[ExI] Charity

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Fri Jul 24 12:10:02 UTC 2009

2009/7/24 Mirco Romanato <painlord2k at libero.it>:
> Dan ha scritto:
>> --- On Mon, 7/20/09, Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> 2009/7/20 Mirco Romanato <painlord2k at libero.it>:
>>>>> Charity is fickle and demeaning, although better than nothing.
>>>> Charity is fickle mainly because don't give blindly to anyone
>>>> asking without minding at the real needs.
>>> Actually, the government can and does do means tests, while
>>> charities can't or don't want to and don't.
>> Nothing prevents charities from doing so -- save legal restrictions.
>> And I'm not sure they don't when it's possible.
> I know a charity in France that give out hot meals to poor people in
> fall and winter. They cook a supper with pork inside and they write the
> ingredients so people can see what they will eat and decide if they want
> the supper or not.
> Doing so prevent them from feeding a know group of people without
> denying a supper to anyone that would ask for it.
> Any single person can be, and sometimes is, a private charity. So
> telling that a private charity never test, don't want test and can not
> test is out of reality.
> This is true for private charities of one person and for private
> charities of many person; until the main aim is to give charity to
> people in need.
> Sometime the charity become a vessel to put money in the pockets of the
> people running it, and the donations collected are misused. But, as soon
> as this become of public domain, donations plummet.
> The same is not possible with the welfare paid by taxes.

I'm not sure you understood what I meant by "means test". It is
testing of recipients to make sure that they truly are eligible for
the service: really poor, unemployed, a single mother or whatever the
criterion may be. Governments have strict and usually rigid rules
about this, and are able to access tax records etc. to confirm
eligibility. If you lie that is fraud and you have to at least pay the
money back and possibly be fined or imprisoned as well. Charities are
generally much more trusting; if they require proof at all, they
generally don't have the power to check it. Fortunately not many
people try to abuse charities, but a lot of people would abuse
government welfare payments if it were just a matter of signing up.

Stathis Papaioannou

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