kid doesn't need to be taught to share?). BTW, I think selfish reasons in no way cheapen the act, nor do I think there is anything wrong with saying "I give back" at least in part because it makes me feel good (a selfish motive).
Sharing, children and boundariesKristin
Jun 10, 2003 8:58 AM
I agree with you. Its not wrong to give, even if you are doing it for what you get out of it. Someone still gets helped. BUT, when you give BECAUSE you want to make yourself feel better, you don't really feel better. Thats the paradox. When you do it for what you can gain, emotionally, you forfit anything you could have gained. Giving, by its very definition, must be unselfishly motivated in order to be sincere. Selfish, even secret, desires to reap good kharma from your service will spoil it. You may try to pretend you have genuine happiness for doing good; but deep down you know the difference. You can only harvest a genuine feeling of satisfaction over doing someing good for someone else when you are sincerely and ONLY seeking to help. Its a difficult concept to explain; but I've experienced both versions and I know the difference.

About sharing and children. We must help our children navigate those strange years when they cling to words like, "No," and, "Mine!" But its a HUGE misconcept in our current culture that our children will turn into little devil's if we don't curtail their "selfish" behavior. The problem is, that the behavior is not selfish after all. At about 18 months they enter a phase of development called Individuation. Individuation is part of a larger phase that continues to about age 5, in which children learn boundaries. Individuation a very important stage of development, and children NEED to learn that saying, "No!" is okay. That they can have boundaries and that they are individuals who can survive without complete dependancy on others--even mom and dad. At the same time, we must work with them gently to help them understand that sometimes no isn't a good answer. Especially since our biggest job is to keep them safe. But this requires patience; because the concept of having boundaries (No) and letting others in (sharing) is still too advanced for them. They will learn this as they approach kindergarten. By seven or eight, they'll be golden. Then at eleven, it starts all over as they enter the second stage of boundary development.

Aren't you glad you posted this? ;-) Its a passion of mine...can you tell? I'll probably write my senior paper on boundary development. But for now, I'll step off my soap box.
Don't take this the wrong way..eyebob
Jun 10, 2003 2:00 PM
I mean no disrespect, but there is no such thing as altruism. Buddhist monks who preach love and compassion are themselves seeking a higher awareness and ultimately Nihrvana. (For the record I think that there's a lot to learn from their ideas) Your idea that you've helped and can help without any type of personal selfish motive is incorrect. Look deep, there's one there. It doesn't in any way de-mean your effort. What it brings to bear is truth. The simple fact that you feel better for doing means that there may be a hard-wired effect in us that "rewards" us for doing so. (Just throuwing that one out there for you, don't really know).

Bottom line, our consciousness is a really interesting by-product of evolution and humans have been having trouble coming to grips with it for-ever.

Side effects of idealistic thinkingKristin
Jun 11, 2003 4:47 PM
I understand the concept of altruism--also covered in my college philosophy courses. I tend to be an idealist and when I talk about the big picture I will tend to describe it for its potential. Sometimes this gives people the impression that I'm out of touch with reality. Heck, sometimes I am. But you are right, there is no perfect person who lives up to the ideal. Altruism is an idea that one must grapple with over time. I'm not completely convinced that the ideal is not acheivable. Perhaps on in this lifetime, or on this earth.

I don't believe, however, in human evolution on a grand in we evolved from apes. I believe in a perfect God who lives in an ideal place.
"Giving back"moneyman
Jun 10, 2003 8:18 AM
I hate that term. How about "Become a part of"? To me, "giving back" has a "better than" connotation.

I think your take that voluntarism is not partisan is probably accurate. I was looking for input to dispel stereotypes, and perhaps that is what you are doing.

Of course you hate that term.czardonic
Jun 10, 2003 11:13 AM
It concedes that you got something in the first place, and that "returning" it might be a matter of obligation rather than an expression of your sterling personal virtue.
Serving up sarcasm today Czar?Kristin
Jun 10, 2003 11:39 AM
Would you like some butter with that?
A change is as good as a holiday. (nm)czardonic
Jun 10, 2003 12:02 PM
The churchDJB
Jun 10, 2003 8:58 AM
Kristin, just a question, but why do you specify only Protestant churches (for the record, I belong to a Protestant church)? I would imagine that the Catholic church is as (or more) active in volunteerism as any other denomination.
I only have experience with the protestant churchKristin
Jun 10, 2003 9:02 AM
I've never been a catholic or anything else. I can speak to the following circumstances:

