Even when you want to help people–give charity or amend laws that allow killers to go free–there are apparent rules of engagement. In our society, these “rules” tend to be geared more toward giving the appearance of helping (while accomplishing some other agenda) than actually helping. Likewise, signing non-procedural petitions give the appearance of change, but don’t actually effect change. On this episode of The Axiom Amnesia Theory, Heit & Cheri tackle accomplishing charitable giving and whether petitions really help to bring about desired change.
Topics discussed include a charity (GiveDirectly) that gives money to poor people via cell phones using the M-Pesa system–they can spend it however they like, giving people what they need directly versus giving them money to spend on whatever they like, having a monetary system versus being moneyless and having all things you want and need available to you, how much of charitable goods actually make it into the hands of the needy, a White House petition to have Ron Paul added to Mount Rushmore, Trayvon Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump wrote calling for people to sign a petition and vote in midterm elections for “amendments” to stand your ground laws in 21 of 31 states, the need to look in the right places for thought leaders, the city of Columbia “dealing with the homeless” rather than dealing with the actual condition of homelessness, panhandlers intimidating people entering commercial establishments–Walgreens and some fast food drive-thrus seem to attract this practice, and more!
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- Discussion about a charity (GiveDirectly) that gives money to poor people via cell phones using the M-Pesa system–they can spend it however they like. The idea is that people will spend the money on whatever they need.
A group of economists is launching a charity with a simple but radical plan: Give money to very poor people, and let them spend it however they want.
The recipients live in rural Kenya, typically in mud huts with dirt floors. They make about $1 a day.
The charity is called GiveDirectly. It’s the outgrowth of relatively new technology, and a very old economic idea.
The new technology is a system called M-Pesa, which lets people send and receive money via cell phones. It’s quickly become very popular in Kenya among people who are too poor to be served by the traditional banking system. (Here’s an NPR story on M-Pesa from earlier this year.)
M-Pesa radically lowers the cost of getting money into the hands of poor people in remote areas, and gives people without access to traditional banks a way to safely save money. Many very poor people in Kenya have cell phones, as it turns out; GiveDirectly gives SIM cards to people who don’t have phones.
The old economic idea is that people generally make rational choices about what’s best for them. It follows that a bottom-up system that allows people to make their own decisions is often preferable to a top-down approach in which outside experts decide what will work best.
- Discussion about giving people what they need directly versus giving them money to spend on whatever they like.
- Discussion about how the song “We are the World” raised money for charity to feed starving Africans.
- Discussion about having a monetary system versus being moneyless and having all things you want and need available to you.
- Of what theses charities buy, how much gets to the people? How much is wasted or spoils in storehouses?
- Is the reason the charity uses the M-Pesa to simply raise the visibility of this system?
- DO you know the presidents who appear on Mount Rushmore?
- Discussion about a White House petition to have Ron Paul added to Mount Rushmore.
Ron Paul is the most Constitutional Revolutionary of the modern era. Like many others on Mount Rushmore, he stands for individual liberty and freedom.
His consistent stance in congressional politics for freedom merits a spot next to the very founding fathers that he takes inspiration, and constitutes his views from.
No man alive today, has the ambition or veracity for freedom like Ron Paul does. This is why he should be on Mount Rushmore, because he shares the very American spirit that our founders fought and died for.
Source: White House
- Wouldn’t Roosevelt be considered a liberal by their standards? Do these people even know who’s already on Mount Rushmore. They weren’t all “founding fathers”.
- These White House petitions are basically making a mockery of change through petitions. Well the petitions don’t work.
- It would be nice to have a list of White House petitions that actually resulted in the petitioned request being granted.
- Discussion about all the secession petitions from the various states that were submitted on the White House webiste.
- Discussion about an op ed that Trayvon Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump wrote, calling for “amendments” to stand your ground laws in 21 of 31 states. He calls for people to sign a petition and vote in the midterm elections.
As I travel the country, many people tell me they wish they had been on the jury in the criminal trial of the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. I tell them that although they did not have a vote in those proceedings, they do have a vote in establishing Trayvon’s legacy.
This vote, your vote, will be historic. It starts when you sign the Change.org petition by Trayvon’s family to amend “stand-your-ground” laws in 21 of the 31 states where they are on the books. It continues when you cast your vote in the 2014 midterm elections and each election cycle beyond until we make history by passing a Trayvon Martinamendment to the stand-your-ground laws in every state that has them. These actions will make you part of new voting bloc: The Trayvon Martin voter.
Source: Washington Post
- What are the requested amendments? The people pushing for these changes never outline specifically want they want changed. How can you change something that you haven stated that you want changed. They need a summary of changes.
- Are these “amendments” to SYG an interim step to doing away with them?
- Do the people calling for amendments and those supporting them really understand the law?
- Discussion about the many activities that the Trayvon Martin Foundation is participating in.
- Discussion about the need to look in the right places for thought leaders.
- Discussion about the city of Columbia, “dealing with the homeless” rather than dealing with homelessness. They basically just want to get people who appear undesirable away from the businesses.
The City of Columbia is about to launch a new strategy to deal with the homeless in the downtown area.
The plan is a direct result of last week’s unanimous vote by the City Council, but that vote created a difficult challenge for the Columbia Police Department.
It’s one thing for city officials or the business community to say something needs to be done to reduce the presence of the homeless in the downtown business district. It’s another thing entirely to make it happen and accomplish that objective in a morally and legally acceptable fashion.
But that is exactly the task being handed to Columbia Police because its officers will be on the front line of enforcing the city’s council directive.
The new plan says police have to try to move dozens, if not hundreds, of people to the city’s winter shelter or some other appropriate place.
In some circumstances, those who resist might end up facing arrest.
Interim Police Chief Ruben Santiago says his department will try to be sensitive while keeping in mind the potential for violations of civil liberties.
“We want to make sure we’re doing things with a legal right,” said Santiago. “Meaning it’s a great idea to get them to those service providers. We always ask questions like, ‘How can we do that without infringing on someone’s civil liberties or their right to be on their own?’”
- Discussion about panhandlers intimidating people entering commercial establishments–Walgreens and some fast food drive-thrus seem to attract this practice.
- Heit & Cheri agree that there shouldn’t be laws prohibiting panhandling. People have the option to either not shop in these businesses and the businesses will be forced to provide appropriate security for their patrons.
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