A Modest Proposal to Ban Volunteering

If people aren't allowed to work for $7.24 an hour, even if they want to, then they darn well shouldn't be allowed to work for $0 an hour either.

President Obama and congressional Democrats are hoping they can make political hay out of campaigning to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray wants to raise it to $15. And social-justice activists there say even that falls far too short. How right they are!

But if we are serious about addressing economic inequality and restoring social justice, then a minimum wage increase should be just the start. We also need to outlaw volunteering.

The corporate media have brainwashed Americans into thinking that volunteerism is a good thing. Maybe people wouldn't think like that if we called it what it really is: working for nothing. Sixty million U.S. suckers put in nearly 8 billion hours last year doing this so-called "service work" for deep-pocketed churches, civic groups, PTAs, Little Leagues and animal shelters. Why should those fat cats get rich off the backs of the toiling and exploited masses?

Anybody who has ever done a stretch for a charitable cause knows just how hard it can be. Organizing a weekend camping trip for a dozen Cub Scouts makes the invasion of Normandy look like a game of musical chairs. Moving all the food and equipment, setting up the tents, cooking over a fire, keeping the boys from stabbing one another to death with sticks — it's hot, sweaty, exhausting work. With mosquitoes to boot.

If Scouting asked somebody to do it for money, the organization would have to pay at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Even if somebody were willing to do the job for $5 an hour — for the experience or the résumé-padding or whatever — s/he couldn't. It's against the law. Well, then! If we don't let someone work for $5 an hour, why do we let anybody work for $0 an hour? We're a better country than that, people.

Now some are going to say there's a difference between working for a for-profit corporation and a nonprofit corporation. Don't you believe it. Nonprofits still have to obey other federal laws, don't they? Can a nonprofit ignore occupational safety standards? Can it flout environmental rules? Of course not. So why do nonprofits get a free pass on wages for "volunteers"?

Besides, which part of the IRS code the organization files its taxes under makes no difference to the laborer putting in the hours. If you help build a two-story starter house for Ryland Homes, the seventh-largest homebuilder in the U.S., you're guaranteed a minimum hourly wage. If you help build the exact same house for Habitat for Humanity, the 10th-largest homebuilder, you're guaranteed squat. And squat doesn't put groceries on the table.

You might also hear that charities and civic groups run on shoestring budgets. If they had to pay their volunteers minimum wage, they might be forced to automate certain processes, or even close up shop. Boo, hoo. A lot of small businesses spout the same color manure: Raising the minimum wage could create an incentive to replace people with machines or force them out of business. If we don't listen to them, why should we listen to charities?

Some people are going to say volunteers like the work and agree to do it for free, so that makes the pay scale OK. Wrong! First of all, the premise is highly questionable. Ask your school's PTA secretary how much he looks forward to writing the monthly newsletter. He probably got volun-told to do it when nobody else would. Anyway, just because volunteers agree to work for free doesn't mean we should let them. Some people would agree to work for less than the minimum wage if we let them — but we don't, do we?

You know what else we need to outlaw? Community-service requirements. Lots of high schools have them, on the theory that they teach "character" and "civic responsibility" and similar capitalist propaganda. By that logic, letting a teenager flip burgers at McDonald's for three bucks an hour would teach him important skills like "responsibility" and "punctuality." So what? If Joey Zitface wants to flip burgers, we demand that he get paid the minimum wage and not one penny less. Yet then we turn around and tell him he won't get his diploma unless he puts in 25 hours clearing brush for the municipal park service absolutely free. It makes no sense.

Look, it's really simple. If people aren't allowed to work for $7.24 an hour, even if they want to, then they darn well shouldn't be allowed to work for $0 an hour either. To quote America's greatest president, Barack Obama, "It's time to give America a raise."

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Fluffy||

    This has already been done.

    Internships are being driven out of the marketplace.

  • umh||

    So it hasn't been done yet.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Does this include nonprofits like the NFL?

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Unitarian Universalist minister preaches about himself, and Abraham Lincoln, on Memorial Day:

    "...Lincoln not only was informed by great personal suffering, his actions, which continue to seem to me to have been right, nonetheless led to a flood of blood across this country. Many, many died or were maimed, maybe a million people. People were forced to do things against their will, their property taken, their lives impoverished. While others were freed from bondage; best estimate seems to be four million people. What about that, all of it?

