Friday, June 28, 2013

It Takes a Village vs. Socialism

I saw a story posted by someone on Facebook about a young boy who raised money to pay for his grandmother's funeral. Here it is:

8 year old Michael Diamond of Ohio lost his grandmother recently. He overheard his parents talking about how they couldn't afford a proper burial, so last Thursday, he decided to help out by setting up a stand selling Kool-Aid to raise money for his grandmother's funeral. 
He only sold $55 worth on the first day, but the local news found out about it and did story on Michael. The next day, tons of people came out to buy Kool-Aid! Some people paid $100 a cup. By Monday, he had raised over $5,500! Enough to give his grandmother a decent service. 
One boy with a simple selfless plan + lots of generous people = inspiration and respect! #amazing!

While this is a heartwarming story, I see a couple things that bother me. The cost of funeral expenses, and the effort of setting up a Kool-Aid stand. Something seems pathetic and sad about selling Kool-Aid to raise money for something like this. I guess it's cool that he had the idea, but if it hadn't been for the local news stations, how much would he had raised. That's right: $55. 

I see stuff like this and wonder how people can read this and smile and think, "isn't this great?" Because the bottom line is that this family could not afford to bury his grandmother. Word got out, and people paid money for Kool-Aid, enough money so they could bury his grandmother. Some people donated way more than what a cup of Kool-Aid costs. Did they get $100 worth of Kool-Aid? Of course not. Money was donated. The village stepped up.

So how is this different from socialism? Because Kool-Aid was sold? Because word got out and enough people "paid" for Kool-Aid? Because the money didn't come from the government? Because I thought people who couldn't pay for stuff and asked others for help were either, depending on how you look at it, needy, or freeloaders.

Americans are more comfortable with buying something rather than flat-out donating to people in need. This is a nice story, but for every success story like this, there are hundreds, if not thousands of others who sell a pathetic amount of a product. What happens to them?




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