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Reblogged:DeSantis Blows Opportunity, 'Owns the Libs' Instead

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Apparently, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently mass-transported Venezuelan immigrants on our dime to the virtue-signaling "sanctuary" of Martha's Vineyard. In doing so, according to conservatives, he called them on their bluff, exposing them as hypocrites.

Maybe they are hypocrites, but if they were, it would hardly be the end of the story, although DeSantis might want you to think so.

Get a load of this sample from the column-length dressing-down Newsweek gave the people of Martha's Vineyard:
MV_House.jpg
Image by C.S. Imming, via Wikimedia Commons, license.
In the island's offseason, 63% of its homes, whose median value is $1.35 million, are vacant. Former President Barack Obama's property alone reportedly has 10 bedrooms. As of this writing, Airbnb offers 355 vacancies. Nevertheless, not one of the Vineyard's residents, nearly 80% of whom voted for Joe Biden, is on record having offered an extra bedroom, guest cottage, pool house, basement, unclaimed rental, gazebo, or tent to accommodate the migrants, who slept in a church hall. Instead, liberal residents congratulated themselves on their "compassion" for providing basic services for less than 24 hours before soliciting donations on the internet and demanding government solutions.
Surely the author does not mean to advocate the government commandeering private property for the relief of whatever some official might deem a humanitarian crisis! If he does, his sole complaint is the hypocrisy -- and he should start telling us how he's the real champion of the poor. (I would disagree.)

If he doesn't, then he should explain why an offer of assistance and a moral claim on everything one owns are not the same thing; that charity is optional and is virtuous so long as one does not harm oneself or those one has an actual obligation to in the process of helping someone else.

As much as I dislike Barack Obama for undercutting capitalism and property rights while he was in office, this is (still) America: He controls his own property. Nor is Obama obligated (perhaps contrary to his own opinion) to house someone else simply because he has shelter and the other person does not.

You might say, Expecting conservatives to contest the morality of altruism is a stretch, Gus!

Maybe so, but that morality is ultimately behind the welfare state -- which is ultimately behind conservative complaints about immigration, as I wrote long ago when commenting on an anti-immigration proposal in Arizona:
SB 1070 deserves only one fundamental criticism: It would fail to protect the individual rights of American citizens -- even if it hermetically sealed our borders and the police never touched a single American hair in the process of enforcing it. This is because the biggest headaches attributed to illegal immigration are not caused by it at all.

...

Take so-called social services. In 1986, Congress mandated that emergency care facilities not turn patients away on the basis of an inability to pay. My taxes and part of my personal outlays for medical care are taken from me to help finance that of other people. So what if some of the people I used to pay for in Texas were here illegally? No matter where I am in America today, my pocket is being picked to mend my neighbor's leg although I have done nothing to harm him.

What difference does fencing out "freeloaders" make to me if my own countrymen scoff at the very idea of paying to educate their own children, or budgeting for their own medical expenses? Were the educational and medical sectors privately run, we would not attract or encourage freeloaders, and non-citizens who used these facilities would be paying customers. Who could complain about that? [bold added]
Rereading this, I notice that one need not even perform a full frontal assault on the idea that self-sacrifice is a virtue to contest the idea of a welfare state, and yet Republicans are just as unwilling to do so now as they were then.

Heck, they don't even make the suboptimal argument that more freedom would help the poor better than the welfare state anymore. (That is overall ultimately true in the long run, but that is not why capitalism is better than the welfare state.)

Instead, they blame our problems on immigrants, and even embrace the welfare state so as to pull a political stunt: Floridians were pickpocketed to make this happen.

But I guess it's easier to do that than to stand up for freedom of movement and for capitalism, or, for that matter, to propose citizenship reform.

Both sides are hypocrites here, and the Republicans come off the worse in my eyes, because they stop at that charge, basically accept the same moral premise as the "liberals," and top it all off by failing to offer a positive alternative (capitalism) to the real problem (the welfare state).

-- CAV

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