Does the State Want to Help the Poor or Fine Helpers?

Liberals insist that the state is more trustworthy than private society to help the poor. But the evidence leads in the opposite direction.

Supposedly, the state can be trusted to defend, protect, and provide for the poor. That is the Liberal creed. But what are we to say then when we find over and over again that the government attacks and punishes those who provide for the poor out of volunteer contributions that don’t come from the government?

One theory: Perhaps there are certain groups among our rulers who wield power by getting votes from lower-income Americans or getting votes and donations from government employees who are tasked with helping lower-income Americans. But in other contexts, when the poor aren’t needed for votes, rulers tend to want to shove them out of sight.

Consider the evidence we find in a MySanAntonio story, “Chef ticketed, facing $2,000 fine for feeding homeless in San Antonio.”

Joan Cheever, founder of the nonprofit mobile food truck known as the Chow Train, was cited last Tuesday by San Antonio police officers for feeding the homeless in Maverick Park.

Cheever has been serving restaurant-quality meals to the city’s homeless population for the past 10 years, and has been profiled on Rachel Ray’s cooking show for her charitable efforts.

Over the years, police officers have passed by and waved as she fed homeless people, but last Tuesday night four bike-patrol officers stopped in the park and gave Cheever a ticket that carries a potential fine of $2,000. Cheever has a food permit for her mobile truck, but she was cited for transporting and serving the food from a vehicle other than that truck.

Baylen Linnekan at Reason Magazine points out the hypocrisy on display by the police in his “Another Infuriating Crackdown on Sharing Food with the Homeless.”

As Cheever explained to Marrota, according to a Texas Public Radio account of the exchange, the food she serves every Tuesday evening, part of charitable work she’s done for the past decade, was prepared in a commercial kitchen. Food handlers were licensed. The food truck from which she serves was permitted. But with no special permit for giving food away to people who can’t afford to buy it, Cheever faces a ridiculous (and steep) fine.

No matter. Rule are rules, right?

And because they are, it’s worth pointing out that Officer Marrota appeared, at the very moment he handed the ticket to Cheever, to be in violation of a San Antonio Police Department policy that prohibits officers from visible displays of body art. Marrota looks to have a star tattoo on his right arm.

Rules are rules, after all.

Right and in this country some rules are more equal than others.

[See also, “Daytona Beach Enforces ‘Charity’ Cartel by Ticketing People for Feeding the Homeless.”]

Right now about ten percent of cities criminalize sharing food with the homeless and many more are considering doing so.

So the same city where you can get fired for being a Christian because of homosexual and transgender “rights,” is a place where you can be arrested for feeding the homeless.

We live under sick government at every level.