Private charity is the libertarian's magical alternative to government redistribution. All of history shows that private charity has never and never will be up to the task of alleviating problems of poverty and other injustice or health care. To a libertarian, private charity is the only charity because "taxation is theft". Private charity has always been manipulative in addition. Private charity by the rich is possible because the rich have excessively taken their share from workers and customers. Better the workers and customers are able to spend that money themselves to support the needy, or contribute taxes towards it.
Neo-classical economics even rejects private charity as a viable alternative, since it's subject to the free-rider problem.
The idea that an individual knows better what to do with his own money does NOT work for transfer payments, because rich individuals do not know as well what poor individuals may want or need. Indeed, the idea of diminishing marginal returns to an individual from spending money by that individual would argue that a poor person will spend the transferred money better than a rich person.
See also: The Beneficence Of Plutocrats
- Libertarian-splaining to the Poor [More...]
- "Entirely missing from this discussion is the primary, upward form of income redistribution from poor to rich, through structural intervention to reduce the bargaining power of labor and increase the monopoly returns on accumulated property — a redistribution which dwarfs, many times over, compensatory downward forms of redistribution through the welfare state."
- Libertarians and Charity [More...]
- Leo Buzalsky debunks Penn Jillette's "Voting for our government to use guns to give money to help poor and suffering people is immoral self-righteous bullying laziness" claim.
- Private charity can't replace government social programs [More...]
- To suggest that community or faith-based charities can effectively supplant government social programs is a fantasy that serves only as a talking point to cut those programs.
- The Beneficence Of Plutocrats (4 links)
- People often excuse the harms done by plutocrats by citing later philanthropy. The Gates and Carnegie foundations, for example. But the benefits are hardly comparable in size to the harms, and they may not be what we want. Libertarians claim that government cannot spend tax money as wisely as individuals could; why then should we believe plutocrats could spend their profits as wisely as individuals could?
- The New York Times Is Spreading Charter School Lies [More...]
- The New York Times is still fawning over them, but the charter school experiment has been an abject failure. People are clamoring for well-funded public schools, not billionaire pet projects.
- The problem with Michael Bloomberg’s massive donation to Johns Hopkins University [More...]
- This $1.8 billion dollar donation will only assist a few less-needy students. Very inefficient.
- The Voluntarism Fantasy [More...]
- Libertarian stories of 19th century voluntary charity ignore the historical facts of how horribly insufficient that system was and how much it was supplemented by state and federal aid. The Great Depression destroyed most voluntary charity, and brought about progressive social insurance programs.
They tried that back in the day. We got a lot of wonderful Charles Dickens novels out of it.
Katamariguy (pseudonym), "Did you notice the the people who seem to believe in the efficiency of voluntary charity alone to the needy tend to be the ones who don't need it by themselves?"
Entirely missing from this discussion is the primary, upward form of income redistribution from poor to rich, through structural intervention to reduce the bargaining power of labor and increase the monopoly returns on accumulated property — a redistribution which dwarfs, many times over, compensatory downward forms of redistribution through the welfare state. Missing are the fundamental ways the state has been in structural alliance with capital — not just some hand-waving at “crony capitalism” and “corporatism” — since the beginning of capitalism five or six hundred years ago.
Kevin Carson, "Libertarian-splaining to the Poor"
No one ever considers the Carnegie libraries steeped in the blood of the Homestead Steel workers, but they are. We do not remember that the Rockefeller Foundation is founded on the dead miners of the Colorado Fuel Company and a dozen other performances. We worship Mammon....
Senator Harry Truman, speech to senate, December 20, 1937.