Readers of this blog know that I’ve long championed private charity as better suited to working our social ills than Government welfare—better economically, better for individual liberty, better for personal responsibility/morality.
Karl Zinsmeister, Editor in Chief of Philanthropy Magazine, offered some ways in which this is shown empirically to be true in his Wall Street Journal op-ed, which was adapted from his piece in the magazine’s winter 2020 issue. One statistic that jumped out at me is this one:
77 million citizens volunteer time and labor [annually]
At Progressive-Democrats’ minimum wage, that works out to just under $1.2 billion per year that’s donated freely and on individual initiative. At current minimum wages, that still comes to nearly $560 million donated freely—at greater personal cost, too, to hear those pushing the higher minimum wage insist no one can live on such a puny wage.
Those numbers understate the donated time and labor contributed. Many of those tasks done voluntarily are skilled tasks, and so are worth more in the doing. Many of those volunteering time and labor are skilled individuals drawing high pay, and so their donated labor is worth far more.
But this is what progressive editorialists and political candidates openly call[ing] for deep cuts in the charitable deduction, an end to tax protections for churches and other charities, the taxing down of personal fortunes, and new regimes in which government becomes the sole ministrant of societal needs want to do away with.
Because these Know Betters are the font of what should be the target of largesse, who should pay for that largesse and how much, and how that largesse should be delivered—not the folks whose money, time, and labor would be confiscated.