Are You a “Maker” or a “Taker”?

photo by Kenneth Song

There are “makers” in this world and there are “takers.”  Some produce more than they use, and some don’t. We are at a point in our crazy history when the number of takers is right on the cusp of outnumbering the makers.

My father left me only a few gems of wisdom; here is perhaps the best:  “Son, there is no such thing as a free lunch.” Sadly, half of our population believes it is possible for the government to provide free college, free housing, free medical care, free food, and even free spending money to anyone who wants it.  Actually, the socialists (who have taken over the Democrat party) claim we all “deserve” free stuff.

No, there is no such thing as a free lunch, or free anything for that matter.  If government gives something to one person, it must be taken – at threat of physical force – from somebody else.  By definition, that is theft.

People are charitable by nature, and most will give some of their own property to someone who they feel is truly in need.  But our Constitution does not say that the government has the duty or the right to force one citizen to give their property to someone else whether they approve or not.

Thank God there are people who care and give freely of their time and money to others. While many Americans (and many illegal aliens) sit and complain, demanding free stuff and benefits that they have not earned, a few “makers” are hard at work trying to make our nation a better place for the generations that will follow.

I have a friend who was diagnosed with a rare cancer several years ago and was given three months to live.  He is no longer able to operate the business he built through years of hard work and risk.  But he continues to work every day for conservative leaders and to promote legislation that will benefit all Americans.  “I can’t just quit,” he says, and “leave a mess for the kids and grandkids.”  Everything he touches ends up better than the way he found it.  He is a “maker.”

Another friend has spent her entire life defending American traditional values, especially the rights of the unborn.  Despite withering physical problems that would stop most people in their tracks, she still teaches and convinces and cajoles those who don’t understand the “free lunch” problem.  Those who are lucky enough to meet her are inspired and blessed.  She is a “maker”.

My adult son is totally blind.  Despite his college degree, the job market has not exactly welcomed him with open arms.  So he volunteers his time as a reading tutor for at-risk sighted kids, and works at a hospice soothing dying patients in their final hours with a little conversation, a magazine article, or a bible reading.  He’s a “maker”.

President Trump left a lucrative business career, spent a huge amount of his own money, and has withstood inhumane abuse from the media and opponents from outside and within his own party.  He could be multiplying his wealth and enjoying life with his beautiful wife and family.  Instead, he works long hours and take all the heat his enemies can dish out, because he loves our country and knows what is needed to set us back on the course to prosperity and success.  President Trump is a “MAKER.”

I, and most people who want the best for our nation and all of its people, celebrate President Trump and the other “makers”.  And frankly, we are repulsed by the “takers” we see on our television screens and computers every day.  There is no middle ground.  Each of us must choose a side.  Maker – or taker.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

I hope you always forgive and you never regret
And you help somebody every chance you get
Oh, you find God’s grace in every mistake
And always give more than you take

My Wish – Rascal Flatts

 

Please watch this beautiful vignette of some American “makers”, Rascal Flatts.

The Poor Don’t Need More Food

food driveEvery day, especially during the holiday season, we are buried in news reports about low-income Americans who don’t have enough to eat.  There are food drives, community food banks, charity events, and fundraisers galore collecting food and money for food, all based on the premise that the poor just aren’t getting fed.

Contributors to these food charities get a temporary, warm fuzzy feeling.  But the whole “starving children” thing is a big sham, and food charity does little or nothing to actually help the poor improve their lives.

Our citizens, through government welfare programs, provide generous food subsidies for the poor.  As I reported recently, the SNAP program grants up to $632 per month on EBT debit cards for a qualifying family of four.  There are deductions based on income, but cash from most welfare programs is excluded. The monthly SNAP dollar allowance is considerably greater than most non-welfare families spend on food, resulting in high incidence of obesity among SNAP participants.  In addition, 68% of students get one or two free or heavily-subsidized meals at school every day.

