Thursday, November 30, 2006

Why I'm A Libertarian

Via Radley Balco, who is tantamount to blogging royalty in my mind for all the good work he has done, comes this story from Virginia: Fairfax county cracks down on food service to the homeless.

Allow me to summarize: Churches and charitable residents can no longer donate homemade food to the homeless- Why? Because, even though there have not been any reported cases of food poisoning or food borne illnesses among the homeless, the government wants to protect the homeless from such occurrences. So now, in order to serve the homeless, all kitchens preparing food for the homeless must meet standard restaurant regulatory requirements. Needless to say, half the churches and shelters in the county don't meet this requirement- and because, you know, they're doing charity and not making money, they certainly don't have the funds to upgrade their facilities.

Can anyone honestly tell me that this is not insane? But I'm sad to say, this is the world we live in today. People will criticize libertarians for not wanting to pour government and taxpayer money into helping the disadvantaged, but ask yourself what's worse- discretionary policies over spending that might not help people as much as you'd like, or laws that affirmatively hurt people and stand in the way of private individuals helping the disadvantaged?

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina last year there were stories about doctors who were not allowed to take part in the relief efforts because they hadn't done the appropriate training. Some of this "appropriate training" were classes on sexual harassment. It's this insane logic that personally, I just can't get over. It's fine to have a debate about what the government can and should do to help people- it's a debate we have to have because even if you're the world's biggest liberal you still have to work with the resources that we have. But why do we have to live in a world where government actually stops us from helping other people? Why do we live in a world where people will actually push for policies that prevent us from helping other people? Just insane ...


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