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Although, I can see Jerome's excellent points, I would ask, do we really want the "state" to have a lock on charity. We say "charity begins at home", but if only governments could provide charity it might end there as well. Who provides for the impoverished areas of the world where governments are too poor to provide charity. Having watched the political do nothings, at work in Bosnia, Sudan, Ruwanda, and countless other places around the world, I'm very happy that all charity is not in the hands of government.  

I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears
by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Fri Nov 24th, 2006 at 05:51:49 PM EST
We don't want the state to have a lock  on charity. The point is that charity and philantropy should not be an excuse to neglect social policy, nor should they be our social policy. I suppose charity is ok to a point, as it represents civil society organising itself to provide services that the state doesn't. But philantropy is the social policy of feudalism and advanced democracies should be able to do better.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Nov 25th, 2006 at 07:07:07 AM EST
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