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NYT: Charity Begins in Washington

January 22, 2008

Tags Media and CultureTaxes and Spending

Yes, that's an actual New York Times editorial headline: Charity Begins in Washington. Ever-increasing private philanthropy is actually a bad thing, says the Times, because it crowds out government spending. Why, those private philanthropists can just give money to whatever they want! Better to tax us and let Washington decide where that money will go. I know, that sounds like an unfair caricature, it sounds like parody... but, well, read the piece. Why politicians should be trusted to spend other people's money more than private individuals should be trusted to give away their own money, I cannot fathom. That private charity is less likely to entail gross waste and more likely to serve those in need effectively is so obvious that it would seem unnecessary to point it out -- and yet, there's the Times. We might also point out to the Times that private charity would surely give much more for "social services" if government weren't occupying so much of that field. There are moments when I feel a bit sad over the decline and impending death of print newspapers; but not when I read evil nonsense like this.

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