Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Just emptying my brain

On the radio last night they were talking about charity versus state help for those in need, especially as the number is likely to rise as we're in a recession. I'm not sure about the outcome of the discussion between an Anglican, a Catholic and a Jew but the rabbi said something very interesting.

She said that Jews -I assume she means practising Orthodox Jews - are obliged by scriptures to give 10% of their income to charity but that the word used for charity in that instance doesn't mean giving to the poor but rather evening-out the wealth. Which is a lovely way of putting it I think.

I don't think I've explained that very well. It is given to the poor but I suppose it's not seen as munificence but fairness.

P.S. I mistyped a word back there as intersting. Spellchecka asked me if I meant inters ting. Why would I mean that?!!!


Gledwood said...

I want to type out "inters ting" all the time. Yeah man.

Righto, now Liz, don't you think the sign of a civilized society is that it looks after its poor voluntarily rather than by tooth-extraxion-style duress??

This is the debate I had with my former champagne commie friends of university days. I thought a burgeoning charity sector that provided for the needs of the underprivileged, run by those who saw fit to GIVE time, funded by those who wanted to GIVE funds, was infinitely superior than extracting by compulsory taxation

But the commie friends disagreed...

... interestingly they were all from really bourgeois families, afflicted (often sorely) with "middle-class guilt"... and I'd love to see how their ideologies have changed between uni days and now. Because I bet their beliefs have altered far more than mine, which were unidealistic, drab-grey and politically centrist to start with...

Just a thought Liz!!

Liz said...

Hi Gleds, I think one of the conclusions of the debate was that help given voluntarily was more likely to be given with love and respectfully - although there are plenty of very lovely social workers I'm sure!

Ole Phat Stu said...

Inters Ting :

inters : to bury

Ting : the Icelandic parliament

Thus "Inters Ting" = motto of the recent popular uprising amongst icelandic bank customers/bailout liabilitees ;-)

Any questions?

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

Yep. I agree with the rabbi. The laws in Deuteronomy tell the farmer not to harvest 10% of their field so that those in need may harvest it. And the Year of Jubilee was supposed to be when every 50 years all slaves were freedom, all debts forgiven, and everything evened out by returning land to whomever owned it 50 years before, supposed when everything was equal.

I have often thought about what a difference following such "laws" would make to our world.

Eunoia said...

I'm not sure all of them deserve support, charitable or taxpayers' money! Some deserve locking away, permanently!

Today’s UK DOJ report figures show that one in four - or 70,000 - offenders sentenced for serious crimes in all courts had FIFTEEN or more serious convictions.

More than one third of those convicted of burglary, and a similar percentage of those convicted of theft and handling stolen goods, had FIFTEEN or more previous convictions .

Sixty per cent of those convicted of shoplifting had three or more previous sanctions for the same crime, thirty eight per cent of
burglars and thirty per cent of people punished for drunkenness.

Deportation to Australia is no longer a viable option; maye Russia needs some people to build/repair the roads in Siberia?

Liz said...

They would certainly make a difference, nick!

I think every one of us needs help and support at some times, stu.

Furtheron said...

Interesting... I watched something on the TV about America once where they talked about the way richer Americans like to do big charity dos etc. The argument is that they pass on some of their wealth. Okay but the only issue with that is that will people only pick the glamours charities? Isn't that why we pay tax to the state as then (hopefully) there is a better distribution than if left to benevolence? Not sure if that is the right answer or not but I'd worry if it was all down to what the rich wanted to give to personally.

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