    "...I have friends who think he really was just a political hack that got lucky, at least so far as history is concerned. What about that?

    "...I look inside myself and I try to find that nimbleness....So, for instance, while I was in the position to be one of the principal religious voices in the run up to achieving marriage equality here in Rhode Island, during the struggle I tried hard, not always successfully, but constantly, to recall how those who were opposed to it were not evil. Rather they were caught up in stories of tradition and faith..."

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/m.....ermon.html

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I don't know what got your dander all up in that article, but considering that Memorial Day has its origins in the aftermath of the Civil War, isn't discussion of Lincoln apropos? Likewise, since he is a Soto Zen monk as well as a UU minister, as a fellow Zen Buddhist, I get his message of the dangers of dogmatic thinking and the necessity to be adaptive, to change...to be like water, my friends.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Some background - I'm not dandered up, I just found it amusing. Didn't know about the Zen monk part.

    I like to search Google News for Lincoln stories as part of my quest to bring quality trolling to you, the consumer.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    ...and there's the subtle suggestion that if you oppose state-recognized SSM, you're like the slavers Lincoln fought. But try not to hate them!

  • WDATPDIM?!||

    ...and there's the subtle suggestion that if you oppose state-recognized SSM, you're like the slavers Lincoln fought. But try not to hate them!

    The ultimate twist of the knife--not only do I hold the correct and virtuous position on this issue, but I'm also so far above you that I'm really trying my darnedest to forgive you for your evil thoughts.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    I like to search Google News for Lincoln stories as part of my quest to bring quality trolling to you, the consumer.

    A voluntary service you provide for which we are truly... um... thankful?

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    You're right, you should pay me, not exploit me as a volunteer!

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Welcome to the ranks of the unemployed.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    I think Eddie just got fired.

  • wareagle||

    but considering that Memorial Day has its origins in the aftermath of the Civil War,

    Uh, maybe / maybe not:
    http://www.snopes.com/military/memorialday.asp

    Not to mention a picture of black kids, purportedly in Charleston in May 1865 where the trees have no leaves, the kids are wearing coats, and they're giving a curious salute.

  • LiveFreeOrDiet||

    I don't see the picture you mention.

    As I understand it, the Ladies Memorial Association passed a resolution to set aside a day to memorialize the Confederate dead. An open letter inviting Southern ladies to join them was written in March, 1866. April 26, the first anniversary of General Johnston's final surrender to General Sherman was chosen. Dates of actual observance varied, mainly due to local dates flowers bloomed.

  • alittlesense||

    Yeah well, what about Honest Abe's vampire hunting? Does this guy hunt vampires too?

  • misthiocracy||

    You joke, but I often heard Leftists seriously make this suggestion.

    Volunteers, you see, take jobs away from "real" workers.

    Volunteers, you see, most often come from the upper classes, and much be punished.

    Just think about every time a volunteer group wants to beautify a vacant lot, or fix potholes, or whatever, and are told by their city government that they can't because it's a union job.

  • Irish||

    Sort of like how internships should be banned according to some feverish progressives.

    Because a 21 year old getting experience he otherwise wouldn't be able to get is evil...or something.

  • LiveFreeOrDiet||

    My 16-year-old is involved with us in the local chapter of the HLAA. Because of that she interned with an AuD for a week during winter break. Because of that she got to intern with another AuD in a mobile hearing clinic for someone else. Turns out he also teaches at the university where she wants to go.
    Between all that, her grades and her volunteering with children, she got a summer job at a nearby state park with the first job application she ever put in. Official teen unemployment is running about 24%, and this kid makes it look easy.
    Volunteering and interning can be very effective.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    She shouldn't need to go through all that just to find a job. Besides, it's unfair to all the other 16 yos that your kid got a job based upon merit. How dare she flaunt her privilege like that? What about all those teenagers from broken homes who are unable to volunteer, huh, what about them?

    Typical 1 percenter...thinks she is better than everyone else just because she works hard.

  • LiveFreeOrDiet||

    She tells me to write, 'flaunting her privilege is her idea of fun.'

  • lap83||

    +1 golden monocle

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Irish,

    Well, unpaid interns are victims of exploitation, so they must be protected from the greed of evil corporations by making them unemployable.

