I saw a post the other day the very title of which froze me in my proverbial tracks. The title was this — “It’s Simple: Giving Back Must Be a Part of Doing Business” — and it’s rubbish. Start here:
The more profitable we are as a company, the more we are able to give back to the communities around the world where we do business.
Absolutely not. The more profitable we are as companies, the more we are able to give to the communities in which we do business. But we don’t give back anything to anyone.
By whatever measure you happen to be profitable, did you steal it? Was it lent to you? Was it acquired by subterfuge, artifice, or hoodwinking? Did you find a suitcase full of cash in a landfill? A lost wallet? Did you swindle the elderly or the otherwise unsuspecting? No? Then you don’t have to give it back. You can share some of it. But that’s giving. It’s not giving back. And the very notion that anything has to be given back is as dangerous as it is false.
And while we’re asking questions, where does this feel-good balderdash come from? It no doubt derives from some political palaver about fair shares. What’s a fair share? By whose definition? By what authority? Why do we feel so guilty about succeeding? Why should we? Does financial success deprive us of our senses of generosity and charity? Of common sense and compassionate consideration According to whom?
Are those who work hard, take risks, make life better for others and become wealthy in the process the people who should be held up to ridicule and scorn? (Walter E. Williams)
If this isn’t pandering, kids, it’s the result of pandering. We’ve become so accustomed to being told what’s right, fair, and socially just — we’ve become so accepting of the fallacy that equality can be mandated or legislated into reality (it can’t) — that we feel guilty if we’re not being emotionally extorted into giving back. Rubbish.
Much of the social history of the Western world over the past three decades has been a history of replacing what worked with what sounded good. (Thomas Sowell)
Rather than point fingers, I’ll personalize this argument: I don’t need to be told what’s right, fair, or socially just. My parents taught me that willingly sharing what I have to share with those in need is all of those things. If we’ve gotten to the point at which government is a surrogate parent, we’re not giving back anything.
We’re being taken from — more and more all the time.
Image by HeatherPaque, courtesy of pixabay.com.