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community service(17 posts)

community serviceWoof the dog
Dec 1, 2003 12:11 AM
Is it good to do community service? Is it good to do it at your expense (i.e. less time to pay bills, or study more, ride a bike more etc. etc. etc.)? When I was younger, every time I did community service I felt like I was getting ripped off or cheated on by government/others who are in a more favorable position to help others.

"Yes, Woof, you are such a good dog, go and help us out for free every other week so that these jobless people would be happy and stop bugging us... yeah that's right, it is up to you, Woof, to make a social change so that we, the CEO's of big companies, lawyers, etc. could have a nice house, an expensive car, good food and not a worry about some of those random people without an innocent bird on thanksgiving."

I refuse to do it on regular basis (or at all actually) ever since then, unless it is for my close circle of people where there is NO expectation on continuing such services month after month, year after year. A lot a lot a lot of parks and museums and hospitals and places for kids on the other hand, expect volunteers because they don't have enough money to hire people. I think a problem like that needs to be solved differently. Does it mean I won't help a person in great need? Of course I would, I am a dog, and a man is dog's best friend after all.

This is capitalism, and yet it is the poor (and younger) ones who continue to contribute and MOREOVER ARE EXPECTED to contribute. I find this outrageous! I have a friend who got over a thousand bucks to pay off on her credit card (yes, not a lot, but that is just her credit card nevermind other things), and yet instead of getting more hours at a daycare where she works, she goes out and does all this community service. I think an attitude like that is just uhm... appauling if that is the right word. She tells me it makes her feel good, AND YET it makes her have panic attacks when bills arrive. My parents always told me, got free time? get a job.

We should all pay more taxes and have free healthcare like in Canada or other services for the poor and others. I think it would be a better equality than what we got. That would be a lot more fair than expecting people to volunteer at the food shelf or at other such places. I should really make a T-shirt that says: "If not everyone contributes, I contribute none."

Now, AmeriCorps... I get these comments like: "look, I did this for a year." My gut feeling is that a lot of people do it for many other reasons such as: traveling to places for free, room and board free (i think), great social life, looks good on a resume and to show others how good of a human being one appears to be. And I trust my gut. Would they honestly help people in this way if they had loans to pay back or a family to support or had other necessities to take care of?

Agree/disagree on this?
Any comments?


P.s. I don't think community service is bad per se, it is just that I see a lot of selfish reasons, dishonesty and inequality connected with it, which totally ruins the experience. So, don't go calling me names and telling me that I am going against the grain or being a troll (and that means you, filterSWIPE). You probably ain't gonna change my views and most importantly my real-life experiences. Just tell me your view on things.
You're reasoning is partly flawed,TJeanloz
Dec 1, 2003 6:49 AM
I understand a lot of people don't do volunteer work for the same reasons that you don't. What it really comes down to is that you would rather pay somebody to help other people than help them yourself. Which is fine.

Where you have gone wrong is with the premise that CEOs et. al. aren't giving, and yet are reaping the benefits of your volunteer efforts. Almost all business leaders do significant charity work. Some more than others, but everybody does some. Some people give more money than time, but the parks and museums and hospitals that you won't volunteer in were built largely with money from corporate big-shots. Big shots dedicate a lot of time to these causes - usually not on the floor as greeters, but in the boardroom and at fundraising events, where their experience can be best used. I go to a lot of fundraisers that cumulatively raise a lot of money, and a very small percentage of the people their are middle class folks. For institutions like these to survive, they need volunteers at all levels - they need people to work the front desk, and they need people to manage their endowment. It makes sense to put the people with the appropriate experience in the right place.

There is a me-first attitude in this country [though I think it's worse in the Northeast than elsewhere] which isn't really capitalist or socialist (I could make an arguement either way) - it's just the way Western society has developed. And it isn't as bad in the US as it is in Europe, so we have that to be happy about.
A thousand points of lightOldEdScott
Dec 1, 2003 7:07 AM
would all blink on simultaneously in this country if government would just get out of the way, and out of our wallets. I know I would contribute more and volunteer more if the government weren't sticking its hands in MY pockets to steal MY money to spend it on things THEY (the bureaucrats) believe are worthy causes.

The American people (and American corporate officers, especially) are kind, generous and compassionate -- but they never get a chance to express those virtues because there's so little of THEIR money left over for THEM once Uncle Slam gets through pilfering their paychecks.
problem is the lights go outDougSloan
Dec 1, 2003 7:37 AM
You can't count on volunteers. Sure, it's nice when people do it, but when essentially services, like food, medical care, housing, child care, are concerned, we can't take the risk that people fall through the cracks.

Society is too large and complex to rely upon the nastalgic system where the Salvation Army and churches take care of every disadvantaged individual and family. It's a nice thought, but just not reality any more. Face it, people use that 100 year old vision of America as their disguised excuse for greed.

I think it's funny how wanting to keepOldEdScott
Dec 1, 2003 7:42 AM
more of MY OWN MONEY in MY OWN POCKET is defined as 'greed' by the Lunatic Left. Talk about spin!

What about the 'greed' of those people who want to steal MY money from me for THEIR purposes? That sounds more like the dictionary definition of greed to me. How can I be greedy for something that's already MINE?
I agree, in fact the whole govt tax & spend is a crock...rwbadley
Dec 1, 2003 7:55 AM
We should be trusted to keep our money. Taking home that extra $100/month would allow us as a family to live so much better. We could spend more on needs, wants and desires and that money would go directly back into the economy where it can do the most good. Who needs taxes and a national savings rate?