    Aren't Proggies such charitable and kind-hearted folks? You can thank liberals for saving civilization.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    The only volunteer I can support.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Type it in Chinese so that it's understandable.

  • UCrawford||

  • Sevo||

    Coders! Cleanup on Hinkle article, stat!
    Copy running all over the page! Bring a mop!

  • Hyperion||

    Coders on on a holiday, dude.

    Besides, the code behind H&R cannot be saved, it's squirrel fodder.

  • Hyperion||

    And as you can see by the grammar above, coders dranked too much also.

  • WDATPDIM?!||

    I hate to suggest this, inasmuch as it will cause me to be poster non grata, but maybe they could take a little from the princely sums they pay Gillespie and Welch and use it to buy/hire more/better equipment/IT people?

  • Sevo||

    Maybe they could fly coach to the cruises!

  • WDATPDIM?!||

    Yeah! Who's wit me?

  • ||

    Even if somebody were willing to do the job for $5 an hour — for the experience or the résumé-padding or whatever — s/he couldn't.

    Progressive used to say something about the government keeping its laws off their bodies but I may have misunderstood the message.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    They did focus groups and found that libertarian rhetoric helped bring some swing voters over to the choicer side. Doesn't mean they believe the rhetoric themselves.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Abortion tools for vaginas, penises in butts, and marijuana for 5% of the populace. Our bodies, our choice.

  • Hyperion||

    Abortion tools for vaginas, penises in butts

    At least, in new progresso world, we can stop worrying about the population bomb.

  • Sevo||

    "Progressive used to say something about the government keeping its laws off their bodies"

    If a a mouth or a pen was moving, or something was being typed, they were lying.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    "5 Anti-Circumcision Celebs

    "THESE STARS HAVE ALL SPOKEN OUT AGAINST THE PRACTICE"

    Alicia Silverstone, Howard Stern, Russell Brand, Ben Affleck, Roseanne Barr

    http://www.newser.com/story/18.....elebs.html

  • Fluffy||

    Whenever I think to myself, "Who do I wish I was more like?" I immediately answer, "Roseanne Barr!"

    Pause.

    "Or maybe Alicia Silverstone!"

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Well, I'm convinced. How could I argue with all that credibility?

  • Hyperion||

    If Rosanne Barr is for it, I'm against it, if she's against it, I'm for it.

    Just using that method, I can be right 99% of the time without even thinking about the issue.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Kind of like betting on football with my cousin.

  • Irish||

    Since Roseanne Barr is anti-circumcision, I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to take the most extreme position possible in opposition to her.

    I am now officially in favor of castrating all boys at birth.

    Discuss.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Now *that* she supports.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    I like to boil the foreskins down into a broth and serve over pork.

  • gaoxiaen||

    + (or minus) 1 foreskin

  • Jayburd||

    On circumsision, I'll just quote Nancy Pelosi-"There's nothing left to cut".

  • The Late P Brooks||

    You'll never guess what else we need to outlaw.

    With a California town grieving the deaths of six college students killed by a mentally ill man, one victim's father Monday blamed the killings on politicians who failed to tighten gun laws after a mass school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

    Richard Martinez, whose son Christopher Michael-Martinez, 20, was gunned down Friday night in Isla Vista, Calif., said similar rampages would continue until lawmakers took action on guns.

    "We're all proud to be Americans. But what kind of message does it send to the world when we have such a rudderless bunch of idiots in government?" Martinez said on CNN.

    ------

    Martinez said his son died because Congress had failed to act after a mentally ill gunman killed 26 people in December 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

    "These people are getting rich sitting in Congress. And what do they do? They don't take care of our kids," he said.

    Legislation after Sandy Hook to extend background checks for gun sales, ban assault weapons and limit magazines' capacities failed to clear the Senate in April 2013. Gun-rights advocates strongly opposed the measures.

    We should round up all the weirdos and out them in camps, too, I suspect.

  • Hyperion||

    we have such a rudderless bunch of idiots in government

    Even a moron occasionally says something that is right, although likely by accident.

  • Sevo||

    ""These people are getting rich sitting in Congress. And what do they do? They don't take care of our kids," he said"

    I'm pretty sure he meant this as a negative, but the only negative I see is the cost of keeping those folks there.
    He wants them to 'take care of our kids"? WIH is your job, dad?

