Government welfare destroys charity

There is no virtue in having government take one man’s money by the threat of force and giving it to another. The taxpayer does nothing virtuous, except yield to overwhelming state power. As government welfare replaces charity, it becomes easy and natural to turn away from the poor and leave charity to the government. Government destroys our capacity for generosity. Like Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol we may indignantly ask: “Are there no poorhouses?”

In the letter of James, we read, “If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled,’ without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit?” The modern state makes it even easier for us today to ignore the needy, for we can always dismiss them, saying: “Go to the government, be warmed and filled.”

Free is Beautiful