DownsizeDC.org
August 11, 2005
DC Downsizer Philosophy: Compassion is a great thing, and Big Government knows nothing about it
By Jim Babka

Just a few weeks ago, rock star Bono, British PM Tony Blair, and a host of musical acts, lectured the world on compassion. As is so often the case, compassion, in this instance, was another government program. Well, the DC Downsizer insists on accuracy in definition. Compassion, by definition, is beyond the scope of Big Government – a metaphysical impossibility.

Let’s get down to brass tacks: What is compassion?

Compassion… What it is not – It's not a government program.

Socialist George Bernard Shaw put it well when he said, “A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.” It should be obvious that most “Peters” don’t care much for the “Pauls” of this world – so much for compassion.

Less obvious, but equally true, is that Paul resents Peter.

Here’s why. Taking by force and redistribution, injures the “giver.” Entitlement is crippling to the “receiver.” And division is created between the one who resents being compelled to give and the other who either believes what is given is owed, or is ashamed by his need.

Compassion… What it really is – According to the American Heritage Dictionary, “Deep awareness of the suffering of another coupled with the wish to relieve it.” Note the difference. Giving voluntarily feels good. Receiving help or gifts can be very encouraging. Love can develop in the transaction.

We were created to live in community, to work together, play together, look out for one another, and care for others. Humans seek relationship. A free market economy thrives on relationship and cooperation.

Big Government destroys those bonds and ruthlessly inserts itself into the transaction.

Remember, the DC Downsizer Vision: “Big Government hurts, but Voluntary Action leads to Human Progress.”

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