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making something out of nothing

By Diogenes (articles ) | Nov 05, 2010

The annual CCHD wars have begun, and the Catholic News Service-- which like the CCHD operates under the aegis of the US bishops' conference-- dutifully reports on the latest statement from CCHD headquarters asking Catholics to be generous in the pre-Thanksgiving collection. That's fair enough: the leader of a fundraising operation is expected to encourage donations. But along with the quotes from the CCHD leadership, the CNS story provides this helpful background information:

For 40 years, CCHD has funded community groups that create affordable housing, obtain fair wages and provide job training, as well as organizing projects led by low-income individuals to help people and resolve problems in their communities.

Really? Do the groups funded by the CCHD create housing? Using concrete and lumber and hammers and nails? Or do they lobby for government housing programs? 

On second thought: We all know that to "create" means to make something out of nothing. And since Uncle Sam has no money right now-- in fact the federal government is carrying more debt than any other institution in human history-- maybe the process of convincing the government to spend money that it doesn't have really should be classified as "creation." 

Moving right along, it's ordinarily employers who determine the wages of their employees. Yet CCHD grantees "obtain fair wages." We won't even ask how.

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