Friday, 21 October 2005

Stossel on guns & charity

Does Big Government discourage private charity? Sure does. Does gun control reduce crime? Betcha life it doesn't. ABC journalist John Stossel argues both cases, and pretty well.

In the first instance, Stossell talks about mutual aid societies and the like that flourished before state welfare did:
In the 1920s -- the last decade before the Roosevelt administration launched its campaign to federalize nearly everything -- 30 percent of American men belonged to mutual aid societies, groups of people with similar backgrounds who banded together to help members in trouble. They were especially common among minorities.

Mutual aid societies paid for doctors, built orphanages and cooked for the poor. Neighbors knew best what neighbors needed. They were better at making judgments about who needs a handout and who needed a kick in the rear. They helped the helpless, but administered tough love to the rest. They taught self-sufficiency.

Mutual aid didn't solve every problem, so government stepped in. But government didn't solve every problem either. Instead, it caused more problems by driving private charity out...
More here. And how about gun control? Surely guns are dnagerous. They are "But myths are dangerous, too," says Stossel. "Myths about guns are very dangerous, because they lead to bad laws. And bad laws kill people." Gun control is bad law says Stossel. Challenge yourself and see if you agree with him.

[Hat tip Stephen Hicks and Zen Tiger]

1 comment:

  1. It strikes me that government is continually seeking to supplant charities. Greg Stephens - budding communist - did a post on his old blog site "NZ Political Comments" (now taken down) wondering why government didn't just take over charities, because they could do things more "efficiently".

    Never mind many people are involved in charity work; providing time, energy, expertise and most importantly, passion, to make a real difference in people's lives.

    That kind of thinking shows how it is becoming harder for ordinary people to visualise the alternative of a small government, less tax and a flourishing of charities and community organisations that are funded by free labour (bloody minimum wage laws), and funds from wealthier citizens that have more disposable income to dispose in ways they feel are more productive and in-line with their sympathies.


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