Being a protestant in IL
Being a protestant in New England
Being agnostic in New England

Anything else is beyond my scope.
Me too. I'm only going on reputation. (nm)DJB
Jun 10, 2003 9:14 AM
re: Volunteer?JS Haiku Shop
Jun 10, 2003 7:31 AM
tried that route awhile back. there seems to be a whole social thing around volunteerism. wasn't impressed, and didn't feel i was making a difference.

these days i'm as active as possible in the cycling club, and driving the club, directors, and memebers to affect change in the community through rides which net proceeds (goods, not funds) beneficial to specific non-profit targets. i wanted to make sure whatever we did went directly to use, and was not squandered--or worse--was not monies wasted on bureaucracy. so far we've been able to harvest a very large amount of non-perishable food items, as well as toys, games, and educational videos for children, both of which were directly and immediately applied in their intended uses.

the rest of my time is family, work, and riding. i should do more but lack the organization skills to pin down the time.
Ah, someone I can identify with.Live Steam
Jun 10, 2003 1:03 PM
I too have volunteered for many mass organized events only to feel like some sort of an outsider. I am sure it wasn't intentional, and yes the other good people that were participating did make it more of a social event than a charitable event. If that makes sense.

I am actively involved in our club. I am the editor of the monthly newsletter, if you can believe that Old Ed :O) I slip in some conservative propaganda when ever possible :O) Anyway, we do get involved actively in cycling advocacy, local environmental issues, help children from economically challenged families and provide assistance to local child outreach programs. Our last endeavor was passing out helmets to children from economically challenged families, that we purchased at cost from Giro.

I prefer these type of grass roots events and endeavors as opposed to the large, mass organized ones as they help the immediate community. They also seem to exhibit more immediate results. Glad I'm not a lazy liberal like CZAR :O)
Too bad you're just another preening conservative instead.czardonic
Jun 10, 2003 1:32 PM
I understand that your type can be redeemed for one dime per dozen at the next all-you-can-eat buffet fundraiser to combat hunger.
Sorry, LS, don't you mean poor? Economically challenged?94Nole
Jun 19, 2003 9:31 AM
Liberal vs. Conservative. No. Just a mindsetPaulCL
Jun 10, 2003 8:03 AM
Most of my peers/friends are either republicans or conservative democrats. That's what I get for living in the Cincinnati area. By nature, this area is extremely conservative politically.

To some extent, I agree that if you have the money (often the repubs) there is a tendency to give the cash as opposed to the time. I have fallen into that category many, many times. But when I have given of my time, it has been so,so much more rewarding. Let's not put down those who only give the money -we need them as much if not more than those who give only time.

Not to 'toot' my own horn, but as an example. I have been a member of our local rotary club for years. I would have called myself a reluctant participant for years. When the need for a community service committee chairman came up, I was volunteered (notice..I did not volunteer). Suffice to say, I really got into it. I organized and participated in numerous events. My enthusiasm for those events drew other reluctant members into activity. Our club had more community service/volunteer events in my two year term, than we had done in the previous ten years. It wasn't was almost every member of my club. CS became a focus of the club and still is to this day.

My point is this: yeah, right the check..but once, just once, join in. The activity (whatever it is) is so much more rewarding.

OK...I am now stepping down off of my soapbox...its' a big I go......Paul
How I volunteer my timeNo_sprint
Jun 10, 2003 8:43 AM
I work an annual YMCA 5k/10k run and fundraiser. In addition to several weekday planning meetings (about an hour each) I get up around 3am and set up for the run. I have done many different set up activities for this. Setter uppers also break down. I also was on the annual golf tournament committee for the same YMCA for one year. This included logistical set up, acquisition of donation/funding, acquisition of auction materials and rounding up corporate teams and other teams. Many hours of work including weekly meetings. For several years and the same YMCA I was a team captain for their annual campaign drive. I secured secured several thousands every year in addition to guiding and helping all members of my team. Many hours. For several years I donated my time and worked the haunted house fundraiser for the local Sheriffs department. Half day and all night long at the Sheriffs place. I donate goods every year to Goodwill, the Salvation Army and the local YWCA battered women's shelter.

I don't know how many others are conservative or liberal however I do know one thing, I have more respect for those out there that do their part and shut up about what *everyone* *should* be doing.
Good question but.......Len J
Jun 10, 2003 8:52 AM
I suspect that WHAT people volunteer for has more relationship to political affiliation than wether or not they volunteer.

