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Tithes to churches or Universal Health Care
#26

Tithes to churches or Universal Health Care
(12-16-2020, 05:34 PM)Aegon Wrote: I believe his point is that if the federal government taxed mega-churches that would be a significant revenue stream, and that revenue could be used to fund a robust public healthcare system.

Not exactly, but close. My point, since Percie seems to have such a problem grasping it, is that the deity they claim to follow -- one who urged his followers to care for the indigent and argued that wealth was no measure of importance -- is worshipped by followers who largely fight tooth-and-nail against any idea of social responsibility for the less fortunate, whether it's health care or other issues.

Now, I do think churches should be taxed anyway, and that could certainly provide funding for health-care for the poor, which is what.Jesus.would.do.

Unfortunately, like any good conservative, ole Percie here got caught up in worrying about money rather than people, which skewed his understanding of my point.
Freedom isn't free.
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#27

Tithes to churches or Universal Health Care
(12-16-2020, 02:35 PM)Percie Wrote: Jesus healed people. In an analogy to current times, he's a doctor. You note that he didn't ask for payment. So, by analogy doctors today shouldn't ask for payment.

Yes, I know that's not what you meant. It was a really bad analogy.

Jesus didn't heal shit being as he's likely a composite figure of many middle Eastern saviour deities  Deadpan Coffee Drinker
Justaminute   The whole point of having cake is to eat it! 
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#28

Tithes to churches or Universal Health Care
Well I've been cheerful all day and I can't be fucking doing with it, so it's time to get back in character.

Taxing the church's?

[Image: 8f105904043754d20ecfd3e92bff4bb1.jpg]

We-Are-Fucked!

Quote:On January 6, 2011, Senator Grassley concluded the three-year investigation with no penalties and no definitive findings of wrongdoing

Now why would grassley do that?

What else would he do?

Quote:Grassley is a conservative Republican with historically close ties to the Religious Right. He has a 100 percent “true blue” rating from the Family Research Council’s lobbying arm for his votes in the 111th Congress.

Plenty detail in that second link.

Tax the church?

[Image: tenor.gif]

You silly twats!
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#29

Tithes to churches or Universal Health Care
(12-16-2020, 07:30 AM)Cavebear Wrote: We have tried to stop alcohol use (Prohibition) and drugs (The War on Drugs).  Neither worked.  While I agree that stopping both (and tobacco use) would be beneficial, how would you suggest we proceed?

I'm not suggesting we proceed on that. I'm pointing out the bias in the OP. There are many unnecessary expenditures which could theoretically be shifted to health care. Atheists just notice religion due to bias.
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#30

Tithes to churches or Universal Health Care
(12-16-2020, 05:34 PM)Aegon Wrote: I believe his point is that if the federal government taxed mega-churches that would be a significant revenue stream, and that revenue could be used to fund a robust public healthcare system.

That point would be wrong. We spent $3.5 trillion on healthcare in 2017. Taxes on $50 billion would be a drop on the bucket...and that $50 billion is gross revenue, not taxable income, which would be much lower (after salaries, building expenses, etc are deducted).
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#31

Tithes to churches or Universal Health Care
(12-16-2020, 06:49 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: Not exactly, but close. My point, since Percie seems to have such a problem grasping it, is that the deity they claim to follow -- one who urged his followers to care for the indigent and argued that wealth was no measure of importance -- is worshipped by followers who largely fight tooth-and-nail against any idea of social responsibility for the less fortunate, whether it's health care or other issues.
First of all, note that you're correct - Jesus urged his followers to care for others. He said nothing about governments doing so. Also note that Jesus accepted the anointing of his feet with expensive perfume, and it was Judas who argues that it should have been sold and the money given to the poor. 

Second, fighting tooth and nail against whom? The US has two parties. One has no intention of instituting universal healthcare and says so. The other has no intention of instituting universal healthcare, but pays lip service to it to get votes from the fringe. Obama had a mandate and two years of Democrat Congress. Instead of raising taxes dramatically and instituting universal healthcare, he just tinkered with private insurance a bit. More recently, Sanders and Warren got all the press, but Biden got the nomination. It's not necessary to fight against it - only the fringe wants it.

Quote:Now, I do think churches should be taxed anyway, and that could certainly provide funding for health-care for the poor, which is what.Jesus.would.do.
As noted above, no, such taxes would be practically nothing compared to healthcare costs.

