Is charity a viable substitute for government aid programs?

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Off course charities wouldn't be able to take over. Taxes+charities already fail to help the poor sufficiently so how could charities alone do it? And let's not forget that charities are horrible at being efficient. If you thought the government was wasting money you haven't heard of the atrocious money management of charities.

Gorfias:

thaluikhain:

The failures of government can be met with legislation, though. I don't know of any reliable way to persuade all individuals to take up that sort of responsibility.

There is not way to get all individuals to do this, making either a government program or private charity necessary. I think the private charity would do about as good a job as a government program, but be healthier for a free society.

Another story that sticks with me: it was on one of those TV news magazines. A government home for the mentally handicapped had this woman running it. She lived a life of luxury. Great clothes, drove a Mercedes. The institution was a disgrace. Poor food, facilities, etc. They showed footage of a handicapped woman crawling on all fours to get something to eat from a dumpster as they weren't feeding her properly inside. It just reminded me that you can have government programs for things, but you can never escape the need for people to be good.

Can you point to a place with no govermental safety net, where private charity consistently provides for people as well as it does in, say, Norway, Sweden and Finland?

nyysjan:

Can you point to a place with no govermental safety net, where private charity consistently provides for people as well as it does in, say, Norway, Sweden and Finland?

No. Funny, this guy is one of my favorite columnists (Libertarian, and he loves Star Trek)and he addresses this very issue just this morning:

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/351021/freedom-unfolding-revolution-jonah-goldberg

I recently left the RNC and became a Libertarian myself. Its end goal is nuts, but its direction at this time seems right.

Gorfias:

nyysjan:

Can you point to a place with no govermental safety net, where private charity consistently provides for people as well as it does in, say, Norway, Sweden and Finland?

No. Funny, this guy is one of my favorite columnists (Libertarian, and he loves Star Trek)and he addresses this very issue just this morning:

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/351021/freedom-unfolding-revolution-jonah-goldberg

I recently left the RNC and became a Libertarian myself. Its end goal is nuts, but its direction at this time seems right.

What i got from that article, was, that is seems to argue that because we don't live in a tyranny, Libertarianism works.
I may be misreading it though, as that's one fucking stupid claim.

Also, it has 0 relevance to the actual question posed.
Can private chairty replace government welfare, and, so far, nobody has managed to actually come with a single example where it has, or even come up with a hypothetical model that is not made of fairydust and wishful thinking where it might.

nyysjan:

Gorfias:

nyysjan:

Can you point to a place with no govermental safety net, where private charity consistently provides for people as well as it does in, say, Norway, Sweden and Finland?

No. Funny, this guy is one of my favorite columnists (Libertarian, and he loves Star Trek)and he addresses this very issue just this morning:

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/351021/freedom-unfolding-revolution-jonah-goldberg

it has 0 relevance to the actual question posed.
Can private chairty replace government welfare, and, so far, nobody has managed to actually come with a single example where it has, or even come up with a hypothetical model that is not made of fairydust and wishful thinking where it might.

We only in the 20th Century had big government. Before that, private charity had to do the heavy lifting.

But you ask TODAY, is the Libertarian model used anywhere. The column specifically states in relevant part, "Pick a date in the past, and you can imagine someone asking similar questions. "Why should women have equal rights?" some court intellectual surely asked. "Show me anywhere in the world where that has been tried." Before that, "Give the peasants the right to vote? Unheard of!"

In other words, there's a first time for everything."

I don't think so.

First off, the combined efforts of governmental aid programs and private charities does not currently meet the demands, neither locally or globally. For instance, take a look at Denmark, known around the world for its high taxes and strong welfare system. People are generally well off, and as such, a fair amount of money also goes to private charities (I got no numbers, so don't know how it compares to the rest of the world). Even then, there is still a need for more welfare work in Denmark itself. We got homeless people sleeping on the streets, because all the shelters are filled to the brim and children of addicts go hungry to bed. While, as a whole, Denmark is better off than the vast majority of the world, we still got a sizable group of people who's living under conditions you wouldn't expect to find in a first world country.

Second off, I'm quite sure the amount of money available for welfare work would drop, if you were to give tax breaks and cut all governmental aid programs.
You can split the people who donate to charity in to two groups: Those who give a little bit, and those who give as much as they can afford. If given a tax break, the first group might choose to donate more to charity than they currently do, even perhaps a comparable amount as to what they gave away through the combination of taxes and charity. But it's unlikely that they'd donate more in total than they currently do, because, as I said earlier, the demand for welfare work is greater than what is currently supplied, yet they've chosen not to donate more than what they currently do.
The second group won't be able to donate any more than what they already do, since they're giving away everything they can spare.

