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.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.
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...
[Hat tip Stephen Hicks and Zen Tiger]