A Response to the LA Times OPED piece by Jonah Goldberg, or more accurately the comments left on the sight.

What if the company you work for was told it had to have its workers volunteer in the community for 50 hours each year or the government would take (tax) the corporate profits by an additional 10%? I mean the community did and does a lot for the company: built roads to the business, installed sewer and power lines, maybe even gave it some tax incentives early on because the area needed jobs. Not to mention all of the members of the community that patronize the company. So now all the community is asking for in return is some community service from the workers of local business. It’s totally voluntary, this is America after all, but the community is in need, so it is raising the corporate tax base of all local companies by 10%, unless they wish to volunteer their workers for community service.

How long would it take for a company to make community ‘volunteering’ a mandatory job requirement?

How long would it take the community to up the requirement to 75 hours? 100 hours?

The same holds true for schools. Federal funding (which you know is the taxpayers’ money, our money) accounts for approx. 10% of almost all states k-12 education funding. To loose 10% of their funding would mean layoffs, delayed improvements to facilities, and even cutting of curriculum. (Imagine a 10% pre-tax hit to your paycheck, how much more difficult would making your household budget become?) I’m not saying it can’t be done, it can. Some states refuse federal funding due to these very controls that are placed on them. I am saying once you get used to having a certain amount of money coming in, it gets to be very difficult not to rationalize any requirements placed on that funding by the federal government.

How long would it take for the threat of federal funding being withheld from colleges to manifest, and replace the ‘tax incentive’ program?

How long would it take said colleges to make the ‘voluntary’ national service a mandatory requirement for graduation, and a diploma, as many high schools do already, right now?

That a large number of people see these mandatory requirements for high school graduation as ‘voluntary’ is evidence to me of the slave mentality (perhaps ’socialist mentality’ would be a better term) running rampant in our modern society.

Mr. Goldberg is not speaking out against volunteering, he simply believes, as do I, that we don’t need the government to shove it down our throats. We were doing just fine with the volunteering already, thank you very much. Just because I’m not putting my time or money to the causes that you think I should doesn’t mean yours are better than mine. I don’t think anyone should spend any time or money for PETA, ever. But will I try to get the government to force people to spend their time and money on the local food bank instead? No, of course not, don’t be silly, that is not the role of our government in our society. Will I stand idly by as the government is used to force me to spend my time or money on PETA? No, of course not, don’t be silly. That is not the role of a citizen in our society.


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