Wounded warriors, feed hungry kids and a host of other “nonprofit” groups have hit the airwaves with requests for donations. Some of them, like some other nonprofits, represent a good cause. They also epitomize ineffective policy. Why are wounded veterans put in a position where they are unable to provide for their needs? Is it the system or is the donation used to provide a higher standard of living? Should the standard provided for these wounded veterans be raised? What is this level?
This is a policy issue.
Some of it comes down to money. Homelessness issues are discussed in prior blog posts, but some of these nonprofits are addressing issues society should never accept. Hungry children are unacceptable but a simple policy solution doesn’t exist. Parental rights, child welfare, lawyers, courts and the existing bureaucracy are all intended to help, but often fail. If a child does not have enough to eat, should a nonprofit be established to provide food? Some would say due to government inaction, or insufficient action, it is necessary.
The need for such an organization is a scream for bureaucratic reorganization and exemplifies the inefficiencies of the current system. Like other policies, while more money is always the panacea, it is often not the correct solution. Take hungry kids. Before society gives money to feed these children, some information must be evaluated. Why aren’t mom and dad feeding these kids? Most parents I know would starve before they let their kids go hungry, but the bell curve is real and some parents are different. As a society, we need to enforce the kids come first mantra.
With a big stick!
Society does not teach how to live frugally and while some learn, others don’t. I have heard stories from teachers who know the parents make enough to support their children, but simply don’t. Others who make enough, but insist the standard of living they provide their children is higher than what they experienced; their kids had it better than them, and they turned out fine. At what point does society step in and say enough. Most people have no problem providing food for children, but get angry when it is discovered mom and dad make enough money, but would prefer a newer car than to feed their children a healthy diet.
As with many policy debates, or pleas for additional funding, the solutions are not always acceptable even though they may be simple. We need fewer “courts of law” and more solution-based mediation. If money is received from the government, scrutiny should occur. We need to stop perpetuating bureaucracies that inadequately pursue their statutory charges. Some would argue government support does not include divulging how money is spent or justifying each expenditure.
I say it does.
It would do wonders for money management and force people to learn societal information. Most people who make a decent living are willing to help, to provide a hand up. That is what some of these policies were originally intended to provide, but have since turned into a continuous handout. Some of these programs were only meant to be a stipend, but have turned into an entitlement. The allocation has been raised to include more things without any accountability. Until the citizenry demand work for government support, and accountability as to how government dollars are spent, the nonprofit world will continue to thrive.
We can do better.