"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."
-Samuel Adams

the Misanthropic Humanist:


09 April 2009

Short: Charity

Charity is efficient welfare. Because charity is freely given, it can include the concept of deserving where government welfare never can. When only deserving folks get help, more people will make themselves worthy, and some will end up no longer needing the charity. This is a solution to - among others - the problem I personally saw working at Safeway when somebody would come to the register with a pile of food to be purchased with the WIC (women, infants, and children) program and food stamps, then finish up with a separate purchase of alcohol and cigarettes. If they can afford $60.00 in alcohol and cigarettes, then they can afford that $40.00 worth of food that I just paid for. I don't give a hoot if adults choose to drink and smoke, but it's not my job to fund their party. This problem is a small, perfect example of social welfare's utterly unsolvable problem. There is literally no possible way to stop this without extreme limits on personal freedom. It is the flaw of all social programs distilled into a common, ubiquitous example. The answer to all of them is that there is no answer so long as collective largess is distributed through the government or, in fact, any "program" at all. The answer is personal, private charity. Americans are the most charitable people on the planet. Allow us to keep our money, and we will give charitably as we see fit. If nobody sees fit, the recipient is likely not deserving.

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