- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 5, 2009


In his letter to The Washington Times (“A time for GIVE-ing,” Wednesday), Rep. Michael M. Honda promotes the idea of service. But what is service?

Is it volunteerism, as the good congressman seems to imply so proudly by informing us of his stint as a Peace Corps volunteer? Or is it an incentivized service position, something along the lines of the GIVE Act the good representative was so proud to support? Incentivized: What a fancy word for “paid.” Maybe service is a really well-paid job that does not exist in the private sector, like the current job the congressman proudly holds.

The great economics professor Walter Williams has a way to settle this puzzle. When one serves his fellow man, one collects certificates of appreciation. Most of us know these certificates of appreciation as dollar bills.

I am all for recommitting ourselves to service. Let the government help to incentivize the collection of certificates of appreciation by taking less instead of giving more.



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