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  • For the record, I am against all federal assistance for the homeless, because it is unconstitutional.

    I am in favor of having private charities do most of the work for helping the homeless, and prefer the government stay out, but I do see some small role for government.

    You talk of compassion: the government is not supposed to be compassionate. That is not part of its reason for existing. It never has been, and what's more, it is actually incapable of it.

    You can vote to take care of homeless people. That's compassionate, to some degree, although it certainly is not compassionate to vote to take away my personal property against my will for the purpose of you feeling compassionate. And worse, every other step along the way is devoid of compassion. The lawmakers and executive branch doing what they promised to do or what a voter initiative requires them to do is not compassion, it's part of the job. Residents compelled to give funds through taxes is not compassion, it's a legal requirement. And so on.

    That's the great thing about private charities: it actually is all about the compassion, as oppposed to government involvement. It's you choosing to help someone yourself, and doing it, through an organization that does it because they care to, not because it's their job to.

    That said, I don't despise state and local government involvement, like I do federal, as it is not unconstitutional, and in a democracy, the voters get what they want, within reason, even if it means taking away my personal property to fund your pet project. The bottom line, though, is that I am all in favor of compassion, but that the government is ill-suited for expression of compassion.

    Yes, it is true that we don't give a lot to charity, but one of the huge reasons why is because we rely on the government to provide charity. I have gone on record saying I would give far more to the CPB than goes to them from my tax dollars, if only my tax dollars didn't go to them in the first place. I do give to other charities, but the point is, many people just think, "oh, the government will do it." And then they see government waste everywhere, and understandably don't want to dish out more to help people when so much of their money is already being wasted.

    Again, government is ill-suited to deal with this problem. It is well-suited to paying for things it must pay for, and not so much on discretionary spending.

    With all that in mind (or not), what do you propose be done about the problem? You complain about the problem of homelessness and those who say it is their own fault/responsibility (which, by way of the above, I mean to say does not include me, even though I am against most government spending on the problem), but you don't really provide a solution to the problems, or even really hint at one.
    • With all that in mind (or not), what do you propose be done about the problem?

      Which problem? The problem which pisses me off here -- and that's the one the root post and much of the thread is about -- is people's attitudes. There's no way people will voluntarily help the homeless via charity, direct action or the government if they assume the homeless are mostly just lazy and unwilling to work. If you can come up with a way to get people to realize that there just might be a bit more to life than the

      • The problem which pisses me off here -- and that's the one the root post and much of the thread is about -- is people's attitudes.

        Ah. I thought you also were bemoaning the lack of government assistance. But you appear to be saying the first thing to do is change attitudes, and the details of the help that follow such a change are not the point.

        The ensuing discussion kinda threw me. :-)

        As this is primarily about attitudes ... then yeah, I am with you all the way. I just this weekend heard an interesting