5 Reasons Charity is Better Than Welfare
Updated: Feb 10
There is no effective moral or emotional argument that government (especially federal) should forcefully take someone's money and give it to another. In light of this being enforced ultimately by violence, it is the definition of armed robbery.
In fact, if you do have morals, you agree that the right way to help people who sincerely do suffer without help is to allow charities to do what they do best. I don't mind giving voluntarily to a person or a charity that I know and trust. In that instance, I make a voluntary decision to give some of my money away to an entity of my choosing. If next week I have zero dollars to spare, I will not give charity.
Theft/taxation is taken from individuals involuntarily. If the person does not give the government/thief their money, they will be forcibly placed in prison. After money is stolen from me by force and 'given to others', I don't feel quite as generous as I do after giving charity voluntarily.
"But Alu, most people are stingy! They won't give charity voluntarily!"
There are many reasons why that statement is ridiculous:
1) Free Individuals give charity in unique ways: I have long admitted that generosity was not my strength. Yet I donated to 2 different charities in the past 4 days, and I spent 3 years of my life voluntarily caring for the sick and elderly in my community. And by 'spent', I mean 'spent around 30 hours each week'. Imagine how much charity is given throughout the US by people who are actually generous!
2) Voluntary charity is much more efficient: When you pay taxes towards social security, food stamps, or Medicare, a large percentage of that money goes towards the thousands of employees who are tasked with the stealing and appropriating of the funds. When you give charity, all of that money gets to the persons in need. This can literally be proven because when you hand money to an individual, 100% of that money becomes theirs. This is what's known as 'cutting out the middle man'.
3) There is a lot of charity given annually in the US. Even enough to rival government programs: The ‘greedy capitalists’ throughout the US gave 373 billion dollars in charity last year. Nobody forced them to. And it was surely used more efficiently than government programs. Imagine how much more charity we would give if 40-70% of our income was not stolen!
4) Because charity is voluntary, it holds the recipients accountable. When people give to others, they have a natural interest in how that money may be spent. If you give to a beggar and you see him spend that money on cocaine, you have the OPTION to not give him money again tomorrow. You can keep that money or give it to another beggar who will use it for a new shirt or water or for transportation to a job interview.
In the case of government redistribution of wealth, on the other hand, we have little influence over who is the beneficiary of our money or how they spend it because the government steals it from us and does with it what it wants. Many of us have seen how some beneficiaries of government money spend it. They may spend it on drugs, soda, or even expensive Nike’s.
5) Programs like SNAP have proven to be ineffective. We would all agree that the intention of welfare/redistribution programs is to help people out of poverty and back into the workforce, right? Well, if I can prove that over the last decade, food stamps have not helped anyone out of poverty, would you at least reconsider whether government should forcefully take wealth and redistribute it?
When Obama took office, there were around 32 million Americans receiving food stamps, directly from the paychecks of others. By 2013, that number had increased to around 48 million people. The simple conclusion would be that giving people free money doesn't make them want to find a job. In fact, it makes others - 16 million others - want to join this program that entails lots of free money!
If you like government sources, the USDA states that the number of people on SNAP increased from 28 million to 44 million over the past 8 years. Other sources have the number at 48 million. In dollars, that increase is from $38,000,000,000 to $71,000,000,000. If you count the zeros, you'll see that that’s in billions. The SNAP budget was only $250 million when it was created in 1969. But if the year were 1969, I would still be fighting against SNAP because on principle, I am against theft.
"But Alu, the authors of the Constitution obviously didn't consider poor people when they established property rights!"
"Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government."
-- James Madison, speech in the House of Representatives, January 10, 1794
They did, but that’s independent of ownership. Ownership is final. If I own property, no man nor government can take it by force, regardless of how poor or needy the potential recipient may be. Theft is not the answer. There was a time when Americans stood up to mass property theft. It was around 240 years ago, and it created the greatest nation in history.
Socialism is force. Capitalism is voluntary. Which will you choose?
The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views held by The Liberty Block or any of its contributors or members.