(BRANDON HANSEN/Managing Editor of the Chewelah Independent)
The saying goes that money is the root of all evil, but let’s be honest, if that were true, we would all be lining up for an escalator downstairs to the basement level of the afterlife.
Money can be used for a lot of good things from public works projects, paying our first responders and law enforcement officers who protect us, to obviously providing the needs of families and people. If I didn’t have money, I couldn’t buy all those snacks at Safeway that seem to be expanding my waistline.
Maybe a better way to look at it would be money is the bacon grease of society and gets everything moving, but can be a bit messy. Something that has bugged me as of late is all these cottage industries for a wide variety of … things… yes things … that have popped up with the intent of just getting and spending money.
When we talk about the free market and capitalism, I am right up there with all the top-hat wearing, monocle-sporting old chaps of the late 19th century. I think it’s the best system we have so far, so let’s just keep it rolling.
However, there just seems to be a ton of waste in terms of where this money goes. Since this is Stevens County, I’m sure all my readers are the ones to point out government waste. But another issue of mine is all these groups for [insert political agenda here] that take in tons of money with the result being… an office in a strip mall in downtown Spokane and someone occasionally makes Facebook posts about why a certain political viewpoint is right.
Then there are some charities that don’t actually help anyone but rather raise awareness by being an organization that exists and tells people that a certain disease is an issue. Is that a wise use of money? Why doesn’t this money actually go to people who need it, instead of a marketing campaign? (This is not a slam on all charities, just the advocacy ones with well paid CEOs). The same can be said for a number of society’s ills, but my biggest issue is all they do is say that a problem exists and never work with the powers that be on a solution. They sit on their keyboards in their advocacy groups and tell everyone why you should hate this group, this person or that person. It’s not productive. It doesn’t get anything done, but it’s termed advocacy.
Now circling back to government, how many offices and departments are created to handle issues but are never given enough funding or staff to actually do something about the issue at hand? And how many of these departments don’t actually carry out anything to make anything more than a insect-sized bite in the problem as a whole?
Then there is the issue of the professional or amateur “advocate” that posts about political things all day on Facebook, shows up to a rally or two for whatever issue or stance and then sometimes, when they’re really motivated, might pay dues to be a member of an advocacy group. Heck, they might even make a small, discreet change to their lifestyle so they can feel like they’re doing something different from everyone else. But when these people are compared to other community members who volunteer a ton, organize events, put in countless hours to help groups or people in need, but don’t like posting on social media about how great they are … well, who is actually making the difference?
Or maybe I can start an advocacy group of my own and I will call it “Gingers against virtue signalling.”
“Gingers against virtue signalling” will try and pull the veil back from people and groups that like to say they’re making a big difference in the world, but when you boil it down, it’s about 95 percent marketing and five percent action. How much time have people wasted virtue signalling on Facebook saying how great they are, or how they support a certain cause, heck even going really far and putting a ribbon or flag of some sort on their Facebook profile pic?
Virtue seems cheap and fake these days. I don’t care what you’re boycotting. I don’t care what celebrity you’re mad at. I don’t care about your agenda, that science and common sense says is impossible to actually pull off in society. Stop gobbling up money for fluff and attention. We can put that towards groups and people who are actually taking action in our society and accomplishing things.
The next time you think about donating, or taking a stance on an issue, ask yourself if this group just markets itself for “change” or does it actually do something for a living.