Then we have the people who doesn't currently donate, and we can split those in to two groups also: Those who'd consider to donate if given a tax break, and those who wouldn't donate anything at all, no matter how large a tax break they was given.
The first group is quite likely to donate less than what they currently do through taxes, because they've either been satisfied with the amount they've paid through taxes, or even felt that they've paid too much (but still feel like they should donate *something*).
The second group would take ALL the money they've gained through the tax break and spend it on goods or let it accumulate on their bank account.

So, if we'd abolish governmental aid programs in favor of private charity, we'd end up with 1 group of people who'll donate nothing to charity, 2 groups who'd donate the same amount (less likely) or less, and 1 group who'd pay the same amount as they currently do.
So we'd end up with less money for welfare work, meaning the private charities would have to be REALLY efficient in how they spend their money compared to governmental aid programs (Plus, a sizable portion of the welfare work done is already funded through private charity, and therefor wouldn't become more efficient if governmental aid programs was slashed) to not end up with less money, in total, for welfare work.

Gorfias:
We only in the 20th Century had big government. Before that, private charity had to do the heavy lifting.

So, what exactly do you define as "big government," because monarchies, feudal systems, empires, and autocracies seem to point out that big government has been a thing, for a very long time. And, since a very long time ago, charity wasn't exactly a perfect system that led to all the hungry being fed and all the children being cared for. That, and governments haven't completely abstained from providing relief in hard times to their people in the form of grain stores or something like that.

But you ask TODAY, is the Libertarian model used anywhere. The column specifically states in relevant part, "Pick a date in the past, and you can imagine someone asking similar questions. "Why should women have equal rights?" some court intellectual surely asked. "Show me anywhere in the world where that has been tried." Before that, "Give the peasants the right to vote? Unheard of!"

Except women having equal rights had a basis in a reasonable argument. The only one of these arguments that I've actually read was John Stuart Mill's and his argument wasn't "it's a first time for everything!" His argument composed of examples of females being the ruling monarch of a country and being rather good at the task, or the multitudes of women who were reading and writing in his time to show that they're not subhuman things incapable of knowledge. A main argument of his is that women have been shaped into the way they currently are by society, and judging them by how they mostly are is wrong since they're twisted examples of what women actually are.

As for voting, that also has a historical example and a rational argument supporting it. The historical example is Athens (and all the other, less famous city-states that were democracies) that worked pretty well considering it once controlled the entirety of Greece as a pseudo-empire. Rome's republic, which came about after overthrowing their abusive kings and having the fear of kings put in them, also provide an example of voting being put into place for every citizen and working relatively well for awhile. The rational argument is that the benefits of a democracy (or a republic), like everyone getting a say and not having one person be able to legally abuse everyone else, outweigh the potential negatives like a slower process of lawmaking and military actions and mediocrity from the whole "tyranny of the majority" idea.

In other words, there's a first time for everything."

Just because something was the first instance of something, doesn't somehow mean that the reason it was implemented was just because they fucking felt like it. You need reasons and arguments, possibly supported by evidence, to make a case as to why something should be implemented. If your entire argument can be summed up as "we don't know what will happen, so lets find out," you've got a shitty argument that is basically ignoring the massive consequences that could emerge from such a stupid idea.

LifeCharacter:

Gorfias:
We only in the 20th Century had big government. Before that, private charity had to do the heavy lifting.

So, what exactly do you define as "big government," because monarchies, feudal systems, empires, and autocracies seem to point out that big government has been a thing, for a very long time.

Not in the USA that I was referring to: my bad that I wasn't more specific. Elsewhere, would you know if government provided a social safety net well before the 20th Century?

governments haven't completely abstained from providing relief in hard times to their people in the form of grain stores or something like that.

I do recall Coriolanus bitching about giving the people "grain gratis when they have not earned grain gratis" but I don't think that is the same thing as the type of safety nets we're seeing since after WW2.

But you ask TODAY, is the Libertarian model used anywhere.... The column specifically states in relevant part, "Pick a date in the past, and you can imagine someone asking similar questions. "Why should women have equal rights?" some court intellectual surely asked. "Show me anywhere in the world where that has been tried." Before that, "Give the peasants the right to vote? Unheard of!"

