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In a civilized society, people care about others and want to help the less fortunate. There is a divide amongst us in deciding which course is best: private charity or government-issued charity.
In my opinion, people, in their compassion, develop ways to help each other. They do so through charitable organizations, churches and contributing financially toward their loved ones. This is the natural way.
If the government issues charity, however, there are all sorts of ramifications. Nevertheless, there are those who say the government should get in on distributing money to the needy.
For instance, President Trump, contrary to what some think, cares for the poor … just not the GOVERNMENT baling them out. He knows it is not economically sound. Government-issued charity raises taxes and only a quarter of the money taken in from the people gets delivered to those who need it. Much of the $$$ gets redirected and used and misused for other purposes. Furthermore, he knows if the people are taxed less they can help, in a private way, more. And 100% of the money they donate goes directly where it needs to go.
Q. What is the advantage of government-issued charity over private charity?
I really don't see any advantage between government-issued and private charities. Many churches, for example, collects a offering especially for charity yet they will not even help members of their own congregations who fell on difficult financial times. Most of those churches seek to help foreigners the media said is is desperate need of... yet no more than a third of what is sent arrives there most of the time.
When it comes to governmental charities only about the same amount of the collected income that meets the desired end. I would rather take my chances beggars on the streets although I have talked with some who takes care of families by that means. At least I know I put it where I thought it would all go to the needy and not for the greedy, all organized charities I know of uses more than what is needed to comfort the people working for them.
Having been intentionally houseless for nearly forty years and traveled by walking unless someone offered me a ride over 44 of the continental Dis-United States after being a Christian preacher turned philosophy [lover of wisdom], I've seen corruption of the corrupt in almost every type of charity endeavor.
Less accountability in government charity. Half the money will go into paying wages for that department. Best to stick with private charity in my opinion.
Look after the people in your area. If everyone does that, the distribution of charity throughout the country is not concentrated in a few limited places.
I agree with you, as long as you are selective in which charities you choose to aid. I've seen local folks organize in a big way to help folks in depressed areas only to use the money for their own corrupt purposes. Usually in that case, only one scapegoat goes to jail for the crimes it's taken several to perpetuate. I like the private charity route as long as the charity is transparent and doesn't dupe the donors.
A good example of charity gone wrong is the community block district grant (CBDG), a government grant that is supposed to ramp up poor and distressed areas. It is usually distributed to some "reverend" who may help his flock or he may use it to live high on the hog.
i don't go with charities as much ... just do my own thing ... but yes i would agree you need complete transparency. an ordinary person would be better than a church or mosque person too... there is too much blind faith in those people which makes it easier for them to swindle as much as they want. don't go that big ... just start with your neighbors.
I try to pick out a few local charities that I know are "for real", and make small donations a couple of times a year. For instance, in my area the local animal shelter, Foodbank, Meals on wheels and the Salvation Army. I know I can trust them.
I'm usually suspicious of people on street corners with signs because a city bus driver told me that many of them who rode his bus were professionals who made a career of begging. He told us of one man who stood at a certain 4-lane intersection. The man said he had paid off his house, had 60 thousand dollars in the bank and was going East for 2 more months of street corner begging, and then he said he could afford to retire. So I would advise anyone of being careful of helping people who claim to be homeless.
Why do "fast offerings", church farms, bishops storehouses, and a perpetual education fund work so well in the LDS church? It surely has something to do with its unpaid clergy, strict accounting standards, volunteer services (including cleaning of its local churches), and needs-based confidential charity. Aiding each other with repairs, weddings, funerals, receptions, and real needs, also makes for economy and cohesion, while each congregation having an employment specialist to help members find productive employment is a great help. The LDS church also supports job training, learning job application skills, and its Deseret Industries combines job training with access to basic needs for clothing, furniture, housewares, and appliances. First relief supplies in response to Katrina came from LDS church stockpiles of emergency food, sanitation, and medical supplies, as well as church member volunteers coming to help individuals clean up and recover. This system works just as loving charity should.
I can't dispute any of what you say about LDS, but I will say this. My husband is a member of LDS and he was an active member for a year, so I know of what I speak. All that works very well because they are so controlling of their members. He left the church because the bishop assigned him to run the genealogy department of the church (as an unpaid volunteer), replacing a very capable woman who loved the position. He has been disabled since the late 1980s with heart problems that nearly killed him, which lead to aphasia, and was not physically able to work anyway. In addition, he has never been able to spell, which led him to a career in engineering because he was good at math and sciences. In short, he was incapable of doing the job, both physically and mentally, and I'm sure the department would have been in total shambles within a week.
After explaining this medical dilemma to the bishop, the bishop said, "oh yeah, you can do it. You can do it." The bishop was so determined to get his way that my husband stopped going to church. Even communists take into consideration people's talents and skills when assigning jobs. I know that because I visited the Soviet Union 27 years ago and saw 80-year-olds working in jobs within their abilities. Also they have the money to do all that. If the bishop comes to a member and says you need to donate $200 to help pay a month's rent for a missionary and it's all your extra money you were saving to make a down payment on braces for your kid's teeth, forget the braces because "God's going to replace it eventually." Then he'll tell you a story very similar that ended with, "and a week later I found an unclaimed wallet with $210.30 cents in it. So God replaced it with interest."
So when a church controls its members more tightly than the Communist Party, of course there is going to be reliability and efficiency. I met a lot of good people in the church, and I'm not knocking them. I'm just telling you how and why the church has so much money for benevolent causes.
To base an analysis of LDS charity and programs on a 12 months' experience of the behavior of one unpaid clergy insisting on one request (when one keystone of LDS belief is the free agency of the individual, therefor the cherished right of the individual to decline such a request) is to impugn all bishops and leaders (and a faith) on that single reaction. Sorry, but I don't buy that view.
That is the one thing about the LDS I have always admired. Like MizBejabbers said, they, Jehovah Witnesses, Judaism and Scientology, have a far greater mind control over their people than most other "messiah based" religions. Yet, they all do have some.
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