RUSH: Joanne in Knoxville, Arkansas, great to have you on the EIB Network. Hi.
CALLER: Hi. I have a question for you.
CALLER: Okay. Do you think that so much volunteerism hurts our economy? Because people could get paid for doing some of these jobs they volunteer for.
RUSH: Like what?
CALLER: Well, as I was driving down the road the other day and I was passing all kinds of dirty semi-trucks because we’ve had all this snow and all.
RUSH: Well, sometimes they get school kids, you know, or church groups or something will get their youth groups to go wash dirty trucks —
CALLER: — as part of, you know, volunteerism. So people could get paid to do that.
RUSH: Well, who normally washes the trucks in Knoxville, Arkansas?
CALLER: I have no clue. Our little town, it’s real little, so I won’t say that there’s trucks here. But, you know, that was just one thing that came to my mind because I’ve been involved in volunteer-type activities, and that’s one of the things that they would do.
RUSH: Right. Would you…? (sigh) This is not a trick question. This is an economics question.
RUSH: When volunteers are working for free, who is being paid?
CALLER: The people who oversee the volunteers.
RUSH: Somebody has to go buy the stuff to wash the trucks with. Who’s paying for that stuff?
CALLER: Well, sometimes the volunteer organizations give their own.
RUSH: But who’s giving them money?
CALLER: The people who make money.
CALLER: You cannot have a nonprofit.
RUSH: The point is there’s nothing that’s happening for free. It’s just some people being coerced into working for free and calling it volunteerism.
RUSH: There’s money behind everything going on. It’s just who’s gonna end up getting it at the end of the work or the end of the project or what have you.
CALLER: Right. And, you know, I think that volunteerism is good in some areas, but I think that so often they are coerced. Schoolchildren are coerced.
RUSH: Well, look, you can look at that another way, too. (interruption) You know, I was made to wash the cars, family cars. I coulda looked at it as ‘volunteerism,’ but I didn’t. (chuckles) I looked at it as a chore that was designed to teach me lessons and so forth. So there’s a number of different ways you can look at this. Volunteerism is a tricky subject the way you’re talking about it. I wish I had more time, but sadly, I don’t.