There has been a growing trend with politicians in the community that are trying to guilt trip people into doing more work in the community. Volunteering is great, but using peer pressure to force people into volunteering is a nasty thing to do.
Part of the guilt trip comes from certain Council members whenever they are asked what it is they have done or why they haven’t done what they’re supposed to. Instead of feeling a sense of responsibility, they turn the question around and ask “What have you done? How have you helped?”
The problem with this argument tactic is that the city government is already taking people’s money. Therefore, anyone and everyone has the right to demand what is being done with their money, without having to feel as if they need to volunteer for the community.
Services You Pay For
Imagine for a moment that you go to Whataburger and order a combo meal, which is about $7. Image you open up your bag and notice the fries are missing and you go to the manager and ask where your fries are. Now imagine that manager saying “What did YOU do for those fries? I didn’t see you peel those potatoes. I didn’t see you working at the fryer. How about you put in some work before you start complaining about not having any fries.”
That scenario would never happen in real life because the restaurant would go out of business. If you pay for fries, then it is expected that you should receive those fries.
The fries are a lot like the services that the city is expected to offer. When you pay property taxes, sales taxes, and CPS’s portion of the franchise fee, you are paying your own money in exchange for something. So since you have to swerve around that 3 foot wide pothole every day when driving to and from work, you have every right to know why the city hasn’t bothered to spend a single penny on road repair, but has spent tens of thousands on attorneys.
What Money Is
The City Council members who are guilting people into working for free are either doing so because they do not care about people or because they do not understand what money is. Let’s say their intentions are good and the second option applies.
What is money?
Money is more than just a piece of paper (cloth actually) or a digit on a screen. Money is a representation of labor, skill, and most importantly, time. When the city taxes you it is taking away your labor and your time with the promise of offering something in return.
Money Gives You the Right to Complain
The city passed and approved a plan on how to spend money. This plan was reviewed by the City Council and the public was allowed to make comment on it. The “plan” is the city budget, which formed an agreement between the city government and the citizens in the community. The city basically said “We’re going to take your money, and in exchange we’re going to do these things for you.”
If you buy a combo meal but don’t get fries, then you have every right to complain.
If you buy a car, but the tires are missing, then you have every right to complain.
If you buy a shirt, but one of the sleeves is missing, then you have every right to complain.
Why then, should a Council member attempt to discourage you from complaining when you already paid for something?
Council members are acting as if people who don’t step up to volunteer for the community aren’t doing their part. The thing is, when the city took our money, we already did our part. We already gave our time and our labor. In return, city owes us services.