  • Hyperion||

    One of the biggest problems with our country today is that idiots like this, vote.

    I don't think he really has an issue that congress critters, who are supposed to be pubic servants, are getting rich by stealing tax payers money, while at the same time not having a clue that the scope of their job is supposed to fall far short of taking care of his kids.

  • american socialist||

    Right-winger coughs up his own turd onto keyboard, makes joke about a grieving father's illogical politics, then makes point whose significance is lost to everyone else but him.

    Others left wondering why libertarians receive 1% of vote.

  • Hyperion||

    Talk about not making any sense, you just took the grand prize.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Seriously AS, how old are you? You sound as though you're about 16. Your posts are poorly constructed. Your thoughts are jumbled. Your views are incredibly naive (when they are comprehensible). Your logic is non-existent. Your jokes are sophomoric.

    If you aren't 16 (or younger) you should be embarrassed.

  • Sevo||

    "Your thoughts are jumbled."

    Didn't see this earlier.
    Yesterday commie-kid was telling us that Gavin Newsom is a libertarian congress-critter.
    It gives you some idea of how closely commie-kid is acquainted with reality.

  • american socialist||

    He was the guy marrying gay people in sf while being excoriated by people like you.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    So that makes him a libertarian...how???

  • Sevo||

    Makes him a congress-critter, too!
    Hey, commie-kid! What are the 57 branches of government?

  • Sevo||

    "He was the guy marrying gay people in sf while being excoriated by people like you."

    Oh, and to be clear, I've celebrated marriages with at least 5 gay friends; I've gotten grief here for supporting it.
    Dipshit.

  • american socialist||

    Whatever, pops.

    You mean I don't have what it takes to write for a magazine that promotes pop-Austrian economics for pseudo-anarchist cult members. Boo-fucking hoo... I'm going to cry myself to sleep. Who would publish your nonsense if it weren't for the libertarian soul bros of Koch and scaife.

  • Sevo||

    Yeah, Frank, you mister smarty pants! So there! And LOL, too!

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    You mean I don't have what it takes to write for a magazine...

    No, I mean you don't have what it takes to make a coherent point.

    Tell me AS, has school let out for summer vacation yet? You going with mom and dad down to the shore again this summer? Make sure they let you take your bike so you won't be relying on them to drive you everywhere.

  • Andrew S.||

    If he's like most kids I've known who were like that, his mom and dad bought him a BMW when he got his license on his 16th birthday. He's good.

  • american socialist||

    Yeah, right! Try a 20 year old baby blue station wagon. I promptly painted a peace sign on it when George bush the first went to war. I went to an elite prep school where the *average* car was a BMW. Most of the people I went to school with were irritating Republican trust fund babies. Our class vote for President in 1988 wasn't close. I believe I wrote in Jesse Jackson.

  • Sevo||

    So I see you're as good at whining as you are at making stupid statements. Not surprising.
    I presume you've now labeled the peace sign for Obama's attention? That war monger has Bush beat all hollow; at least Bush got congress to agree.

  • american socialist||

    Who's whining? I knew very quickly I didn't want to be associated with Blue blood Republicanism. Did that agreement extend to left-wing Democrats? Paul Wellstone voted for the war? You right- wingers are always being persecuted. Your stress hormone levels must be making you sick. Pity.

  • Sevo||

    american socialist|5.26.14 @ 8:30PM|#
    "Who's whining?"
    You

    "I knew very quickly I didn't want to be associated with Blue blood Republicanism."
    And I'm sure your slimy politics were not welcome to them.

    "Did that agreement extend to left-wing Democrats? Paul Wellstone voted for the war?"
    What?

    "You right- wingers are always being persecuted. Your stress hormone levels must be making you sick. Pity."
    You slimy lefties are forever hoping to jail those you don't like. Must be tough when you don't get a chance. Pity.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Just don't buy him a gun. Take him to a hooker.

  • Brandon Magoon||

    Pop-Austrian economics? You mean the "pop-Austrian economics" that correctly predicted the current economic mess we're in?

  • american socialist||

    Hi "Frank",

    Just one more thing... Sorry. Can you tell me why libertarians should worry about labor unions. I've been looking for answers, but received none. Thanks, man.

  • Sevo||

    american socialist|5.26.14 @ 2:23PM|#
    ..."I've been looking for answers,"...

