- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 11, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

TJX Companies, Inc., the corporate owners of Marshalls, T.J. Maxx and HomeGoods, announced just recently that even though its shops’ doors have been closed for more than six weeks in hurricane-plagued Puerto Rico, all its employees will still be paid.

This is how America rolls. Truly, this is what Founding Fathers intended. And furthermore — take that, all you anti-capitalistic socialists.

“We believe it is the right thing for us to do under these circumstances,” said TJX spokesperson Erika Tower, when asked by CNN about the company’s show of charity.

Specifically, the corporation has been paying workers at all of its 29 stores in Puerto Rico for weeks — even as some of its stores have been closed for various hurricane-related reasons during these same weeks.

Reverend Franklin Graham of Samaritan’s Purse fame gave a thumbs-up to the company.

“I think they deserve a shout-out for showing this kind of compassion for their employees,” Graham wrote, on his Facebook page. “It makes such a difference in people’s lives. Way to go!”

They do deserve a shout-out.

But truly, TJX is simply personifying what America’s own founders envisioned for the country when it came to acts of charity. Democrats like to turn to government to provide for the less fortunate, insisting that compassion is largely rooted in disbursement and redistribution of tax dollars. But that just ain’t how the Founding Fathers saw it.

“I am for doing good to the poor,” Benjamin Franklin said in 1766, the website Vindicating the Founders noted, “but I differ in opinion on the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it.”

Thomas Jefferson, meanwhile, drafted a bill in 1779 aimed at “setting the poor of the country to work,” and cautioning that those “able bodied persons” who didn’t, “shall be deemed vagabonds … [and] sent to the poor house.”

The spirit of these messages?

It’s not government’s job to care for those of lesser means. Rather, it’s a personal responsibility issue — a matter for the private and nonprofit sectors.

America, post-progressive-socialist wave of the last few years, has moved from that principle quite a bit. Under Barack Obama, for instance, this country saw and suffered almost unheard of attacks against the free market, against Wall Street, against private businesses and others of ample financial means deemed “fat cats” by the previous White House administration.

Well, TJX’s outpouring serves as a good smackdown of that whole Big Business is a Big Bad Wolf line of argument. And TJX is hardly the only company out there that — get this leftists — cares about its employees.

In fact, when it comes to disaster relief and the roles of charity versus government, it’s the former that oftentimes showcases best.

Back in 2005, when America was struck with Hurricane Katrina and the Gulf Coast, particularly New Orleans, was devastated by flood waters, it was charity — via churches, nonprofit groups, even private market businesses — that rushed in to help.

FEMA, the federal agency tasked with assisting with national natural disasters, was criticized for its slow response. So, too, were state and local governments — criticized for too-slow response, that is. While the bureaucrats sat and talked and planned and discussed, the charities flew into action.

Within two weeks of Katrina, Americans around the country had donated more than $600 million for hurricane victims. Americans also gave another $100 million of “in-kind” donations during that same two-week time frame — clothing, diapers, medicines, baby items, etc. Hundreds of volunteering Americans came from out of state to help with the cleanup. Hundreds of others donated blood. Businesses got in on the giving, as well.

WalMart, so-hated by the left as an example of a black-hearted Big Box business unfairly profiting on the backs of the little people, dug deep and gave $20 million in cash, some 1,500 truckloads of free supplies and enough food to provide 100,000 meals.

Other businesses, not to be outdone, stepped in with similar offerings. More than 90 separate businesses donated at least $1 million each. And several corporations and companies in Louisiana and Mississippi, where the hurricane hit hardest, told their employees not to worry — that the paychecks would still come, no matter if they couldn’t get to work, no matter if they had no work to get to because of Mother Nature devastations.

That’s the power of charity.

Moreover, that’s the greatness of America’s people — a population whose rights come from God, not government; a population that therefore doesn’t sit back and wait for government, rather than godly hearts, to provide.

TJX’s charitable outreach to its employees is just the latest in a long, long line of willing and able American patriots who take their marching orders to do good from a higher power — and who recognize that government and reallocations of taxpayer funds are hardly the savior for a suffering segment of society. 

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