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Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Rapper Kodak Black Blocked From Giving AC Units to Housing Projects by the Government

Despite carrying an incredibly high tax burden, America continues to be one of the most charitable and generous nations in the world. Imagine what we could accomplish if the government got out of the way.

David Cabrera

American rapper Kodak Black spent the Fourth of July holiday at the Golden Acres Housing Project in Pompano Beach, Florida. He purchased 100 air conditioners worth a total of $12,500 and hand-delivered them to residents there.

Kodak shared a video of the event on social media where he said, “We out here passing out AC units, helping install them….We do it for the projects, we do it for the projects. The people relying on just enough cash to survive. We’ll get you all ACs man, we out here.”

The singer went on to note that he grew up poor in a similar area and loves to give back. “It’s hot right now. The heat will bring a little frustration. Sometimes that cause people to act out. I remember when I had to take from people,” the 24-year-old said. “So, now that I’m blessed enough to give back, that’s what I like to do. We out here passing out A/C units, helping install them and all that right now.”

But as the saying goes, no good deed goes unpunished, and Kodak’s actions quickly came under fire. The Housing Authority of Pompano Beach sent the performing artist a cease and desist letter claiming his presence in the community caused a “disturbance.” They also claimed he filmed a music video while there, which his lawyer disputed, and took issue with the fact he helped to install some of the units.

According to TMZ, “a representative for the Pompano Beach Housing Authority said that while Kodak’s donation was ‘an extremely generous and admirable gesture,’ there were concerns about AC installations being done properly to meet safety guidelines.”

In their letter the Housing Authority wrote, “Your actions have adversely impacted the Property’s residents’ right to peacefully enjoy the property.”

Black’s lawyer responded with his own letter criticizing the government for its “wish to stop the assistance to the elderly and underprivileged during a heat wave and 2 year pandemic.”

While many Americans might find this story outrageous (as they should), it’s really nothing new. The government frequently blocks charitable donations in a multitude of industries and ways. For example, a large network of regulations often outlaw companies and individuals from donating excess food, offering housing for the homeless, or redistributing unused merchandise.

Why do they do this? That’s the correct question, but there are many problematic answers.

Often these laws are put in place by what the political world calls “NIMBYs,” which stands for “Not In My Backyard.” NIMBYs are people who work both in and outside the government to micromanage their surroundings. They are busybodies with too much time on their hands who wreak havoc on their communities. Even when their preferred policies are put in place with good intentions, they always end up harming people in ways the NIMBYs never seem to predict.

This seems to be that sort of situation. You’ll note that the Housing Authority seems to take the most issue with Kodak’s installation assistance. Likely, that is because most cities and states make residents jump through expensive and time-consuming hoops to perform such services. These regulations require individuals to obtain certain certifications and pay the government for occupational licenses before they can work, all in the name of public health and safety of course.

But is it really about health and safety? Maybe for some NIMBYs. But the regulators and their friends often get a cut of the pie. Oftentimes, the lawmakers sit on the boards of the very schools that offer these mandated certifications. Other times, they extend exclusive contracts to their friends in the industry who would be undercut by someone offering these kinds of services for free.

Either way, the results are the same and these kinds of regulations always end up harming far more people than they “save.”

Despite carrying an incredibly high tax burden, America continues to be one of the most charitable and generous nations in the world. And that’s a good thing because our government largely squanders our money and fails to actually take care of the most vulnerable people in society.

Imagine what we could accomplish if the government simply got out of the way and let us use our money to take care of people of our own free will.

  • Hannah Cox is the former Content Manager and Brand Ambassador for the Foundation for Economic Education.