Quote:Unfortunately, like any good conservative, ole Percie here got caught up in worrying about money rather than people, which skewed his understanding of my point.
I understood your point. It was just a really bad analogy. Another point you miss was when Jesus fed the people, and they tried to make him king by force. He declined, because although he did come to teach us to love one another, welfare in this world wasn't his main concern at all.
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#32

Tithes to churches or Universal Health Care
(12-17-2020, 03:37 AM)Percie Wrote:
(12-16-2020, 07:30 AM)Cavebear Wrote: We have tried to stop alcohol use (Prohibition) and drugs (The War on Drugs).  Neither worked.  While I agree that stopping both (and tobacco use) would be beneficial, how would you suggest we proceed?

I'm not suggesting we proceed on that. I'm pointing out the bias in the OP. There are many unnecessary expenditures which could theoretically be shifted to health care. Atheists just notice religion due to bias.

I didn't mention religion. I asked how we might proceed to the specified goals.
Atheist born and when I die, still an atheist...
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#33

Tithes to churches or Universal Health Care
(12-17-2020, 03:53 AM)Percie Wrote: First of all, note that you're correct - Jesus urged his followers to care for others. He said nothing about governments doing so. Also note that Jesus accepted the anointing of his feet with expensive perfume, and it was Judas who argues that it should have been sold and the money given to the poor. 

My point is that followers of a guy who urges compassion should, perhaps, spare some, even if it might cost them a little.

(12-17-2020, 03:53 AM)Percie Wrote: Second, fighting tooth and nail against whom? The US has two parties. One has no intention of instituting universal healthcare and says so. The other has no intention of instituting universal healthcare, but pays lip service to it to get votes from the fringe. Obama had a mandate and two years of Democrat Congress. Instead of raising taxes dramatically and instituting universal healthcare, he just tinkered with private insurance a bit. More recently, Sanders and Warren got all the press, but Biden got the nomination. It's not necessary to fight against it - only the fringe wants it.

It seems to escape your grasp that I was not talking about politics, but rather that believers who value dollars and cents more than they do things like helping the indigent. The folks who claim to be Christian are all too often the same folks who cry "not with my tax dollars", as if that is a big distinction. They're happy to mouth the words of helping the poor, but they're pretty stingy about doing that.

(12-17-2020, 03:53 AM)Percie Wrote: As noted above, no, such taxes would be practically nothing compared to healthcare costs.

I didn't say those taxes would be significant financially. But where is the principle here? Christians who claim to follow the teachings of Jesus, here in America, seem awfully concerned with dollars, don't you think? If the tax burden is that small, what's the problem?

(12-17-2020, 03:53 AM)Percie Wrote:
Quote:Unfortunately, like any good conservative, ole Percie here got caught up in worrying about money rather than people, which skewed his understanding of my point.
I understood your point. It was just a really bad analogy. Another point you miss was when Jesus fed the people, and they tried to make him king by force. He declined, because although he did come to teach us to love one another, welfare in this world wasn't his main concern at all.

I get it; you don't think Christians should feel obligated to help the sick and indigent. You object to your tax dollars helping those less-fortunate than yourself. Got it.

Seems to me that Jesus was more thoughtful about people than shekels. It's a shame so many of his followers worry more about their tax bills than their neighbors, but hey, people are assholes, and Christians ain't exempt from that, now are they?

Pity they can't find a way to put their beliefs into action. That, after all, is my point here. I don't think you get it at all.
Freedom isn't free.
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#34

Tithes to churches or Universal Health Care
(12-16-2020, 02:35 PM)Percie Wrote: Jesus healed people. In an analogy to current times, he's a doctor...

Nope.  That's an absurd claim.

We don't even know that a purported individual who was supposedly named "Jesus"
even existed in real life.  There is no current, contemporary evidence confirming it
one way or another.

To claim this fantasy figure "healed" people of sickness and disease—as do 21st
century doctors—is just as nonsensical.  Again, there is absolutely no evidence of
any such person healing people.

