Charity by Force

Dave Killion — May 12, 2011

Jody Paterson was kind enough to leave a reply in the comments to my post concerning her post. From the comment –

“Point taken, Dave… I agree with your view on the role of a civil society, but our communities are not paying attention.”

What this actually means, though, is that communities are not paying as much attention as she would like.

The fact is, though, that when it comes to giving time, attention, and money to looking after others, everybody donates either as much as they can or as much as they want. If the government tries to take more from them by using the threat of force, they will simply decrease the amount that is given voluntarily. The time has now come that most of the resources the community used to put into caring for its vulnerable now get taken by government, as does the responsibility for that care. A huge chunk of those resources are diverted to support an inefficient bureaucracy, funding is subject to political whim, and holding someone accountable for tasing an 11-year-old is a long and difficult process likely to end unsatisfactorily. It is hard to imagine a crueler, less sustainable system. What I would like Paterson to know is that it cannot be fixed. It can only be replaced.


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