October 13, 2012
Some people feel that charity must be enforced and administered through government welfare programs because private charity would not suffice to meet the needs of the destitute and desperate. If people are not forced to give up half of their salaries to ensure a caring society, then they won’t do it and we will be left with a dog-eat-dog world in which the needy are left to suffer and die in the streets.It is undoubtedly true that very few people would give up anywhere in the neighbourhood of half of their earnings if they were not forced to do so. What is not true is that society as we know it would crumble as a result. Instead, it would flourish. Allowing people to keep more (dare we dream: all?) of their earnings would be a great incentive for people to work harder, because the extra effort would be fully rewarded. On the flipside, knowing that they will not be automatically taken care of is a great incentive for the unemployed who are able but unwilling to work to get off their butts already. As for those recipients of welfare programs who are truly unable to care for themselves, they would be able to rely on the voluntary charity of a society that will be even wealthier than the one we have right now and whose productive members will not feel that they “already gave at the office” to the tune of half of their earnings. There is simply no grounds for believing that the bulk of humanity is so uncaring as to let the truly needy suffer and die when helping them is readily within their reach.