Therefore your analogy falls short.  The fantasy character of Jesus could however
be likened to, say, Merit-Ptah; King Arthur; Beowulf; Bridey Murphy; Betty Crocker;
or even Borat Sagdiyev!  Many people believe(d) that these were real-life individuals.
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
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#35

Tithes to churches or Universal Health Care
(12-17-2020, 03:43 AM)Percie Wrote:
(12-16-2020, 05:34 PM)Aegon Wrote: I believe his point is that if the federal government taxed mega-churches that would be a significant revenue stream, and that revenue could be used to fund a robust public healthcare system.

That point would be wrong. We spent $3.5 trillion on healthcare in 2017. Taxes on $50 billion would be a drop on the bucket...and that $50 billion is gross revenue, not taxable income, which would be much lower (after salaries, building expenses, etc are deducted).

Yeah, we spent $3.5 trillion on healthcare in 2017 because we have an outrageous and inefficient system plagued by the administrative burden caused by the zero-sum game between providers and private insurers. Another good reason to switch to a single-payer system. Additionally, a single-payer system would likely only cost just a few trillion more over 10 years than the current one and the American people would get a heck of a lot more for their money. That's two good reasons.

You didn't seriously think I meant ONLY taxing churches would fund a public healthcare system....... right?
[Image: nL4L1haz_Qo04rZMFtdpyd1OZgZf9NSnR9-7hAWT...dc2a24480e]

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#36

Tithes to churches or Universal Health Care
(12-17-2020, 03:37 AM)Percie Wrote:
(12-16-2020, 07:30 AM)Cavebear Wrote: We have tried to stop alcohol use (Prohibition) and drugs (The War on Drugs).  Neither worked.  While I agree that stopping both (and tobacco use) would be beneficial, how would you suggest we proceed?

I'm not suggesting we proceed on that. I'm pointing out the bias in the OP. There are many unnecessary expenditures which could theoretically be shifted to health care. Atheists just notice religion due to bias.

No, we notice religion because it is fucking useless thinking your magical sky daddy is going to do anything.  Cigarettes at least actually exist.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#37

Tithes to churches or Universal Health Care
(12-17-2020, 09:39 AM)SYZ Wrote:
(12-16-2020, 02:35 PM)Percie Wrote: Jesus healed people. In an analogy to current times, he's a doctor...

Nope.  That's an absurd claim.

We don't even know that a purported individual who was supposedly named "Jesus"
even existed in real life.  There is no current, contemporary evidence confirming it
one way or another.

To claim this fantasy figure "healed" people of sickness and disease—as do 21st
century doctors—is just as nonsensical.  Again, there is absolutely no evidence of
any such person healing people.

Therefore your analogy falls short.  The fantasy character of Jesus could however
be likened to, say, Merit-Ptah; King Arthur; Beowulf; Bridey Murphy; Betty Crocker;
or even Borat Sagdiyev!  Many people believe(d) that these were real-life individuals.

Allow for the sake of argument that this Jesus guy may have existed.

Now take his followers, who literally worship and pray to him. My point has nothing to do with whether or not Jesus existed; my point is that his followers are happy to mouth easy words, but if you get near their wallets, you'd better watch out, because they care more about their money than other human beings.

The existence or nonexistence of Jesus doesn't matter. This is about how his followers practice -- or don't practice -- his alleged teachings. I believe that if there were such a deity, he'd scorn these folks as hypocrites who refuse to enact the beliefs they proclaim. That's my point. They care more about their money than they do about the well-being of fellow humans.
Freedom isn't free.
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#38

Tithes to churches or Universal Health Care
(12-17-2020, 09:45 PM)Aegon Wrote: You didn't seriously think I meant ONLY taxing churches would fund a public healthcare system....... right?

He's got a bad habit of sticking words in peoples' mouths.
Freedom isn't free.
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#39

Tithes to churches or Universal Health Care
(12-17-2020, 10:30 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:
(12-17-2020, 09:45 PM)Aegon Wrote: You didn't seriously think I meant ONLY taxing churches would fund a public healthcare system....... right?

He's got a bad habit of sticking words in peoples' mouths.