Except women having equal rights had a basis in a reasonable argument.

As is the concept of libertarianism. But we're being told, because it exists in purity nowhere, it is an absurd argument, even as the USA government does things like, fund socially destructive failure "Head Start" at 3 times the cost of regular daycare.

Just because something was the first instance of something, doesn't somehow mean that the reason it was implemented was just because they fucking felt like it. You need reasons and arguments, possibly supported by evidence, to make a case as to why something should be implemented. If your entire argument can be summed up as "we don't know what will happen, so lets find out," you've got a shitty argument that is basically ignoring the massive consequences that could emerge from such a stupid idea.

I agree. But conversly, saying, "see, no one is doing this, so it is a bad idea doomed to failure" is a bad argument too.

Wonder how charities will help 50 million hungry people in the usa alone.

We did solve hunger pretty good in the 1970's but the programs for it cut in the 1980s to pay for military.

Charities cant solve hunger for long term 100 points of light failed we need to put more money into programs that help the poor.

Also obesity and hunger go hand and hand, processed food is much cheaper compared to fresh fruit and veggies. If your on food stamps and you want to stretch it to last a month then you would get the "bad" food because its just so much cheaper.

Did you know 1 in 4 US children go to bed hungry? First 3 years in a child's life is important they are fed right, If not then they will have a lot of health problems and that would cost a lot more money then feeding them.

LifeCharacter:
As for voting, that also has a historical example and a rational argument supporting it. The historical example is Athens (and all the other, less famous city-states that were democracies) that worked pretty well considering it once controlled the entirety of Greece as a pseudo-empire.

As an aside, not really. Athens had a powerful hegemony, but far from all of Greece. Their populace kept voting for wars against other Greeks, Spartans and their allies, or running off to get involved in Sicily, and that cost them their power.

Gorfias:
Not in the USA that I was referring to: my bad that I wasn't more specific. Elsewhere, would you know if government provided a social safety net well before the 20th Century?

Wait, wait. I know I shouldn't get involved in this, but...

Are you seriously, actually trying to argue that life in the United States was better for the average person in the 19th Century than it is today?

Friv:

Gorfias:
Not in the USA that I was referring to: my bad that I wasn't more specific. Elsewhere, would you know if government provided a social safety net well before the 20th Century?

Wait, wait. I know I shouldn't get involved in this, but...

Are you seriously, actually trying to argue that life in the United States was better for the average person in the 19th Century than it is today?

I think Bluray movies were much better in the 19th Century than now. Oh wait, there were none back then.

See my point?

You can never compare apples to oranges. But looking at what was available and
how people lived then compared to what we have and how we live now, you can make
a reasonable guess that all this padded centralized welfare state hasn't helped
matters. (I'm writing this way cuz of a fricken ad blocking my typing!!!)

Gorfias:
But looking at what was available and
how people lived then compared to what we have and how we live now, you can make
a reasonable guess that all this padded centralized welfare state hasn't helped
matters.

I suggest that you go and read Oliver Twist (as a random famous example), or indeed any work about the state of the poor and the way that a lack of government caring about them led to widespread oppression, corruption, vote-buying, outright state-sanctioned murder of protesters against the status quo, six-day workweeks with no minimum wage, child labour, debtor's prisons, etc, etc...

It is absolutely impossible to argue from any position of logic that a lack of oversight made anything better back then.

(Hilarious captcha: modern love. Indeed, captcha. Indeed.)

Gorfias:
I think Bluray movies were much better in the 19th Century than now. Oh wait, there were none back then.

See my point?

You can never compare apples to oranges. But looking at what was available and
how people lived then compared to what we have and how we live now, you can make
a reasonable guess that all this padded centralized welfare state hasn't helped
matters. (I'm writing this way cuz of a fricken ad blocking my typing!!!)

Gorf, do you research these things at all before you post?

Standard of living has increased dramatically.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_of_living_in_the_United_States

http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/NOTES/as120/LifeTables_Body.html (life expectency tables)

http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2001/05/art3full.pdf (specifically chart 2 on page 41 if you don't want to read the whole thing)

Friv:

I suggest that you go and read Oliver Twist

Oliver did bitch about the food he was given, but National Review Magazine, I think, argued from what they could tell from the period, he was not on a starvation diet. Was Oliver's orphanage state run or private?

Jux:

Gorf, do you research these things at all before you post?