I’m not saying it’s fun to be on welfare, or that we should abolish all food subsidies.  I am saying that lack of food is NOT the main problem for the poor, and providing more food via charities is NOT helping them.  The few scarce hungry Americans are victims of neglect, abuse, and mental illness – problems that must be addressed, but in a completely different way.

So why are we so obsessed with providing EVEN MORE FREE FOOD for the poor?  Wouldn’t it make more sense to direct this huge pool of charity funds to something that actually does some good? 

We could provide economic education, job skills and actual employment opportunities so poor families might escape the sad trap of welfare dependency.  We could monitor and counsel poor adults and children, helping develop good decision-making, parenting, and life skills.  We could actually get involved at the personal level, helping with individual needs – a car repair so one can get to work; a plane ticket so another can help an ailing relative; a home-cooked meal for a senior who can get food but can’t cook.

This sounds like charity as it once was in this country.  Charity that was most often organized by churches.  Charity given in the form of time, personal involvement, and caring, in addition to money.  Sadly, today’s secular liberal culture discourages faith.  Forced charity funded through taxation and administered through soul-less government computers has dried up the river of personal, church-sponsored work that used to actually help people.  Now, the extent of our caring for others is reduced to buying them more and more food, making them even fatter, while leaving them dependent on the government and making the same bad choices as their parents and grandparents did.  We don’t want to get involved, so let’s throw them another can of food.  We can wear ribbons, join a publicized walk to promote “awareness”, and then leave our neighbors behind.

The poor don’t need more food.  Frankly, they don’t need that carload of junk from WalMart that many have come to expect from charities every Christmas.  They need jobs, and they need guidance from good people – caring and constructive shepherds who can show them the way to a better life.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side Who can I believe in?  I’m kneeling on the floor.
There has to be a force, who do I phone?
The stars are out and shining,
But all I really want to know –
Oh, won’t you show me the way?
I want you to show me the way.

Show Me the Way – Pete Frampton

Montana Charity vs. Share The Wealth

There was a time when we Americans watched out for each other.  If someone needed help, his friends, family, and neighbors would jump in to do what was needed.  As a teenager, my small-town dad taught me to always offer help.   Flat tire?  Hey, let me help you with that jack.  Dead battery?  We can give you a jump.   Cows got out of the fence?  Let’s help you get them back in.  House burned down?  The whole town will pitch in to help you get back on your feet.  It’s the Montana way.  And you never know when you might be the one who needs help.

But voluntary charity wasn’t good enough for the “progressives” among us.  They have never trusted their neighbors to help.  Maybe it’s because they never felt compelled to offer help to others.  So the expectation in recent years is to have government answer every need.

There’s a big difference.  An important difference.

You see, the good Lord knew what he was doing when he created the human psyche.  Voluntarily helping somebody else feels good.  You know it’s true – it really is better to give than to receive.

But when someone takes something from you – something you worked for – and gives it to somebody else whether you like it or not –  well . . . it just doesn’t feel so good, does it?

Volunteers load hay for Montana neighbors – photo by Don Danell

There was a big fire near Roundup, Montana a few weeks ago.  Thousands of acres of timber and agricultural land were destroyed, along with dozens of homes.  A small group of nearby ranchers realized that their fellow cattlemen were going to have a problem feeding their stock.  They weren’t asked to help.  And they didn’t wait for the government to do a series of studies about what was needed.  They took action on their own.

In short order, 18 fire-stricken ranchers from the Roundup area received truckloads of hay, courtesy of their concerned neighbors – even the delivery and fuel was donated.

This is how charity used to work.  This is how it SHOULD work.

Can you imagine how much it would have cost and how long it would have taken for our government bureaucracy to get hay to these ranchers in need?

Yes, it does take a village to raise a child and to help those in need.  It takes neighbors, family, and friends.  And it works a lot better without forced charity – and the complication and inefficiency of government.

 

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side
thanks to Deb Hill

Enjoy this all-time classic by James Taylor

If the sky above you
Should turn dark and full of clouds
And that old north wind should begin to blow
Keep your head together
And call my name out loud
Soon I’ll be knocking upon your door

You’ve Got A Friend – James Taylor (Carole King)