Cracking up about "Sarcasmatron". I love creativity.
Atheist born and when I die, still an atheist...
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#40

Tithes to churches or Universal Health Care
[Image: sea-stones-whimsy-7-sm.jpg]
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#41

Tithes to churches or Universal Health Care

Damn I loved George Carlin!  And that routine was one of his best.  Thank you.
Atheist born and when I die, still an atheist...
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#42

Tithes to churches or Universal Health Care
(12-17-2020, 04:52 AM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: My point is that followers of a guy who urges compassion should, perhaps, spare some, even if it might cost them a little.
They do. The religious are much more charitable than the non-religious.
https://blog.acton.org/archives/106428-r...erica.html

Quote:• Among Americans who attend services weekly and pray daily, 45 percent had done volunteer work during the previous week. Among all other Americans, only 27 percent had volunteered somewhere.
• Americans with any religious affiliation made average annual charitable donations of $1,590, versus $695 for those with no religious affiliation. In addition to giving larger amounts, the religious give more often—making gifts about half again as frequently.
• Two thirds of people who worship at least twice a month give to secular causes, compared to less than half of non-attenders, and the average secular gift by a church attender is 20 percent bigger.


(12-17-2020, 03:53 AM)Percie Wrote: It seems to escape your grasp that I was not talking about politics, but rather that believers who value dollars and cents more than they do things like helping the indigent.
If you're not talking about politics, see the above link. THe religious are more charitable than the non-religious.
Quote:The folks who claim to be Christian are all too often the same folks who cry "not with my tax dollars", as if that is a big distinction.
I would address this, but how we spend tax dollars is a matter of politics, and you claim you're not talking about politics.

Quote:They're happy to mouth the words of helping the poor, but they're pretty stingy about doing that.
See above link.

(12-17-2020, 03:53 AM)Percie Wrote: I didn't say those taxes would be significant financially. But where is the principle here? Christians who claim to follow the teachings of Jesus, here in America, seem awfully concerned with dollars, don't you think? If the tax burden is that small, what's the problem?
It seems to escape your grasp that you're not talking about politics.

Quote:I get it; you don't think Christians should feel obligated to help the sick and indigent.
As noted, the religious are more charitable.
Quote:You object to your tax dollars helping those less-fortunate than yourself. Got it.
And you're still not talking about politics, remember?

Quote:Seems to me that Jesus was more thoughtful about people than shekels. It's a shame so many of his followers worry more about their tax bills than their neighbors,
As noted above, they give more to charity than atheists.
Quote:Pity they can't find a way to put their beliefs into action.
Yeah, you'd think they'd be more charitable than other people. Oh wait...they are!
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#43

Tithes to churches or Universal Health Care
(12-17-2020, 09:45 PM)Aegon Wrote:
(12-17-2020, 03:43 AM)Percie Wrote: [quote="Aegon" pid='269862' dateline='1608140052']
I believe his point is that if the federal government taxed mega-churches that would be a significant revenue stream, and that revenue could be used to fund a robust public healthcare system.

That point would be wrong. We spent $3.5 trillion on healthcare in 2017. Taxes on $50 billion would be a drop on the bucket...and that $50 billion is gross revenue, not taxable income, which would be much lower (after salaries, building expenses, etc are deducted).
Quote:Yeah, we spent $3.5 trillion on healthcare in 2017 because we have an outrageous and inefficient system plagued by the administrative burden caused by the zero-sum game between providers and private insurers. Another good reason to switch to a single-payer system. Additionally, a single-payer system would likely only cost just a few trillion more over 10 years than the current one and the American people would get a heck of a lot more for their money. That's two good reasons.
I'm not against single-payer.

Quote:You didn't seriously think I meant ONLY taxing churches would fund a public healthcare system....... right?
No, I think you meant what you said - it would be a "significant" revenue stream toward public healthcare. No, it wouldn't.
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#44

Tithes to churches or Universal Health Care
(12-20-2020, 08:35 PM)Percie Wrote:
(12-17-2020, 04:52 AM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: My point is that followers of a guy who urges compassion should, perhaps, spare some, even if it might cost them a little.
They do. The religious are much more charitable than the non-religious.
https://blog.acton.org/archives/106428-r...erica.html

That's highly debatable and likely just a matter of interpretation.

Atheists are generous, they just don’t give to charity

Quote:For altruistic atheists, however,the free-rider effect is much more pertinent. One secular way to get around the free-rider effect is to make giving from rich to poor compulsory, rather than voluntary. In other words, they might prefer that wealth is redistributed via taxation and the welfare state, rather than by voluntary donations. For the religious, this would actually decrease utility because taxation would reduce their surplus cash and so reduce the potential for them to give to charity and reap supernatural rewards.

