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Religious and Private Charity vs. Government Welfare

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Published on Oct 10, 2012

In providing welfare, government typically does both too much and too little. The former because it provides assistance to those who could be self-sufficient, it provides few if any work opportunities for recipients, it creates perverse incentives (such as for cohabitation), and it often robs recipients of dignity and self-reliance.

Government does too little in its efforts. Decades of government assistance has done little to effect the spread of poverty, government programs do little to character development or self-reliance, and it does not promote stronger families.

It is necessarily impersonal, distant, and broad-brush in its solutions.

Thankfully, private, particularly religious charities, can provide much of what government cannot. Successful private efforts focus on individual needs, meet local needs with local resources, respect the role of families, promote personal and family responsibility, create sustainable employment services, make a better assessment of actual needs and provide attention to considerations that really matter to people and that make real differences. They also, importantly, change the giver not just the recipient.

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