Sunday, February 8, 2009

Volunteering and The Economy

Tonight I want to ask your opinion (if anybody is out there) on volunteering .
The reason I ask, is today I got into a spat on a forum ( note to myself: silly pointless waste of time) . One of the administrators on this website, who is a volunteer, is constantly reminding people of how it is an unpaid job, and how busy she is to not have much time to attend to her duties. Anyway, I finally got fed up and blasted her. I find it an insult to volunteers in general that this person feels the need to remind everyone that what she does has no compensation .
Well isn't that what volunteering is all about ?

"You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:42-45)

This quote is not intended to imply that only Christians volunteer

Alarming to read in the newspaper about the heavy job losses in January and worse to come. The city estimates it will need another $3 million to cover social service costs this year. That over and above the 5% property tax increase . My wage roll back feels minor in comparison,although I really don't get how cutting my wages will stimulate the economy.

My own review of the Canada and U.S. stimulus packages ? A big thumbs down for many reasons. Cutting income taxes is irrelevant when people are unemployed. Offering rebates on sales taxes for a car purchase and a tax credit for the interest on a car loan,is pointless. Most dealers already offer zero interest on a car loan and many are willing to suck up the sales tax. The problem is people don't have any money to buy a car and even if they want to,they can't get credit.Toyota just leased another 180 acres of land to park all the cars they can't sell .This on top of the hundreds of acres they already have.

Same goes for the enticements to buy a new home.What's the point if you know the house will be worth much less in a year( and it will be )yet you still have the same mortgage.Isn't that why people walked away from their homes in the first place? What bank is willing to give a mortgage to the no money, no job, no down payment, crowd now? The very thing that created the housing bubble,which has resulted in the mess we are presently in.

As for the credit for home renovations, once again you have to spend big money up front to get a meager refund in a year from now.

Infrastructure spending ? Great if it goes to fix the crumbling systems already in place. Most of that money is going to new projects like highways. Yeah just what we need,more highways for more urban sprawl.

We should do what the people of Iceland did this week Insist that our government fire all the bankers and start over again.



Hi Carole,

I have such mixed feelings about MS forums that I'll try to be objective in response. Volunteers do so for many reasons, sometimes out of sincere interest, other times for the recognition.

I suppose it's possible to volunteer for both reasons. But, if someone becomes unable to spend the time, then perhaps they should set aside and make room for somebody who is interested and/or has the time.

The issue of being unpaid should not be discussed on the board itself. Sounds like that person is looking for undying gratitude for the generosity of giving something they do not have much of....time. Also sounds like he/she wants lots of praise for sacrificing so much of themselves. I would find that completely off-putting.

Regarding the stimulus packages and incentives, you've got several good points. Especially the one about fixing infrastructure.

Nat@London Calling said...

Interestingly one of the common recommendations I have seen for people being made redundant and not being able to find work is to spend some time volunteering - to use up their time and to improve their self-worth by helping others.

And, you are right, of course - the whole essence of volunteer work is to give to others of your time and skills.

It sounds like the economic rescue packages in US and Canada are as realistic as those in the UK. The Bank of England has just dropped interest rates again (is that the fourth time in as many months?). They haven't noticed it isn't working - and neither will it now that interest on your bank account is less than one percent on average... I'm keeping mine under the mattress!

Taxingwoman said...

I just hope things don't get worse!