Standard of living has increased dramatically.

And the Earth keeps revolving. Is that because of big government or in-spite of it?

Not a perfect analogy but I hope you get my meaning.

People are writing what you have written: it is better now than it used to be to which we should all know, or course it is! But big government seems more interested in stat ism than growth, prosperity and liberty. That should worry us all.
What would have happened if we subsidized the VHS rental store system? Conversely, what if we did not have food stamp programs, but government provided huge subsidies for agriculture (already do, but even bigger!!!) and people knew some could still not feed themselves? I think people would step in and do their part to help the hungry without government assistance.

Gorfias:
I think people would step in and do their part to help the hungry without government assistance.

What is "their part"? And why should anyone feel like doing that when they could just as easily not and be somewhat wealthier for their lack of effort?

Seanchaidh:

Gorfias:
I think people would step in and do their part to help the hungry without government assistance.

What is "their part"? And why should anyone feel like doing that when they could just as easily not and be somewhat wealthier for their lack of effort?

Why has anyone, ever, for any reason ever given to charity? I get no tax benefit when I throw change into Salvation Army buckets, etc. Why do I and others do it?

Whatever that reason is, that is also the explanation for why private efforts to feed the hungry can be expected to do just as well were there no food stamps (private charity vs. government program) to feed the hungry in the USA.

Gorfias:

Seanchaidh:

Gorfias:
I think people would step in and do their part to help the hungry without government assistance.

What is "their part"? And why should anyone feel like doing that when they could just as easily not and be somewhat wealthier for their lack of effort?

Why has anyone, ever, for any reason ever given to charity? I get no tax benefit when I throw change into Salvation Army buckets, etc. Why do I and others do it?

For reasons that do not apply in large part to everyone. There are people who would help others, there are others who would not. Those who would are likely to be doing so already, not waiting for a lack of government assistance to do so.

Secondly, as mentioned before, who would be receiving this aid? Who would be excluded? Anyone and everyone that various individuals didn't care about or recognised their problems.

Gorfias:

Seanchaidh:

Gorfias:
I think people would step in and do their part to help the hungry without government assistance.

What is "their part"? And why should anyone feel like doing that when they could just as easily not and be somewhat wealthier for their lack of effort?

Why has anyone, ever, for any reason ever given to charity? I get no tax benefit when I throw change into Salvation Army buckets, etc. Why do I and others do it?

Is spare change sufficient?

Whatever that reason is, that is also the explanation for why private efforts to feed the hungry can be expected to do just as well were there no food stamps (private charity vs. government program) to feed the hungry in the USA.

Just as well as what, exactly?

thaluikhain:

Gorfias:

Why has anyone, ever, for any reason ever given to charity?

For reasons that do not apply in large part to everyone.

And I think some will give and others will not, even if they are able.

Those who would are likely to be doing so already, not waiting for a lack of government assistance to do so.

I think public spending crowds out private spending. End government spending and private will increase to make up the difference.

Secondly, as mentioned before, who would be receiving this aid? Who would be excluded?

This is where things can get interesting. I think private spending can be policed better than public. Government cannot make a distinction to know just giving cash to a Clarabel Ventura (emmigrant made baby manufacturing a way of life, used public funds for cocaine and neglected, almost to death, her many unfortunate babies) is destructive. A private charity will be better able to police such giving.

Seanchaidh:

Is spare change sufficient?

Depends, but as I wrote above, I would expect private giving to go up as public funding subsides.

Just as well as what, exactly?

Private spending will take care of the hungry as well as public has in the past.

Gorfias:
I think public spending crowds out private spending. End government spending and private will increase to make up the difference.

Er...why? "Crowds out"?

Gorfias:
This is where things can get interesting. I think private spending can be policed better than public. Government cannot make a distinction to know just giving cash to a Clarabel Ventura (emmigrant made baby manufacturing a way of life, used public funds for cocaine and neglected, almost to death, her many unfortunate babies) is destructive. A private charity will be better able to police such giving.

Policed, in a way, perhaps. Someone will be deciding who to turn down, yes, but that's not always going to be based on good reasons. There's a reason why normal policing is done by the governments.

No, unfortunately not. As a substitute, no.

There's just unfortunately not enough oversight and people have the right to give to what and whom they feel like so you can end up with people who need something not getting it out of political belief or religious belief etc.

Gorfias:

thaluikhain:

Gorfias:

Why has anyone, ever, for any reason ever given to charity?

