[lit-ideas] Re: Ye Olde Dialectic

  • From: "Phil Enns" <phil.enns@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 7 Sep 2005 19:18:47 -0400

Teemu Pyyluoma wrote:

"Sometimes charities can do what they intend to do and sometimes they
can't.  If the homeless guy on the street gets his lunch from a
government agency and supper from the Salvation Army, what exactly is
the problem? Yes, there is some overlap, which may imply inefficency.
And it may well be the case that Salvation Army is more efficent in this
case, in which case funds should be directed to SA. However this is an
empirical finding, and simply that charities exits does not imply that
they are effective or sufficent. Bottom line is that the guy gets to

I understood Eric's concern to be that the mere presence and functioning
of charities might be seen as absolving government from the
responsibility of providing that lunch.  The fact that government
provides one meal and a charity another, doesn't strike me as being a
problem.  What strikes me as being problematic is the claim that
government ought to be providing that meal.


Phil Enns
Toronto, ON

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