    No you haven't, you lying pile of shit, you've been hoping someone makes a silly statement so you can spring your adolescent "trap"!
    It's easy to smell your stench a mile off.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Not quite sure what this has to do with anything, but...

    Unions buy congressional support to pass laws favoring labor which, distorts the market, artificially drives up the costs of goods and services and inhibits economic growth.

  • Knarf the Yenrabian||

    Favoring Big Labor. Non-union workers have always been enemy no. 1 to any union lobbyist, which is why unions are always pro-minimum wage and almost always anti-immigrant.

  • american socialist||

    Libertarians care about lobbying? Don't let the guys who write the checks for the guys that write your checks see that one.

    Nevertheless, I appreciate the answer. You have no idea the names a socialist gets called when he asks a libertarian about labor unions.

    As for my writing... What can I say? I'm an amateur and don't get paid for slinging right-wing bullshit. I'll try to do a better job the next time I'm defending a Reason contributor from "libertarians" on abortion, immigration, voter ID, and the legacy of George Bush. Think of me as a fickle friend.

  • Sevo||

    american socialist|5.26.14 @ 7:25PM|#
    "Libertarians care about lobbying? Don't let the guys who write the checks for the guys that write your checks see that one."
    No, you stupid shit, we care about the government being big enough to make that worthwhile.

    "Nevertheless, I appreciate the answer. You have no idea the names a socialist gets called when he asks a libertarian about labor unions."
    Yeah, if you ever argued with a hint of honesty, you wouldn't constantly get called on your bullshit.

    "As for my writing... What can I say? I'm an amateur and don't get paid for slinging right-wing bullshit. I'll try to do a better job the next time I'm defending a Reason contributor from "libertarians" on abortion, immigration, voter ID, and the legacy of George Bush. Think of me as a fickle friend."
    So it's one lie after the other and you wonder why people call you a dishonest ignoramus?
    Find ONE person here who favored Bush AT ALL.

  • american socialist||

    I don't know. I wasn't around. There sure are a lot of people around here wielding Booosch arguments.

    I'm popping another bag of popcorn for the next election when the Reason commentariat lays it on good and deep for why its a good idea to vote for Le Tea Party authoritarian de jour. can i get back to you then? I trust you aren't voting for the elephant shit party in 2014?

    Quick question: did George bush or Barack Obama start the war in Afghanistan? You act like its reversed.

  • Sevo||

    american socialist|5.26.14 @ 8:26PM|#
    "I don't know. I wasn't around. There sure are a lot of people around here wielding Booosch arguments."
    You're stupid enough to claim Newsom is a libertarian, so I'm sure anyone who despises the nastiness of the left is by your definition promoting Booosh arguments. Bullshot

    "I'm popping another bag of popcorn for the next election when the Reason commentariat lays it on good and deep for why its a good idea to vote for Le Tea Party authoritarian de jour. can i get back to you then? I trust you aren't voting for the elephant shit party in 2014?"
    Who I vote for is my business, but I'm pretty sure I can count on the fingers of one hand how many GOPers have gotten my vote and those were all local.

    "Quick question: did George bush or Barack Obama start the war in Afghanistan? You act like its reversed."
    Quick questions:
    Did Obama end the war in Afganistan such as he promised he'd do? Or did he keep it running for 6 years and then promise to "end" by leaving the troops there?
    Did Obama commit troops in Libya without getting congressional approval?

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    That's twice you've called people here "right-wing".

    You right- wingers are always being persecuted.
    I'm an amateur and don't get paid for slinging right-wing bullshit.

    Libertarians are not right wing. A little advice. Know what the fuck you're talking about before spewing bullshit and you won't sound like such a moron.

  • Sevo||

    "A little advice. Know what the fuck you're talking about before spewing bullshit and you won't sound like such a moron."
    You're expecting commie-kid to act as if s/he had a brain! Not gonna happen; commie-kid likes commies. No brain there.

  • Irish||

    Just one more thing... Sorry. Can you tell me why libertarians should worry about labor unions. I've been looking for answers, but received none. Thanks, man.

    Because they pay off politicians and use thug tactics to get laws passed which favor their leaders and entrenched members while harming other workers, consumers, and taxpayers and destroying the fiscal state of both municipalities and states.

