Unfortunately this whole idea does not sit well with big government, who in general tends to dislike the concept that individuals might just be able to accomplish what needs to get done on their own with the government having no say or control over it.
Let's discuss our governments role in charity and how they approach it using the concept of "wealth redistribution".
The government takes money (wealth) out of the pocket of one citizen by force who they feel can afford it and then redistributes that wealth it into the pocket of another citizen that they feel is less fortunate. Of course they take their operating costs (bureaucratic overhead) out in the process generally resulting in far less reaching the intended recipient. Now where it gets confusing is that often the money does not take a straight path from the first citizen to the recipient, as the recipient may receive a service in lieu of money. This tends to be a bad thing as it leads to the recipient of the service never assigning a monetary value to it as it costs them nothing, and since the service has no perceived value it becomes very easy to simply ask for more.
What this has effectively resulted in is that our government is now the single largest charity in the country (amongst other essential duties), and like all other charities it is run as a Non Profit Organization (NPO). Unfortunately, most NPO's generally avoid running a deficit and closely watch their spending, not the government though, after all they have for all intents a virtually limitless source of funding, the taxpayer. The problem with the government acting as a charity is two fold,
- Many of it's "charitable projects" are put in place at great cost, require massive amounts of bureaucratic overhead (generally an entire department with offices across the country), and are often at times designed from the ground up to garner votes with the actual charitable benefit being of secondary consideration. Generally those the scream the loudest get the cash and attention, regardless if they are not the most needy.
- As the government takes over more charitable duties from actual charities two things occur simultaneously. The taxpayer "contribution" becomes larger so they have less money to give to actual charities and at the same time they see even less need to donate to actual charities because the government will look after that.
The real problem from societies point of view with all of this is that money forcibly taken from one individual to give to another in the name of charity is anything but charity and in turn creates resentment in both parties.The giver feels animosity at being forced to turn over the sweat of his labor to unknown individuals, while in many cases the recipient rather than feeling gratitude feels anger towards the government for not providing enough and dislike for individuals who are better off then they are. Money willingly given by one individual to help another who is less fortunate is an act of compassion and generally both parties recognize that and appreciate it.
Where's this all leading?
Well we already have a society where the government is expected to provide health care, welfare, employment insurance, retirement benefits, maternity benefits, and a slew of other social entitlements. Already there are call for a national daycare program and a slew of other social benefits. who knows what the future will hold.