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RUSH: Joanne in Knoxville, Arkansas, great to have you on the EIB Network. Hi.

CALLER: Hi. I have a question for you.

RUSH: Yeees?

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: Mmm-hmm?

RUSH: Well, sometimes they get school kids, you know, or church groups or something will get their youth groups to go wash dirty trucks —

RUSH: Yeah?

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.

CALLER: Yes?

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.

RUSH: Okay.

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.

CALLER: Exactly.

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.

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