Welfare Cheats vs FBCI Cheats
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By etrigan - Last updated: Sunday, August 10, 2003 - Save & Share - One Comment

There is an article in Playboy this month entitled “Keeping the Faith” where Matt Taibbi “infiltrates” several religious organizations, particularly the PPT(Presidential Prayer Team), and exposes some ideas that I had not considered before. I am not sure I approve of the author since (reading between the lines) Matt seems like that guy who lies to people all the time just to see that he can get away with it, and has figured out this is a means to a job as a reporter. I like people who always try to tell the truth, even if it’s harsh, and I see his behavior as a sociopathic response to feeling powerless. That’s a discussion for another day, though, since I am concerned that Bush developed what seems like a good idea on the surface but is actually another “theory”:http://www.keithboykin.com/arch/000582.html that fails in real life: “FBCI(Faith Based Charities Initiative)”:http://www.scrappleface.com/MT/archives/001031.html.


I am a 10 year “Dell Inc. (formerly Dell Computer Corporation)”:http://www.dell.com employee and I became a “Michael Dell”:http://www.dell.com/us/en/gen/corporate/michael_home.htm follower early on. He has revolutionized the business world challenging the distribution structure that was chisled in stone by former business models. By selling the computers that he builds directly to the end user, he has cracked the foundations of every other major computer company and some of them “may not survive”:http://www.forbes.com/2001/09/04/0904gateway.html if they can’t shake the old model and adopt the new one. I think Michael is onto something that is bigger than just the computer industry.

bq. _sidebar_ This is the same problem that the music industry faces. They are utter morons to blindly miss the lesson that “Apple’s iTunes”:http://www.apple.com/itunes/ is teaching them. The model HAS to and WILL change and the music industry better hope they can adapt fast enough instead of “dragging their feet”:http://australianit.news.com.au/articles/0,7204,6918432%5E15306%5E%5Enbv%5E,00.html.

bq. _the bride of sidebar_ Why hasn’t the auto industry adopted this idea? Have a showroom with only sample cars and let me order what I want, factory-direct. Screw car dealers — they are (as a rule) slimy.

By introducing FBCI Bush is changing the current model of welfare distribution:

bq. Government -> Needy

and replacing it with something that seems obviously worse:

bq. Government -> Churches -> Needy

Originaly, I thought this sounded like a good idea. Who could do a better job of matching up (what is essentially) welfare dollars to people who truly needed it? On further reflection, this fails on two points.

# Most churches (my current church included) do a worse job of vetting candidates for hand-outs than the government. They tend to be biased towards same-religion individuals and by their nature they will trust people more often than they should. I won’t go into this more, because I think it speaks for itself.
# Who can honestly say that religious organizations are more trust-worthy than welfare recipients?

This is my main beef. Considering the attrocious scandal that is irreperably harming the Catholic church and the repeated stories of laundering and excess of churches of all denominations, I have to maintain that, statistically speaking, religious associations are just as likely to cheat or take advantage of the system as the needy. By adding a layer to the current model, Bush is simply lining the pockets of clergymen around the country.

I believe that the worst type of con artists are attracted to religious organizations. Where else can you ask for money and the only credential required is your word that God wants you to have it? How will Bush recover when he funds a group that uses the money to purchase massive amounts of “purple Kool-Aid(c)”:http://www.religioustolerance.org/dc_jones.htm?

This arrangement changes the distribution of wealth from a mathematically-based scheme to what will surely become a faith-based scheme. This will mean that money/services will be distributed by how the giver (clergy) “feels” about a particular recipient. This will, also, surely mean more money/services for the Christian needy than the Islamic needy (and what about the agnostic or atheist needy?) GOP backers swear that FBCI is not relegated to Christians, but to deny that Christian applications for funds will outweigh other denominations as a proportion of religious population is to bleat sheep-like, in-step with Bush.

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One Response to “Welfare Cheats vs FBCI Cheats”

Comment from etrigan
Time August 11, 2003 at 12:48 pm

Thanks to cynsmith for this link of the reason federal money shouldn’t pass through church coffers.

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