    There's also the little fact that Unions are frequently exempt from stalking and harassment laws, a fact which allows them to threaten, harass and abuse people who disagree with them to a level which would be illegal if anyone other than a well-heeled union member did it.

    Libertarians hate them for the same reason we hate cronies who use the government to entrench their business interests. Which you'd know if you weren't a drooling moron with the intelligence of a very stupid squirrel.

  • Sevo||

    ..."if you weren't a drooling moron with the intelligence of a very stupid squirrel."

    Hey, Irish, someone just read your comment and he's not pleased!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vW3jB3fFq4M

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    He is now working as a moderator for Reason.

  • Sansos||

    Personally I'm fine with unions, as an idea, but as they are currently practiced with so much extra wieght given to them in the court of law plus as Frank mentioned the exemptions from harassment stalking and vandalism laws leads and how isolated the top of the labour pile is from the actual people they supposedly represent and the violations of the right to associate of non right to work states, leads to curuption as bad as the "big corporations" they are so often against.

  • Fluffy||

    makes joke about a grieving father's illogical politics

    Grief is not an excuse for illogical politics.

    Fuck his grief.

    If acknowledging that his politics are illogical means I have to stay suck in the 1%, fuck it, I'm in.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    They don't take care of our kids," he said.

    It's not governments job to take care of your kid. As a parent, you are responsible for your kid. Besides, your kid was a 20 year old man. He wasn't a kid. Perhaps if you had taught him how to handle a gun, he could have stopped the crazy guy? Maybe you could have taught him to be aware of his environment, and how to protect himself? So Mr. Martinez, do you want Congress to mandate self-defense courses and weapons training? How about mandatory open-carry for every able-bodied adult. I could get with that.

  • Jerryskids||

    I think some of the social justice rhetoric about living wages and standards of living and the like show not just economic ignorance but innumeracy. Some people seriously believe that everybody is entitled an above-average standard of living (without any conception of what an average standard of living is or costs)and arguing with them that it's simply not possible for everybody to have an above-average income demonstrates that you hate poor people rather than that you understand math.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Here we go-

    Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said that Rodger was seen by a variety of healthcare professionals and it was "very, very apparent he was severely mentally disturbed."

    Despite the signs, no one viewed Rodger as a danger.

    "We never, as a society, got that opportunity with this boy—to find out if society could have intervened," Carla Jacobs, a prominent advocate for an effective mental health system in California, told the Los Angeles Times.

    Brown said his department had been in contact with Rodger three times. They included a welfare check at the request of his family in which deputies found him to be polite and courteous and not appearing to meet criteria for involuntarily incarceration.

    Obviously we need to redefine "danger" to include thousands of harmless people in the hope of preventing one dangerous one from acting out the deluded fantasy in his head.

  • Irish||

    Progressives got people released from forced mental care because of all the abuses occurring in the hospitals and the fact that people were basically having their freedom taken away without trial.

    Now they want to bring back the very same forced hospitalizations they got rid of in the first place.

    Basically, whatever we're currently doing in terms of mental health care, progressives assume if we just did the opposite everything would work out wonderfully.

    "We never, as a society, got that opportunity with this boy—to find out if society could have intervened," Carla Jacobs, a prominent advocate for an effective mental health system in California, told the Los Angeles Times.

    Fuck you, I don't live in Santa Barbara. Don't blame me for the failures of your shitty state.

  • Hyperion||

    Now they want to bring back the very same forced hospitalizations they got rid of in the first place.

    But they only want that to get rid of those who don't agree with them on any given issue. In their naivete, they really believe that laws like this will be used to punish and eliminate their political enemies. They truly believe that giving this much power to government will never be turned against themselves.

  • Sevo||

    Hyperion|5.26.14 @ 1:27PM|#
    "Now they want to bring back the very same forced hospitalizations they got rid of in the first place."

    Why, just yesterday, the commie-kid was telling us the left doesn't want to lock people away!
    But he was also telling us the Gavin Newsom is a libertarian congress-critter, so you have some context...

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    "We never, as a society, got that opportunity with this boy—to find out if society could have intervened,"

    So I take it that the family, friends, medical and mental health professionals that were involved with this guy aren't "society". I wonder just what she means with that word.

