Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Is there a wisdom emanating from the great mass of Americans — a common sense?

A new USA Today/Bipartisan Policy Center poll found that Americans still possess a strong civic-mindedness, but are souring on government and politics: “Americans by more than 2-1 say the best way to make positive changes in society is through volunteer organizations and charities, not by being active in government.” This is even more true of younger people than older folks, like me.

And yet, despite the distaste increasing numbers of Americans have towards their governments, they aren’t turning against service. They’re just switching from the realm of the State to the realm of communities and non-profits.

This seems entirely rational, a welcome development. Rational, in that, yes, of course today’s big government politics is poisonous. And government doesn’t work the way people dream it might. It’s not magic. And there are sharp diminishing returns. That’s why the political realm works best when distinctly constrained.

That is, the best governments govern least, when limitations — constitutional checks and balances, a rule of law, term limits, etc. — are placed upon its operations.

Now, there’s no real magic in the non-profit sector, either. It’s not as easy to give effectively as it is garner donations from the sympathetic. But, more good news, the charitable sector may be on the brink of a major revolution, too.

While hordes of well-meaning folks turning off of politics may cede ground to the politically unsound, better, younger, and more enthusiastic (and even ambitious) folks entering the voluntary sector has to be a good thing.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. John Mattacola says:

    I enjoy volunteering. It is good for the soul.

  2. MoreFreedom says:

    Unfortunately, too many non-profit employees are profiting from government grants, rather than from privately raised funds. Government does this because it’s more efficient than government run welfare. But that doesn’t remove the fact that the “contributions” to the charity were taken by force. Nor does it change the fact that the pay for many in non-profits, looks quite profitable, like the United Way where the head makes over $400,000/yr. Many people working for non-profits, get quite a profit from the time they sell. You could say, that Stalin ran a non-profit organization as well – what government is in the business of making a profit? None that I know of.

    I’m all for private charities, and not for government welfare whether done by government or non-profits.

  3. Pat says:

    The voluntary sector isn’t necessarily a private sector. Many who seek to ‘serve’ make their living off taxpayers every bit as much as those who work in government. While many people donate their time and effort toward making their community a better place, many others make a living off ‘public service’. That money comes from you and me.

  4. Jay says:

    Many “non-profits” aren’t really–in FL., there was a corp. set up as a “non-profit” ( and as I recall) run Internet cafe’s and donate the profit to charity –help disabled veterans, as I recall.

    They did donate 1/2 of 1% or so (sort of what Al Gore a few year ago gave to charity). So the FL legislature BANNED all Internet cafes including those that did nothing wrong. And some leading charities line the pockets of their executives very well.

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