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 Welfare versus Charity

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PostSubject: Welfare versus Charity   Fri Sep 19, 2008 4:32 am

An interesting article on whether charity can replace welfare - US oriented, obviously. It's a persistent libertarian myth that voluntary charity could replace government welfare, and the analysis presented shows rather well why it can't.
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PostSubject: Re: Welfare versus Charity   Fri Sep 19, 2008 11:01 am

Well... prior to the establishment of welfare legislation (National Reinsurance Act and that sort of thing) and thereafter the Welfare State it was charitable organisations which provided most of the dispensation to the poor and the sick.

However, I would warn. For those who wish to see the churches squeezed out of public life. A return to charitable rather than welfare dispensation will see a huge return to influence for the churches. They do after all remain the largest contributories to charitable activities.
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PostSubject: Re: Welfare versus Charity   Fri Sep 19, 2008 11:37 am

Summary from the article:

Americans would have to make at least 10 times the donations they currently give to charity to fully replace government social spending. And there is no reason to believe that people who so bitterly hate paying taxes would gladly surrender an equal amount to charity. Arguments that charities can do the job better than government are naïve - most charities are small, highly localized and ill-suited to responding to national disasters or shifting economic trends. About 90 percent of charity funds are both collected and spent locally, which means that rich communities tend to have well-funded charities, and poor communities tend to have poorly funded ones. For this reason, only 10 percent of all charitable donations are directed to the poor. Re-allocating charity donations to the communities that need them most will incur intense political opposition from the communities that fund them.
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PostSubject: Re: Welfare versus Charity   Sat Sep 20, 2008 3:45 am

Ban charities ! Twisted Evil
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PostSubject: Re: Welfare versus Charity   Sun Sep 21, 2008 1:43 am

ibis wrote:
An interesting article on whether charity can replace welfare - US oriented, obviously. It's a persistent libertarian myth that voluntary charity could replace government welfare, and the analysis presented shows rather well why it can't.

Having read the summary and argument section that's a very interesting and useful article, - thanks.

One emerging issue in the US, is the market in disaster relief. I believe we could see private, for-profit operators actually take both non-profit charities and the non-profit public sector (or welfare) to court over unfair competition. So if you get rid of public welfare you could have an all new, even-worse-than-the-19th-century, dynamic happening where even charity itself is under threat.
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PostSubject: Re: Welfare versus Charity   Sun Sep 21, 2008 2:32 am

Whilst I am all for small and efficient government there are other considerations relating to the type of society we wish to create. You simply can't rely on the caprice of charity to look after those who are in need. In my view that is ducking our collective responsibility.
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PostSubject: Re: Welfare versus Charity   Sun Sep 21, 2008 2:38 am

About what type of welfare are we talking? I like energising, enervating and enriching welfare. I don't see welfare as being about the government simply handing out large cheques to people with little or nothing in return. A welfare system which is oriented around back-to-work schemes, means tests, time limits and a connection to a host of private sector employees and the like is the sort I want to see.

That is superior to the scatter-gun, irregular and largely emotional nature of charity which is not conducive to the effective and consistent formation of merit and social goods in society.
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