[ExI] Charity

Dan dan_ust at yahoo.com
Mon Jul 20 22:15:16 UTC 2009

--- 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 lot of people who on principle would not
>>> accept charity, but
>>> do accept government provided services, since
>>> they are provided
>>> under a binding and reciprocal agreement: i.e., if
>>> they earn enough
>>> money, they will also contribute to these
>>> services.
>> Nonsense.
>> If they don't accept charity, they don't need charity.
>> But they don't
>> need welfare also. This stance is only a facade.
> I'm simply telling you what some people do. Probably they
> would accept
> charity if that's all that was on offer and they were in
> great need.

In the past, many people would not go on the dole -- i.e., accept public assistance. This was the same sort of feeling that seems to have underlied not taking private charity. That's changed over the years, especially as the public dole is now seem by many as an entitlement without much social stigma.

As for the rest, not enough time to comment on all of it. A few points though...  Yes, there's rationing in markets. This is done, usually, via the price system as buyers and sellers coordinate via prices or expected prices. There is nothing sinister about this and it tends to, on the whole,work. It's usually seen as the best way, for all parties concerned, to allocate resources. All other methods rely on one party arbitrarily deciding how to allocate these, such as central planners telling everyone else to work, trade, etc.
Next, IMO, there is no bright line between which medical procedures, treatments, drugs, etc. are necessary and which are not. The line is not only fuzzy -- and fuzziness doesn't mean we might not all agree that the guy with a deep gash in his treated should get treated ahead of the guy with a minor fungus infection in his toenails -- but people do disagree on where to draw the line. All a government system -- and this is what we have in all the countries we're talking about now (we just different variations on a theme of socialized healthcare) -- is going to do is have a central planner decide where to do draw the line.
In all cases, I'd prefer the people decide -- not via some elective chicanery, but as individuals with each person freely choosing what to do with her or his resources, whether alone or in voluntary groups. That would, of course, be a radical change from the current systems in the US and other fascist nations (meaning all the rest). And I expect court intellectuals, government officials, those in the pay of medical and drug establishment to fight that kind of radical expulsion of the government from all health concerns.


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