The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Sealing the cracks

The reason we have so many State-run vote-buying boondoggles like "affordable housing" is that the State has taken on roles previously played by private charity. And the reason our society has allowed the State to take over, is that we have found that private charity doesn't work. More exactly, private charity has a limit.

Private donors prefer to help those whom they deem "the deserving poor", the "less fortunate". Technology has insulated the rich and middle class from all the poor. So "the deserving", to a rich person, means his lower-middle-class drinking buddy who's having liver issues.

Also - leaving aside that personal interaction - our main face-to-face interactions with the poor are with aggressive panhandlers (or else we don't see them). They're annoying at best, and potentially dangerous. Most of us don't like to deal with them.

Here's a point, though: even the worst panhandling bum might be "deserving poor". A lot of street-people are mentally ill, for a start.

If we assume that someone's got to help those poor who completely lack friends - and only the coldest Randian could deny that - that someone has to be the government.

posted by Zimri on 09:30 | link | 0 comments

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