Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Today's Big Meanie post

According to the London Free Press, Londoners unable to pay their heating bills and rent will soon have one-stop shopping for other peoples' tax dollars by merging the Heat and Warmth Program (THAW) and London's Rent Bank, which offers interest-free loans to help tenants facing eviction pay rent.

Well, that's ducky for them — no such convenience for myself, but I'm not suckling at the city's prodigious commissarial teats. Not that I typically complain about streamlining government administrations, nor do I think assisting people who are down and out with basic essentials like heat and rent is bad in itself. But I'm never overly fond of being reminded that the once simple and commonly understood concept of charity has been co-opted by a government helping itself to our basic good intentions in a grand statist public relations game to mean forced redistribution of the earnings of one group to another — usually with a hearty serving of bureaucratic salaries on the side to justify their existence.

Further shrinking my wallet, one motivation for streamlining services is that not enough citizens are placing themselves into a state of dependence on the city's all-squandering benevolent Grand Soviet:

Provincially funded, the Rent Bank contains $500,000 to be allocated over four years to those in danger of eviction. While the total allows for about $125,000 each year, only $79,000 was allotted in the first year.
How about streamlining a reduction in program spending? Nah, didn't think so.

Update: Contrast this story about a private charity returning unneeded money to donors with the city's attempts to broaden demands for its requisitioned charity in the event of extra funds. HT: Lisa