eXTReMe Tracker WARNING: The opinions expressed and linked to in this blog are not necessarily mine (anymore).

My ideas are constantly changing as I learn. Sometimes they even change midway through writing a post.

Sunday, January 9

The Right to Exist

Upon further reflection, I think the quote from Ayn Rand is exactly wrong.

"The issue is not whether you give a dime to a beggar. The issue is whether you have a right to exist if you don't."

I don't think there's anyone suggesting that by not giving, a person doesn't have the right to exist. The issue is whether to give a dime to a beggar or not.

I think that particular issue is more complex than it seems. Whether to give might not depend so much on a particular person or group's neediness but on what is the best thing to do. What is the best use of resources? Calling America "stingy" suggests that some people very strongly think America isn't making the best use of resources and the best use is "obvious" enough that not acting on it warrants some nastiness. I don't happen to agree with the attitude of the critics. It is not obvious how much money, if any, should be given toward Tsunami victims. Money given in relief efforts doesn't always make it to the victims, and the victims don't always make the best use of it. The more given, the more important it is to carefully assess the best possible use of money. It seems to me that America is doing just that.

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