I decided long ago that when I gave money to someone who was down and out – whether they were homeless or just needy – that I was not going to spend time fretting over whether they used it “properly.” I could hope that they didn’t go to the liquor store, but the prospect of their poor choice was not going to paralyze me from helping someone again.
No doubt, this philosophy has gotten me burned sometimes. If you see me, ask me about the homeless guy and Spiderman. (It’s too long of a story to write, but funny!) But – even burned – I still think it is our responsibility to help our fellow citizens.
It is this philosophy that gives me heartburn over the president’s decision to withdraw food aid to North Korea after their failed missile test. I should add that many conservative pundits and politicians agree with the president – so I guess I am out on an island as it comes to this policy.
I know that we offered the aid conditionally – they get the food if they stop nuclear testing. But maybe that’s the problem. Carrots should be used as carrots – not sticks.
There must be other ways to deal with North Korea without further punishing their people. (Yes – they punish their own people.) We could be a part of a regional naval blockade (real and virtual) that keeps them from trading weapons and technology. We could threaten to assist Japan and South Korea to join the nuclear club. We could send a couple of Tomahawks their way.
But I just don’t think we should withhold food to starving people. It is not what America does.