Letter: Inducing the rich to help the poor

Published: 6/21/2019 12:01:29 AM

Most people believe that private citizens aren’t altruistic enough to take care of the needy; government has to do it. Many television shows have portrayed wealthy businessmen as bad guys. Most are not.

The preeminent bad guys are government and its nefarious partners, unions.

Government raises tax revenue by force and pays it out to some groups but not to others, arousing envy and resentment. The natural response is to try to beat the system, with everyone out for themselves. Big government promotes selfishness.

If government were much reduced, people would take responsibility for their own actions. Self-guided people tend to be altruistic. Numerous private organizations and corporations would raise money from the prosperous and pay it to the needy. In New York City in the 1890s, there were dozens of such agencies. With tax rates low and government backing way off, you can bet that prosperous people would give.

The media would assist, promulgating messages such as, “Mr. Big Bucks, of this community, has displayed his wealth with a huge home and stupendous yacht. But in the past few years he has given little to alleviate poverty.” This would enliven the gentleman’s charitable impulses.

Many government policies unintentionally hurt the poor. If these policies were reversed, the poor would need less help from others.

If government stopped all welfare, the feeling that we’re all in this together would take hold, even for a nation as large as ours, and the underclass would flourish.



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