For reasons that do not apply in large part to everyone.

And I think some will give and others will not, even if they are able.

Those who would are likely to be doing so already, not waiting for a lack of government assistance to do so.

I think public spending crowds out private spending. End government spending and private will increase to make up the difference.

Secondly, as mentioned before, who would be receiving this aid? Who would be excluded?

This is where things can get interesting. I think private spending can be policed better than public. Government cannot make a distinction to know just giving cash to a Clarabel Ventura (emmigrant made baby manufacturing a way of life, used public funds for cocaine and neglected, almost to death, her many unfortunate babies) is destructive. A private charity will be better able to police such giving.

Seanchaidh:

Is spare change sufficient?

Depends, but as I wrote above, I would expect private giving to go up as public funding subsides.

Just as well as what, exactly?

Private spending will take care of the hungry as well as public has in the past.

I've no doubt there might be an increase in charitable giving if the apparent need was greater. But I don't see any reason to think it would be greater enough to make up the difference. Do you have a convincing reason to think that it would be?

thaluikhain:

Er...why? "Crowds out"?

I know in my own case, if I wanted to give to a matter and found out it is already fully funded by someone else, that would demotivate me. Further, if I am the one funding it through taxation, I arguably have less with which to give anyway.

Policed, in a way, perhaps. Someone will be deciding who to turn down, yes, but that's not always going to be based on good reasons. There's a reason why normal policing is done by the governments.

There are other places where government took things over and made them arguably worse. Housing is a great example. Some being disruptive? Land lord can throw that person out. The rest of the residents are protected, but better, to avoid being thrown out, tenant more likely to behave. Now, a disruptive resident has little reason to conform to neighborhood standards.

Seanchaidh:

I've no doubt there might be an increase in charitable giving if the apparent need was greater. But I don't see any reason to think it would be greater enough to make up the difference. Do you have a convincing reason to think that it would be?

Faith in my neighbors and the fact that cradle to grave government didn't used to exist, yet we did not have a societal collapse even during the great depression.

Gorfias:
Faith in my neighbors and the fact that cradle to grave government didn't used to exist, yet we did not have a societal collapse even during the great depression.

Not societal collapse, but people dying in the streets. Countless people can suffer and die horribly without society as a whole collapsing. Just look at third world countries. Unless you're some sort of sick Social Darwinist, you really shouldn't be in favour of something as radical and deadly as this.

Gorfias:
Faith in my neighbors and the fact that cradle to grave government didn't used to exist, yet we did not have a societal collapse even during the great depression.

The way the United States of America responded to the Great Depression was to vote for a President who promised a New Deal-- Americans of that time didn't think charity would make up the difference.

Skeleon:

Not societal collapse, but people dying in the streets. Countless people can suffer and die horribly without society as a whole collapsing. Just look at third world countries. Unless you're some sort of sick Social Darwinist, you really shouldn't be in favour of something as radical and deadly as this.

Giving to charity is counter to Social Darwinism. I am not aware of wide spread issues you describe (people dying on streets). Even with our safety nets, people die on the streets. I recall a front page story of a guy dying of exposure outside the Clinton White House. Sad. It happens for reasons that have nothing to do with the social safety net.

Seanchaidh:

The way the United States of America responded to the Great Depression was to vote for a President who promised a New Deal-- Americans of that time didn't think charity would make up the difference.

True. I am writing, I think they are wrong to have done so. I think, rather than have a nightmare that lasted over 10 years, the Great Depression would have lasted about 18 months, there would not have been wide scale issues regarding feeding people, and the USA today would be freer, more prosperous, more efficient and able to better police those in need. And yes, a mentally disturbed person with substance abuse problems needs both the help of his neighbors AND policing for the good of society as well as him/herself.

Gorfias:

Seanchaidh:

The way the United States of America responded to the Great Depression was to vote for a President who promised a New Deal-- Americans of that time didn't think charity would make up the difference.

True. I am writing, I think they are wrong to have done so. I think, rather than have a nightmare that lasted over 10 years, the Great Depression would have lasted about 18 months, there would not have been wide scale issues regarding feeding people, and the USA today would be freer, more prosperous, more efficient and able to better police those in need. And yes, a mentally disturbed person with substance abuse problems needs both the help of his neighbors AND policing for the good of society as well as him/herself.

It seems mightily convenient that history didn't test your hypothesis.

