John Venlet uncovers a source and points out, that:

…religious conservatives tend to be the individuals who dig deepest into
their own pockets for charitable contributions, and that those who bang
the drum most loudly for state wealth redistribution, appear to clutch
their purse strings tighter than Scrooge…

No surprise to me, though I would point out that religious conservatives of the born-again evangelical ilk make up for it by their highly presumptuous preaching, pestering, and proselytizing. That is, their offensive admonition that others must "be saved." Yes, it’s so utterly ridiculous that I cannot help but point it out any time it comes up. But I digress.

The thing reminds me of a guy posting to Usenet some years ago, when he asked:

Is your desire to help people so great as to actually cause you to help them, or only so great as to force others to help them?

That, right there, is a nutshell distinction between individualism and collectivism, and I’ve never forgotten it.

It’s not directly relevant, but since I was going to blog it anyway, might as well make it part of this entry. Last night I took a trip down to the grocery store to pick up a few things. On my way out, there was a guy with a clipboard.

"Good evening, sir. Would you sign a petition to reduce the cost of tuition for students at community college?"

"At whose expense?" I asked.


"Well, I guess you could be asking me to sign a petition to demand that community colleges reduce their services so their costs are less, but that seems unlikely. What I think you mean is that whether the actual costs stay the same or even go up, you want the paying students to pay less for the same or better services, right?

"Yes, that’s right."

"At whose expense?"


"Look: you’ve just told me that the costs are probably going to be the same or more, so they have to be paid by someone, right?"


"Well, if not by the students actually using and benefiting from the services, then by whom? At whose expense?"

"Oh; oh, I see. The taxpayers?"


"The taxpayers."

"WHO! WHO? You mean me, and you, and that guy over there, and everybody who pays taxes?"


"But I’m not going to community college."

"Yes, but it would be beneficial to the community. It would help people just getting a start."

"Who? Nevermind… Look: my point is that if you’re out here thinking that you’re trying to help community colleges and their students — I get it — you’re not, really; not in the right way. The right way is to actually do something helpful yourself, and beyond yourself, to ask people nicely. You might be surprised. But what you’re doing is faking it. You’re pretending you’re helping, but what you’re really trying to do is benefit one group of people — the students — by hurting another group of people — those who are forced to pay taxes. That’s not right, man."

And with that I wished him well and went on my way.


Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. Richard Nikoley on November 30, 2006 at 08:42


    No, it was friendly and he went on about his business. Not sure if he really got it. Like most people, he's a "good guy" and it comes under the category of "they know not what they do."

  2. James Pruitt on November 30, 2006 at 04:49

    So, did the guy begin pelting you with insults about the rich and inequality? Or, did his head simply implode?

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