Charity and Government

An editorial in today’s new York Times, entitled “Charity Begins in Washington,” calls for greater government involvement in charity:

Critics of government spending argue that America’s private sector does a better job making socially necessary investments. But it doesn’t. Public spending is allocated democratically among competing demands.

Allocated democratically among competing demands? Government does not work that way.

Public sector charity is allocated by politicians making political calculations. Yes, the private sector is imperfect. But it doesn’t have half the systemic problems that government charity has. Inefficiency, politicization, rent-seeking, corruption, people gaming the system, you name it. All the good intentions in the world can’t change that.

Charity does not, and should not begin in Washington. It begins with you, me, and everyone else who wants to help our fellow man.

Some things are too important to be left to government. Charity is one of them.

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