My wife used to volunteer as part of her participation with the Junior league. (What do you think the dominant political affiliation is?

We are now Unitarian Universalist and a commitment to the fellowship involves a commitment to be active in the community, to make the world a better place. We have a very diverse fellowship in age, in sex, in political leaning, in choice of partner, yet we all volunteer ourselves to causes that we care about. What we care about flows from what we believe.

Me, I mentor, I volunteer as a peer counselor in the local Drug & alchachol program, Habitat for humanity and donate to several others.

It's hard to say.DJB
Jun 10, 2003 9:12 AM
I don't you can come up with a general statement either liberals or conservative as the most likely to volunteer. As others have said, it depends alot on the region you are talking about.

I'd agree with Kristin that people involved with a church are more likely to volunteer than those who aren't (I think there was a study out about that recently but I don't have time at the moment to find it (or was it a study on donating money??)).
But in any church, you find people of all political walks. Liberals working along side of conservatives.
Connection to one's Community rather than politicsPdxMark
Jun 10, 2003 10:11 AM
It seems that a big part of whether someone volunteers relates to the extent a person is connected to their "Community." The Community might be religious, social, a locality, or whatever, but I see folks across the political spectrum giving amazing amounts of their time. The folks who seem not to give of their time (for the ones who have time to give), a common thread seems to be a lack of connection to some form of Community.

Which leads me toward a rant on how typical suburban planning & design undermine a sense of local Community, but I'll save that rant for another day.
What a load.czardonic
Jun 10, 2003 10:49 AM
Nice to see someone boast about his substantial contributions with such humility. Also nice to know that when you aren't demonizing the poor as free-loading parasites, you are out there doing the dirty work of throwing them a bone.

Personally, I don't consider providing for the needy to be dirty work. I consider it to be important and serious work, not to be left to fair-weather business friends and the whims of class-guilt. Pitching in to clean up a park makes up for opposing or crippling public services, education and health care, no matter how hard you slap yourself on the back for it.
Bitter, huh?moneyman
Jun 10, 2003 2:14 PM
Maybe the truth concerning your lack of involvement hurts.

I don't believe I was patting myself on the back at all.

The only "free-loading parasite" described might be you. Perhaps you should get off your couch and do something in addition to paying your taxes.

<i>You</i> don't believe, huh? If only your self-deception. . .czardonic
Jun 10, 2003 2:21 PM
. . .was limited to your self-promotion.
FYI.. .moneyman
Jun 10, 2003 2:36 PM
Here is the only part of this thread in which I "pat myself on the back." BTW - in the interest of humility and disclosure, I'll not list the volunteer work I do. Suffice to say that it is substantial. I guess if that's self-promotion, so be it.

Why are you so afraid to get involved? DO you think that some of the unwashed masses might get you a little dirty?

You'll have to look beyond your distorted strawman. . .czardonic
Jun 10, 2003 3:00 PM
. . .version of my position to find the answer.

Based on my personal experience with involvement in the past, I don't beleive that feel-good volunteerism is an adequate response to the problems at hand.
If that is the case, Czar, why don't you volunteer?94Nole
Jun 19, 2003 9:36 AM
You already admitted to doing nothing but involuntarily paying taxes (We all do it involuntarily - go to payroll and having them stop taking anything out of your paycheck, they'll laugh.)

Class-guilt = the left's feeble attempt at getting the right to "contribute."
value of time?DougSloan
Jun 10, 2003 12:16 PM
As your time becomes more economically valuable, it may well make better sense to work at what pays well and then donate money instead of time. If a volunteer job can be done the same by someone who could make $6 an hour or someone who could make $600 per hour, the organization may benefit more from the labor of the first person and a donation from the second, particularly if the second can benefit more from a tax deduction. Now, who typically makes more money, liberals or conservatives? Dogma says conservatives, but I'm not so sure that is true.

I used to do a lot of volunteer (unpaid, at least) legal work in Kansas City for juveniles and their parents in juvenile matters. It was pretty unrewarding, but I got lots of courtroom experience ("payoff," in Dr. Phil terminology). I also have done fundraising for the American Cancer Society and other charities. I hate soliciting, though. These days, I'd rather give money, as time is really in short supply; plus, once an organization has your number, they hound you for eternity.

Extending (or distorting) that logic. . .czardonic
Jun 10, 2003 12:37 PM
. . .my potential contribution as an individial volunteer is miniscule compared to the potential contribution of the entire tax base.

