[lit-ideas] Re: Ye Olde Dialectic

  • From: Eric Yost <mr.eric.yost@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 07 Sep 2005 17:22:57 -0400

One way of reading Eric's argument is that, following Lincoln, government does what the peoople can't. This is an argument I am wholly in sympathy with. However, Eric also wants government to try and do what charities do.


That is one way of reading my argument, but it misses the point I introduced in an earlier post on the subject, namely that charities let the government off the hook and that consequently prevents charities from being redirected to other, higher-level purposes, such as more free college educations.

In other words, if people's donations forced government to assume sole responsibility for the bottom of the pyramid of human needs, then charitable work could be directed to aims that would fulfill higher human potentials.

So when someone posits that "government cannot do the basic things charities do," I want to ask, "How do we know? We've never asked government to take over the basics completely."

Totalitarian implications in a red circle with a line through it,

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