  • Knarf the Yenrabian||

    "We never, as a society, got that opportunity with this boy—to find out if society could have intervened," Carla Jacobs, a prominent advocate for an effective mental health system in California, told the Los Angeles Times.

    "Society" intervened every time this sociopath had a conversation with his psychologist or physician. No doubt those interventions, made possible only by the accumulation of capital and the specialization of labor, has prevented numerous sociopaths from doing something particularly destructive. It didn't in this case.

    Unless you've been sitting in a full lotus for about a decade, suffering happens. We can minimize suffering by allowing people to seek out and exchange methods of reducing it--not persecuting innocents who want to defend their families and neighborhoods would be a good start--but the idea that human evil is unique to free societies and that it can be eliminated with a social program is an especially moronic idea even by the standards of progressives.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    "Deep Dish Or Thin Crust? Authoritative Chicago Website Will Soon Hit Your Eye...

    "[founder Stephen] Beemsterboer lives in New York now but grew up in Chicago and he created the website to share his love for his hometown staple and to tout his favorite: thin crust.

    "“I really, originally, truly wanted to create a website to dispel that misconception and give our thin crust pizza the credit it deserves to be on par with the deep dish,” he says."

    http://chicago.cbslocal.com/20.....-your-eye/

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    His intellect...

    ...is...

    ...superior.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    WIH is your job, dad?

    It's a rare feat to climb onto the dead body of your own son and shout, "Hey, look over there!"

  • Hyperion||

    He doesn't realize that opportunistic politicians are pointing at him, laughing, and saying 'Look, another useful idiot! Get him on the camera now!'.

  • Jayburd||

    Why? The shooter's dad did it.

  • Aloysious||

    Lefties will miss the sarcasm, and agree that volunteering should be outlawed.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    "We never, as a society, got that opportunity with this boy—to find out if society could have intervened,"

    Maybe because Society in the sense you refer to it is nothing more than a fever dream of your overstretched intellect.

    I will not be assimilated. I will not be subjugated to the will of your preposterous fantasy of an idyllic world ruled by Top Men who all think as you do.

    FUCK OFF, SLAVER.

  • Derpetologist||

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    I used to work at a Borders bookstore that was located about 3 blocks from there. This douchebag used to come in there. I hate that clown.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    Just an observation: non-profits that rely on private donations rather than government programs are more effectively run.

    I've volunteered for food banks and homeless shelters and by far the better ones are always privately funded.

  • SQRLSY One||

    But Lady Bertrum! Don’t you understand, charitable efforts that are un-coerced just DON’T COUNT! Government Almighty puts a gun or a jail or a fine to you head, and you OBEY, now THAT is genuine VIRTUE! You do something lovingly towards your fellow humanoids or the planet or the bunny waaabbbitts or so forth, of your own free will, THAT, you must have done in obedience to the Koch brothers or your lusts for profit, or some other EVIL incentive! Just recall this simple rule: Government Almighty coercively moves money from here to there = GOOD… Voluntary economic intercourse… Whether paid or unpaid… = BAD!!! BAD volunteer!!! BAD volunteer!!!

  • Matrix||

    There's a good reason why. Those who rely on government programs can use "failures" to get more money. Private charities only receive more money if people are willing and able to give. They have an incentive to squeeze as much out of a dollar as they can, especially when times are tight. Government programs just cry about "grandma dying in the street" to keep those "heartless rat-bagging tea-fucker Rethuglicans" from cutting funding.

  • pure_mercury||

    The nonprofit for which I volunteered (and still do, on occasion) gleans unsold produce from farmers markets and boxes it up for local homeless shelters, a Catholic food pantry, and, shockingly allowed in Southern California, an elementary school. So much better-run and more pleasant an organization than the partially government-funded transitional living facility at which I volunteered in high school. Nothing more free market than small businesspeople voluntarily donating food that would otherwise go to waste and sending it almost directly to people who need it, either. Especially considering how farm subsidies and tariffs artificially raise the price of nutritious food.

  • Reverendcaptain||

    Point taken. But there is a legitimate reason to at least question the efficacy of some volunteerism such as what's known as "Voluntourism" with groups traveling to 3rd world countries and building homes or whatnot without any real ability to swing a hammer and amateurish buildings as a result. And actually taking jobs away from locals who could actually do the job.

    There are seriously negative effects of a lot of charitable efforts that should be seriously reconsidered.