That may be derided as a cop-out by those who view community service as a matter of personal-virtue. But what if you view it as a matter of public necessity? I don't hear many (wealthy) conservatives volunteering to personally carry the weight of the defense budget.
sorry, I can't make any sense of thatDougSloan
Jun 10, 2003 12:52 PM
Volunteering and confiscation are two totally different concepts. I don't understand your point.

If you can confiscate <i>my</i> money for <i>your</i> defense. .czardonic
Jun 10, 2003 1:10 PM
. . .why can't I confiscate your money to ensure someone elses well-being?

Volunteering is indeed a different concept. It is deemed by your camp to be wholly unreliable for ensuring that you and yours are protected from terrorism or foreign invasion. When it comes to things that matter to you, you are all turned around on the wisdom and necessity of government programs. It is only when it comes to helping someone else that you don't want to be coerced into providing confiscated funds.

Given that attitude, it is clear to me that certain things can not be left to the tender mercies of your volunteer spirit.
Why is self-sufficiency such a bad concept?94Nole
Jun 19, 2003 9:41 AM
Because it removes the necessity for the left and their hair-brained philosophies.
Let me help with your distortion53T
Jun 10, 2003 1:02 PM
Since 90% of the personal income tax and nearly all of the corporate income tax is paid by rich conservatives (except for the small but measurable fraction that comes from movie stars), what makes you think that rich conservatives are not personaly paying for the defense budget?
Specious statistics not required, thanks. (nm)czardonic
Jun 10, 2003 1:11 PM
Sorry, let me rephrase53T
Jun 11, 2003 11:20 AM
Since nearly all the federal governments revenue comes from conservatives through personal income taxes from the highest wage earners and corporate income taxes from blue chip fims that are managed and owned by conservatives, why do you think that conservatives do not foot the bill for the miltary?

I can learn to argue like a liberal (no numbers allowed).
Specious claims w/o statistical proof not required, thanks. nmczardonic
Jun 11, 2003 11:33 AM
Are you that out of touch?53T
Jun 12, 2003 6:01 AM
My claims that the federal government is funded primarily by rich conservatives is not a specious claim. It is a cannon of American political economy. If you have some belief other than this, the rest of your understanding of this country will be flawed. Of course, that would be obvious after reading a collection of your posts.
Out of touch with your distorted mind-set? Yes.czardonic
Jun 12, 2003 10:51 AM
Rich does not always equal Conservative. Nor, for that matter does rich always mean tax-paying. Nor does being a rich, conservative tax-payer mean that you do not get more out of government than you put in.
Go back to school53T
Jun 12, 2003 5:23 PM
You have some very strong convictions, and I get the feeling you have a strong desire to get your point across. However, your logical constructs consist of classic misdirections and all-to-common mistakes. If you work on your argument skills through study of debate, or even joining a debate club and learning to compete you could learn to avoid these errors.

For example, I stated that all tax money comes from rich conservatives. You countered that all rich people are not conservative. This mistake is called a non sequitor, and it will cost you points in an acedemic debate contest, or in a real political debate before an electorate or TV audience.

Another example, as an additional counter to my main point you stated that not all rich people are tax payers. While this certainly true, it is also a non sequitor since it neither diminishes the truth of my premis nor the validity of my construct. Furthermore, it does not advance your central thesis that rich conservatives do not pay for the military.

In your last sentence you introduce a new topic: The rich disproportionatly share in the benifits of our governmental system. I would not likely argue this point with you, although bringing it up in the middle of the previous argument without postulating a relationship between the two is paramount to capitulation in the matter of the first argument.

In the end you still believe in your position (maybe) but you haven't convinced anyone else to go along with you.
Your assertion is false by any measure. A poor joke.czardonic
Jun 12, 2003 5:52 PM
How many people do you imagine you have convinced? How many do you imagine agree with you at all?

"All tax money comes from rich conservatives."

Nonesense. Hyperbole. Unsupportable.
Jun 13, 2003 5:34 AM
I am wrong because I am wrong? Do your really belive that the income taxes payed by janitors in the inner city is even noticable in the federal budget? Besides, you and your liberal buddies have redefined rich and poor such that even I am rich now. According to Clinton-era press releases, families making $60,000 are no longer poor, at one point they were defined as middle class! The income taxes paid by all the individuals with less than $60,000 family income would never be missed by the feds.

