Taxpayers as Good Samaritans? Not really.

What has the modern welfare state to do with charity? Almost nothing. The system seems almost designed to eliminate virtue, kindness or gratitude. The taxpayer gives not through the love of his neighbor, but through fear of the government. Charity is replaced with indignation, so that when confronted with other’s needs, we may ask–like Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol”–“Are there no poorhouses?”

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