Gorfias:
Giving to charity is counter to Social Darwinism.

Sure, but letting people starve is not.
I'm not talking about "a guy dying of exposure", I'm talking about the large-scale consequences of your proposal. For crying out loud, look beyond your borders to see how countries with different models are doing and look at our countries' histories, especially the industrial revolution. The empirical data is in. It trumps "small government"-ideology.

Seanchaidh:

It seems mightily convenient that history didn't test your hypothesis.

Its been noted by people smarter than me (though there are so few of them :-) ) that the story of man is a cycle from Liberty, to complacency, to the loss of liberty and tyranny to the fight for freedom again. We're arguably in a spiral toward tyranny at this time in the USA.

Skeleon:
The empirical data is in. It trumps "small government"-ideology.

There is a lot of data in. For instance, they Keynsians said the end of WW2 spelled disaster for the USA as government could now shrink with end of the war. It wasn't a disaster. The USA economy grew faster.

Gorfias:

Skeleon:
The empirical data is in. It trumps "small government"-ideology.

There is a lot of data in. For instance, they Keynsians said the end of WW2 spelled disaster for the USA as government could now shrink with end of the war. It wasn't a disaster. The USA economy grew faster.

But the government didn't shrink that much now did it? With the cold war, vietnam and so on. It's not like the US went to pre WW2 spending levels. (and let's not forget that keynes' theory is to spend during a recession, which was over anyway due to the massive spending, so however claimed that suddenly everything would crash...)

image

generals3:

Gorfias:

Skeleon:
The empirical data is in. It trumps "small government"-ideology.

There is a lot of data in. For instance, they Keynsians said the end of WW2 spelled disaster for the USA as government could now shrink with end of the war. It wasn't a disaster. The USA economy grew faster.

But the government didn't shrink that much now did it? With the cold war, vietnam and so on. It's not like the US went to pre WW2 spending levels. (and let's not forget that keynes' theory is to spend during a recession, which was over anyway due to the massive spending, so however claimed that suddenly everything would crash...)

image

By your graph, government spending/GDP shrank by nearly 50% after WW2. It did not return to those level until after Obama. If you are saying cutting government spending in half relative to GDP is not a big deal, out of comity, I'll agree and say, let's get to it!

Gorfias:

By your graph, government spending/GDP shrank by nearly 50% after WW2. It did not return to those level until after Obama. If you are saying cutting government spending in half relative to GDP is not a big deal, out of comity, I'll agree and say, let's get to it!

EDIT: Actually the disaster economists spelled did happen.
image

-10% GDP growth in 1946 can be called a disaster.

generals3:

Gorfias:

By your graph, government spending/GDP shrank by nearly 50% after WW2. It did not return to those level until after Obama. If you are saying cutting government spending in half relative to GDP is not a big deal, out of comity, I'll agree and say, let's get to it!

EDIT: Actually the disaster economists spelled did happen.
image

-10% GDP growth in 1946 can be called a disaster.

Could be. You could draft 100% of everyone and have 0% unemployment as everyone will be a soldier. There will be no one producing food and you'll starve. You could have a great GDP having government produce widgets. Widget production could skyrocket but we wouldn't have cars to drive.

Do you know if war time rationing continued into 1946?

EDIT: I just read that it ended shortly before the end of the war, which is non-dispositive. Why did it end? Was the economy, exiting war, skyrocketing inspite of your graph? I still don't know.

IF, I write, IF, this is correct...

http://usgovernmentspending.blogspot.com/2009/03/world-war-ii-us-defense-spending.html

Widget production rose to over 40% during the war, sinking back to 7% by 1947. The entire -10% could have come from military spending, while the private economy roared and rationing no longer existed.

No disaster, but a huge amount of private sector growth and real wealth growth.

Revnak:
Ideally I suppose, but the world is far from ideal. Yes, it would be better if we were simply all decent enough to help eachother in every case, but we often aren't. It is better that we make sure the state is supporting the people as much as is feasible and that charities are there as well rather than to just hope that everybody will work together on their own.

The state's purpose isn't there to "help people." It's primary purpose is to enforce the laws and keep us safe.

It's the fuzzy idea people in America had in the early 20th century that the government exists to "help people." Doesn't make it true.

I'm talking about the "progressive" movement of the early 20th century, which died down for several decades after the stalwarts of the movement were found to be eugenicists and massive KKK-supporting racists (Woodrow Wilson being the most obvious there.)

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