The govt has demonstrated that even tho it has been raking in all these tax monies for years it just mismanages the funds till we're left with nothing but pork barrel and now look at us, broken down infrastructure and eyebrow high in debt.

The Dumocrats and libs mistakenly believe that a middleman is needed to manage tax monies to redistribute wealth throughout the system. This is a losers way of thinking. We all know that left to their own devices the more well off will be certain the lowest echelon needs will be served.
what you may be overlookingDougSloan
Dec 1, 2003 7:56 AM
You don't live in a vacuum. You live in a complex society that has the infrastructure, support, and protections that allow YOU to make YOUR MONEY. How much of YOUR MONEY would you be making or keeping if you had to hire your own police, subsidize a place to live for your housekeepers and lawncare workers, etc.? How long would your $50,000 SUV last if you had to drive on broken up 1 lane crappy roads? Who would you hire to work in your business if there were no decent free public education? You going to pay to educate that engineer or even an clerical worker yourself? You going to build a 20 foot wall and moat around your house to fight off the hoards of people who will come looking for food when they can't feed their families?

Face it, as unpleasant as it sounds, it's really not YOUR MONEY. Just get over that concept, and you might start understanding that it's OUR MONEY that permits you to even go out and make YOUR MONEY.

'Consent of the governed.'OldEdScott
Dec 1, 2003 8:11 AM
When the government takes my money, it takes recompense I have EARNED for giving up hours of my life that I'll never get back, hours that could have been put to better use riding a bike or playing with my kids. Basically, the government is stealing bike and kid time from me, and I HAVE NOT CONSENTED TO THAT!
oh, but you haveDougSloan
Dec 1, 2003 8:18 AM
Sure, your property cannot be taken without due process, but due process has been provided through your elected representatives and that little something called the 16th Amendment ("Amendment XVI -- The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several states, and without regard to any census or enumeration.") Even a "strict constructionist" would have to acknowledge the express grant of power, FROM THE PEOPLE (i.e., YOU) to collect taxes. Sure, you can gripe about the *amount*, but that will always be an issue.

I don't recall voting on the 16th amendment, Doug.OldEdScott
Dec 1, 2003 8:31 AM
But regardless, income taxes are just a portion of the taxes I pay. Every level of government, every taxing district, every special interest group, has its hands in my pockets.

I don't mind paying fair taxes. What's fair, you ask? Well, God Himself only asks for 10 percent. I'd say that's enough for the government as well.
ya, but you didn't vote for the 2nd Amendment, eitherDougSloan
Dec 1, 2003 8:36 AM
Show that everyone in America tithes 10% and we'd probably not need so high of taxes. Last I heard, though, churches (God) weren't in the road construction or national defense business.
No, but all kinds of private businesses ARE.OldEdScott
Dec 1, 2003 8:53 AM
Free enterprise would build better roads cheaper, and maintain 'em better. We could pay tolls to those companies based on USE. Much fairer than my 84-year-old grandparents paying for something they don't use.

(They still work, by the way, but they're too blind to drive so they get to their jobs at WalMart using walkers. When it gets to the point they're too feeble to do even that, they'll lick envelopes at home on a piecework basis. And I guess when they get too feeble for THAT, we'll take care of 'em, but not for long.)

Anyway, why should they pay taxes for roads?
Because they get other benefits from those roadsLive Steam
Dec 1, 2003 8:59 AM
Their prescritpions get transported on those roads. The food they consume gets transported on those roads. The school tax they pay ensures that their neighbors children get an education to keep them off of those same roads rather than having them hang out and cause more social ill through the use of drugs and crime.
They don't get prescription drugs. We don't believe they shouldOldEdScott
Dec 1, 2003 9:07 AM
have their lives artificially extended with medicine. Remember, they're OLD.

As for school taxes, I fail to see why I should pay for someone else's rug rat to learn to read. It's the parents' responsibility, and if they don't want to bear it, then the children will just have to suffer the consequences. It's not SOCIETY's job to educate children. I have no idea where people got the idea that it was.
That money will spur the economy...Tri_Rich
Dec 1, 2003 7:59 AM
and wind up helping the same people who would benefit from the government programs.
re: community servicemohair_chair
Dec 1, 2003 7:52 AM
I think everyone should be forced to volunteer for a year. Sort of like the military draft. (Maybe we could combine the two--one year in the Army, one year serving soup in Hell's Kitchen.) This is the best way to eliminate the selfish reasons you speak of, and it will go a long way towards injecting some gritty reality into the kids today who were born on third base and now think they hit a triple. Maybe they'll also develop a sense of empathy with those less fortunate than themselves.

I'm not really sure how this program would work, but it's not my job to figure it out. I'm not a politician. All I know is that everyone up to the age of 30 has to put in a solid year doing officially approved volunteerism. You can choose when you want to do it, but if you hit 30 and you haven't done it yet, you get to spend a month in jail, and when you get out, you still have to put in your year.

Maybe if you are rich you can give money instead. It would have to be a lot of money, though. Otherwise, it's not fair to the less fortunate.
God will provideContinental
Dec 1, 2003 9:04 AM
We need to turn to God. This nation of atheists and agnostics is being punished by God. The only true community service is Fundementalist Christian evangalism. Once we convert the heathen, God will bless this nation with prosperity for all.