Friday, March 05, 2010

Girl Scouts are Panhandlers?

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Seattle City council member Tim Burgess has a plan that if implemented will hurt Girl Scout cookie sales and categorize the Girl Scouts as panhandlers.

Understandably, even those who donate to their church and other organizations involved in providing for the needy, sometimes find panhandling bothersome. And it is often harmful to businesses.

Councilman Burgess' plan "restricts behaviors used by individuals to threaten and intimidate people into giving money." One of the restrictions is the proximity to grocery store entrances, ATM's, etc.

KOMO NEWS is reporting that there are those now suggesting the panhandling plan should apply to the Girl Scouts and their cookie sales. Girl Scouts are panhandlers? I don't think so.

In fact, these kids are learning how the free market works---work and reward, so they won't become panhandlers.

Let's assume Mr. Burgess did not really set out to put the Girl Scouts out of business or label them as panhandlers, but is only trying to address a specific situation.

This, however, raises a separate and different issue; one that often has profound results.

Unintended Consequences.

Wikipedia says, "Any intervention in a complex system may or may not have the intended result, but will inevitably create unanticipated and often undesirable outcomes."

So, what should one do? Nothing, for the sake of safety?


Robert Merton wrote a paper in 1936 titled, "The Unanticipated Consequences of Purposive Social Action." While I do not agree with some of his writings, he listed five possible causes for creating unintended consequences that worth consideration.

1. Ignorance.
2. Error.
3. Immediate interest.
4. Basic values.
5. Self defeating prophecy.

This brings me to what is undeniably the most immediate and value based social issue in our country today.

President Obama's health care plan.

Without judging his motives, it is easy to conclude that he is obsessed with it's passage, regardless of what a majority of Americans want. And it will have devastating long term consequences---intended or unintended.

The Seattle City council will discuss the panhandler/Girl Scout issue on Monday. And they'll probably work something out.

Action is likely on the culturally "transforming" health care plan within the next couple of weeks. The President is absolutely committed to his plan (see picture and story) which will have unimagined consequences. Consequences that cannot be worked out in a Monday morning council meeting, but will change America forever.

Our country needs to reform our health care system. However a "plan" should not reform or "transform" the country and its values.

This issue will either create a new Marxist type euphoria with its passage or will bring us to a time of national restoration with its defeat. I personally believe this issue has that level of consequence.

Take a moment and call your US Senator and Representative or email them and tell them you strongly oppose the Obama health care bill and are asking them to oppose it as well.

Be wise. Be discerning. Be prayerful. Be active. Do not be silent.

God bless you. Thanks for your support.

Gary Randall
Faith & Freedom

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