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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Wal-Mart gives $400,000 to Ohio food banks, heating aid

Love 'em or hate 'em, you can't criticize Wal-Mart, Ohio's largest private employer, for giving $400,000 to Ohio state food and heating programs. I guess you could if you think they're just grandstanding. Personally, I don't. Even if they are, the bottom line is that their contribution will have a positive affect on the people here. It's rather unfortunate that they gave it to government agencies, but in a more perfect world those wouldn't exist.

In the past, I have been criticized for saying that charities will help the poor if there was no government. I really don't think poor people would starve or suffer any more under no government than they do now. The government programs we have now hardly seem to do any good to the people who really need it, such as those in inner cities. You could even say that the government's drug policies create black market gang wars that keep inner cities in perpetual poverty.

In sharp contrast to government "help", private programs often seem to do much more good for the poverty stricken. Even if you insist on claiming that their aid programs actually do help the poor, it's not exactly for them to even apply for benefits. The massive red tape can be daunting, to say the least. Also, t's not like programs such as the Salvation Army and Red Cross would cease to exist if the government stopped what they were doing. There would probably even be more charities like them that don't yet exist, if it weren't for government busilly sapping and wasting everyone's money in their massive, hapless bureaucracy. Without having the feds around, people might even give more to charities once they realize how much more pleasant it makes society.

Private charity is much more efficient. So much that when Katrina struck New Orleans, Wal-Mart's emergency response team was there helping people way before FEMA bothered to show up with their mud-ridden trailers. The great industrialists of years past, "Captains of Industry" that are libeled in public school textbooks as "robber barons", actually gave away much of their wealth, from schools to libraries to great buildings like Carnegie Hall.

So yes, you can say I definitely think private charity does a much, much better job caring for the poor than the government. The government's policies actually help create more people than there would have been. I don't care how much you want to reform their huge public agencies. They will always fail to help you during emergencies when you really need it most. If you really want to be safe in a world without government, donate to private charity when you can afford to, buy insurance, and don't spend all the money you earn.

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