  • lap83||

    Why would people choose a free albeit amateurishly constructed house built by someone from halfway around the world, if they could afford a better house done from someone down the block?

  • creech||

    I asked this of a group of local teens who went to Guatemala and "built" a school room. Their airfare alone would have paid the annual wages of five carpenters. I was, of course, denounced as a monocle-polisher.

  • Sevo||

    creech|5.26.14 @ 7:08PM|#
    "I asked this of a group of local teens who went to Guatemala and "built" a school room."

    You are threatening them with the loss of their "authentic" experience in dealing with brown people!

  • buybuydandavis||

    "If we don't let someone work for $5 an hour, why do we let anybody work for $0 an hour? "

    Or not work for $0?

    This is the stupidity of minimum wage laws - the minimum wage is *always* $0. Raising the minimum wage doesn't necessarily mean that you're going to make more money, it may mean that you make *no* money.

  • Sevo||

    I think it's you from whom I stole the line about the real minimum wage.
    To possibly return the favor, you might refer to any m/w increase laws as 'the increased unemployment act'.

  • Response||

    You apparently don't live in our welfare state. There is no such thing a $0/hr.

  • Sevo||

    Well, technically, that's not a "wage"...

  • tom93||

    I'd sign a petition to put this on the ballot - in fact, I might even collect signatures.

  • Response||

    To quote America's greatest president, Barack Obama, "It's time to give America a raise."... raises middle finger.

  • WDATPDIM?!||

    As inspired by President Camacho?

  • cyrus6225||

    its awesome,,, Start working at home with Google. It’s a great work at home opportunity. Just work for few hours. I earn up to $100 a day. I can’t believe how easy it was once I tried it out www.Fox81.com

  • cup of joe||

    Suppose for moment the free price of labor becomes $3/hr. What benefit does it have for society to have a large chunk of population that cannot afford lodging or medical care? Do people advocating this really think enough ppl work at minimum wage and it's a large enough percentage of cost of goods that the cost of living is going to come noticeably down?

  • Sevo||

    ^?
    Try that in English; you might get an answer.

  • WDATPDIM?!||

    I'll take a shot at translating:

    It's better to have people completely dependent on government assistance than to have them doing jobs that pay $3/hour.

  • Sevo||

    Hmm.
    Well, I'm not sold on that. If the low market wage were $3/hr, it means people agree to work for that, so it must be an income people accept.
    I think c-o-j is fantasizing.

  • 619 Limo||

    wonderful

  • Jorono||

    re:CUP of JOE

    Most minimum wage jobs are for teenagers just entering the workforce!!

    You are not expected to support a family on that!!

    Fuck!!

  • Jorono||

    In another thread, Tony said he would consider a waiver for teenagers. What about the guy getting out of prison after 20 years?

    What about the slow guy who can only bag groceries but is 30 years old. I guess we need a new federal dept. The MWWIF - Minimum Wage Waiver Inspection Force.

    Tony could head it up.

    Or, we just let people agree on what their wage with their boss. How novel.

  • steve baker||

    And while we're at it, non-profits should be forced to make a profit to stay in operation rather than rely on special grant programs run by the revolving door power of government bureaucrats and non-profit boards.

  • Edwin||

    ehhh, silly libertarian false-proposal meant to get everyone thinking, but it's not a good one. Most people will immediately see what you're doing and think the "metaphor" stupid and invalid; there's fundamentally a difference between the nature of working for pay to pay the bills and volunteering.

    The one good libertarian metaphor story or whatever you want to call it that I've heard is: There was a country where the king, to protect the industry of his island nation, outlawed the importation of steel. Then one day, a scientist invented a way to cheaply turn wood into steel. He was heralded as a hero and scientific genius. Then one day, a reporter wantrd to do a report on the scientist's technology. After getting the run-around from the scientist, the reporter eventually snuck into the scientist;s facility, and found out that the scientist was just exporting the nation's cheap and plentiful wood and importing steel secretly, as a trade with the nearest country.
    The foreign-trade- is -good lesson is obvious

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    Not only do unions like minimum-wage laws because they reduce the potential for "scab" competition in "legtimate work," many union contracts are indexed to the minimum wage. If the minimum wage earner gets a raise, the union workers do, too. It's a real racket.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement