As the financial crisis continues, it seems to be bringing with it some drops in charitable donations, even as the need for charity increases. For advocates of a less powerful state, however, this need (and the holiday season) presents an excellent opportunity to increase charitable giving, filling the needs in our community ourselves, and leaving government with no excuse to do so in our stead.
The Mises Institute’s Journal of Libertarian Studies published a scholarly article by James Rolph Edwards several years ago entitled “The Costs of Public Income Redistribution and Private Charity” which includes in its literature review very readable statistics and arguments on why privately supported charity is superior to government aid from a practical and financial perspective. For other arguments which include a moral perspective as well, there are quite a few discussions of this topic available at the searchable Ron Paul Library. One of the best of these is “True Foreign Aid,” in which Dr. Paul explains that
There are good reasons why the US Constitution does not allow our government to send taxpayer money overseas as foreign aid. One of the best is that coerced “charity” is not charity at all, but rather it is theft. If someone picks your pocket and donates the money to a good cause it does not negate the original act of theft.
To research national charities doing excellent work in their fields and make your own donations, try visiting the website of Charity Navigator, an independent charity evaluator which rates charities on their efficiency and effectiveness.Published in