Furthermore, true liberals amoung the top wage earners in this country (personal incme tax) are limited to some very high profile entertainment figures, and I would question their commitment to the liberal ethic, based on their propensity to accumulate wealth in light of the huge numbers of needy people right down the street in Los Angeles.

As far as corporate income tax (taxes from Blue Chips during profitable quarters is a a very important source of income for the feds) these guys are conservatives by any measure.

Let's take a pole. Who's argument is more compelling? Mine, or "Nonsense. Hyperbole. Unsupportable"
You changed the game, and you are still losing.czardonic
Jun 13, 2003 1:55 PM
First, your statement was not that the tax revenue from janitors was negligible, or that rich liberals were few, or even that the Clinton Administration defined down what it means to be "rich". Your argument was, "all tax money comes from rich conservatives." So yes, you are wrong because you are wrong.

Second, regarding your "rules of debate" pretense, you must know that being correct has little to do with winning a debate. If I were sufficiently inept you could concievably deliever a superior argument on any topic, arguing either the affirmative or negative. That would not make your argument correct or definitive, it would make you a more skillful debator and more equipped with corroborating evidence. But it is obvious that none of this applies to the debate at hand.

So by all means, take a pole and entertain yourself with it as you see fit.
You're just mean-spirited (nm)53T
Jun 13, 2003 5:50 PM
Give a man a fish...Kristin
Jun 10, 2003 1:29 PM
You know where I'm going with this. Giving money away is always the easiest answer, but is it always the best? I have a great example. I was horrible at managing money. No one ever taught me how to do it and I was a high school drop out. My paychecks would slip through my fingers like sand, and on occasion I was unable to find rent money. Sounds dumb right? I'm even a little embarrased to admit this. But its true, and I was terrified. After I began going to church I brfriended an older woman and eventually broke down and told her about my financial chaos. She was familiar with a Christian organization called Larry Burkett Ministries, and using their materials, she taught me how to create a budget, and organize my finances. What an amazing difference it made. I never ended up on welfare--which is where I was headed--because I learned how to "fish." I never miss a mortgage payment and plan for all my needs year by year. I've recently finished digging out of debt and am on the road to saving for retirement.

When I began attending Willow Creek, I discovered that they had a whole ministry for helping people learn to budget. The program was created in order to better steward the money that was donated to the church for the purpose of giving to the poor. They hired a pastor for the ministry and that pastor trained councilors to meet with people who came to the church looking for financial assistance. They required ALL people requesting help to meet with a personal financial councilor. I went through training and became a councilor myself. We did give money to lots of people in need, but we also made sure they had the tools to handle there finances wisely. There are lots of circumstances that brought people to sit at that table with me. Husband ran off, pandering, excessive debt, lost jobs, even some who received a windfall (quickly wealthy) and didn't know what to do with it all. A very valuable thing occurs in this ministry--which is still going strong today--knowledge transfer. Knowledge transfer requires people with skill who volunteer their time. Do you think the church gives out less money or more money as a result of running this counciling program? (I don't know the bottom line answer to that question; but I am confident that the program adds value and is justifiable.)

I would encourage anyone to volunteer their time helping someone learn a skill that can help them move forward in life. There are lots of people who don't have the same resources to learn that you all on this board have had.
That is a very wise and thoughtful response ...Live Steam
Jun 10, 2003 2:25 PM
however I think the lesson is lost on liberals. Work and accountability are not what they preach/teach. They pander to a constituency that is needy and they need to keep them that way, else they lose their voter base.

I don't think CZAR gets the conservative ideal very well. (I also think he needs to get a sense of humor - I like to tease him and I think he takes it as a personal attack) He would rather think of us as dispassionate, uncaring zealots. It makes his position seem more genuine - take from the rich and give to the poor - like Robin Hood. We all know that story and it seems so selfless and virtuous. However the difference here is that we are not living under an evil monarchy. We live in a civil democracy where personal choice is valued and protected under the Constitution. We may choose to be virtuous or not. It should not be legislated that we must be virtuous.

