Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Big Society vs. Big Government

Yesterday morning, in what must have been a slow news day, the BBC rehashed the response to this month-old story - 'charities' are worried that government cuts will mean they lack the "resources" (money) to continue.

There's one very simple rule to bear in mind here:
If your 'charity' relies on government 'donations' then you are, by definition, a government agency.
You know, that whole "being given money to do something" Agent-Principal relationship? Fine, you help people and do good things - unlike other parts of government which exist to hurt people and do bad things, naturally. And you don't turn a profit - just like the MoD and the Foreign Office. Just because you can't see the PM on your org chart doesn't mean you're independent, and having to go cap-in-hand to the state means you're certainly not.

The site fakecharities.org (which seems to be down at the moment) has a listing of many organisations which - while putatively charitable - derive >90% of their income from the government. It's amazing how often they appear on the news, lobbying us with our own money, in order to get more of our money.

I'm somewhat concerned about Cameron's "Big Society", though. It's clearly right in some respects - the state has no business inefficiently providing many things that people want. On the other paw, it strikes me as being a progressive, collectivist, left-wing, even fascistic policy - there seems to be no intention to cut back on services provided, only to expect people to do them for free in statolatric devotion.

I do not expect help from others, which apparently makes me some kind of mug, because others expect (nay demand) help from me. The demand is now made with a smile, rather than taken (via tax) under menaces, but it's the same demand.

- KoW

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