Your idea of teaching someone to be self-sufficient is much more valuable and considerate than handing that same person a fist full of dollars. I applaud you efforts in both your personal conquest and in helping others tackle the same problems.
Jun 10, 2003 3:03 PM
This is tapping into some of my old philosophy material from college, and its hurting my brain. I first wrote this long rebuttal and defense of Czar, because I'm extremely idealistic and can't imagine that democrats actually have a motivation that requires lots of poor, under-educated supporters. I can't believe this because I believe that human's will do whats best for themselves and its not good for anyone when lots of people are poor. But then I remember pre-revolutionary France and lots of people did benefit from the poor. Or did they? In the short term they did. And I guess that's all the aristocracy was focused on, otherwise they surely would have prevented the revolution. So I don't know the answer to the question; but I don't think Czar is all bad. I'm amazed sometimes when I find we embrace the same philosophy about something, yet arrive at opposite conclusions.
Ah, but I never said he was "bad". I just ....Live Steam
Jun 10, 2003 6:35 PM
pointed out the error of his logic and that of the liberal ilk. You actually did the same in your post. You agree that giving someone a vocation so they can support themselves is better than a handout. That is my philosophy and the philosophy of many conservatives. Maybe other conservatives think that it is not the responsibility of the federal government to provide the vocation for free, but I would rather that than just sending a check to someone for doing nothing.

Your statement that "I believe that human's will do what's best for themselves" is puzzling since on your own admission said that you did not know how to budget and couldn't control your spending. Granted you did seek out help, or it was offered, but many don't because of other social ills such as drug abuse and alcoholism. Sometimes people don't know what is best for themselves. They follow the group and listen to pundits they think they can trust such as Jackson and Sharpton. These two need social program dependant people to prop them up and give them a reason for existing in the first place. They can then say they are the mouthpiece for the poor and down trodden. In reality it is a business and it feeds, houses and clothes them very well. They are sort of like the business' that run charitable events for profit, but they do it under the disguise of the "church" to limit their tax liabilities.
In our house...PdxMark
Jun 10, 2003 1:39 PM
I earn the income, my wife volunteers in our kids' school almost full-time. As a team, we can contribute both financially and with time, with my working freeing her to give volunteer time.

I went through a similar experience as you Doug. I did some pro bono family law work. Yikes. I was that fish being given to someone ... out of water and gasping for air. The expeience didn't help me professionally, but I did get to see the inside of the local jail where my client was finally available to sign divorce papers. But I can help others, who are good at it, give legal services to folks in need by donating money. My wife's volunteer time helps organize alot of other folks at the school so amazing things get done.

There are lots of ways to give. I think the main thing is for folks who can to contribute to the world or Community around them.
What do you consider volunteeringkilimanjaro
Jun 10, 2003 1:41 PM
Is orgagnizing your childs pre-school graduation considered volunteering? What about participating in critical mass, or coaching your child in little leauge.

I really think that volunteering however you define it has a lot to do whether individuals feel they can make a difference. Hence people affiliated and active in religeous, social, polical communities tend to volunteer more. I remember reading somewhere that young people today do not volunteer as a whole. I bet the drop in volunteering by age group matches that of political participation.
Few liberals in Wyoming . . .Steve98501
Jun 10, 2003 4:12 PM
If any volunteering is going to happen in your town and state, I'd expect conservatives have to do it, as it seems there are few liberals in your state. I think people volunteer to meet some of their community's needs, and the volunteers are a cross section of that community, excepting people on the bottom rung of society that are not able to volunteer, and are often the beneficiaries of some of the community programs. That's my rough estimation of the politics of volunteers I've met through various activities over the years. Mostly conservative in a conservative town; mostly liberal in a liberal town.
ask Ariana Huffington why she switched teams.dr hoo
Jun 11, 2003 3:41 PM
Huffington used to be a HARD CORE conservative. Now she seems very liberal. What changed her mind?

According to what she said on a tv show one night, it was charity. When she asked her rich friends to kick in $5000 to support the opera, they all wrote checks. When she asked them to help with a literacy program for the underprivledged, trying to put her "private groups can do it better than the big government" philosophy in practice, the money did not flow, and people did not exactly FLOCK to the projects to give of their time. Her experience directly contradicts yours, and I am pretty sure she was hanging out with some REAL capitalists, not the petty little ones you do.

I don't think you can pigeon hole people by ideology. Heck, I know some Objectivists that do way more community service than most people, and you wouldn't expect that, would you? They do it because they value their communities, and tend to go into very hands on activities like habitat for humanity (Carter, a liberal i would say.)

I think the biggest determinate of who volunteers is parents. If you grow up in a house where you help others with your time, because your parents make you, then you will do so later in life. If your parents do not give of their time, neither will you.

On a side note, my university REQUIRES a service component to graduate. Students must put in at least 30 hours of service. Most don't want to. Most that I have mentored in their service enjoy it more than they expected, and plan to continue to volunteer after they graduate.

dr. (screw everyone else, i got mine!) hoo