But is there any evidence that this is true? Well, if it was then you might expect that countries with a high proportion of atheists would have a larger welfare state. And indeed that is exactly what you see. Gill and Lundsgaarde have analysed a cross-section of countries, and found that those countries with more atheists also have higher state welfare spending.
[Image: sea-stones-whimsy-7-sm.jpg]
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#45

Tithes to churches or Universal Health Care
(12-20-2020, 08:35 PM)Percie Wrote:
(12-17-2020, 04:52 AM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: My point is that followers of a guy who urges compassion should, perhaps, spare some, even if it might cost them a little.
They do. The religious are much more charitable than the non-religious.
https://blog.acton.org/archives/106428-r...erica.html

Quote:• Among Americans who attend services weekly and pray daily, 45 percent had done volunteer work during the previous week. Among all other Americans, only 27 percent had volunteered somewhere.
• Americans with any religious affiliation made average annual charitable donations of $1,590, versus $695 for those with no religious affiliation. In addition to giving larger amounts, the religious give more often—making gifts about half again as frequently.
• Two thirds of people who worship at least twice a month give to secular causes, compared to less than half of non-attenders, and the average secular gift by a church attender is 20 percent bigger.


(12-17-2020, 03:53 AM)Percie Wrote: It seems to escape your grasp that I was not talking about politics, but rather that believers who value dollars and cents more than they do things like helping the indigent.
If you're not talking about politics, see the above link. THe religious are more charitable than the non-religious.
Quote:The folks who claim to be Christian are all too often the same folks who cry "not with my tax dollars", as if that is a big distinction.
I would address this, but how we spend tax dollars is a matter of politics, and you claim you're not talking about politics.

Quote:They're happy to mouth the words of helping the poor, but they're pretty stingy about doing that.
See above link.

(12-17-2020, 03:53 AM)Percie Wrote: I didn't say those taxes would be significant financially. But where is the principle here? Christians who claim to follow the teachings of Jesus, here in America, seem awfully concerned with dollars, don't you think? If the tax burden is that small, what's the problem?
It seems to escape your grasp that you're not talking about politics.

Quote:I get it; you don't think Christians should feel obligated to help the sick and indigent.
As noted, the religious are more charitable.
Quote:You object to your tax dollars helping those less-fortunate than yourself. Got it.
And you're still not talking about politics, remember?

Quote:Seems to me that Jesus was more thoughtful about people than shekels. It's a shame so many of his followers worry more about their tax bills than their neighbors,
As noted above, they give more to charity than atheists.
Quote:Pity they can't find a way to put their beliefs into action.
Yeah, you'd think they'd be more charitable than other people. Oh wait...they are!

Maybe you, and they, should read Matthew 22:15 -- 22.

Why is private charity greater than public charity?
Freedom isn't free.
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#46

Tithes to churches or Universal Health Care
(12-20-2020, 10:14 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:
(12-20-2020, 08:35 PM)Percie Wrote:
(12-17-2020, 04:52 AM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: My point is that followers of a guy who urges compassion should, perhaps, spare some, even if it might cost them a little.
They do. The religious are much more charitable than the non-religious.
https://blog.acton.org/archives/106428-r...erica.html

Quote:• Among Americans who attend services weekly and pray daily, 45 percent had done volunteer work during the previous week. Among all other Americans, only 27 percent had volunteered somewhere.
• Americans with any religious affiliation made average annual charitable donations of $1,590, versus $695 for those with no religious affiliation. In addition to giving larger amounts, the religious give more often—making gifts about half again as frequently.
• Two thirds of people who worship at least twice a month give to secular causes, compared to less than half of non-attenders, and the average secular gift by a church attender is 20 percent bigger.


(12-17-2020, 03:53 AM)Percie Wrote: It seems to escape your grasp that I was not talking about politics, but rather that believers who value dollars and cents more than they do things like helping the indigent.
If you're not talking about politics, see the above link. THe religious are more charitable than the non-religious.
Quote:The folks who claim to be Christian are all too often the same folks who cry "not with my tax dollars", as if that is a big distinction.
I would address this, but how we spend tax dollars is a matter of politics, and you claim you're not talking about politics.

Quote:They're happy to mouth the words of helping the poor, but they're pretty stingy about doing that.
See above link.

(12-17-2020, 03:53 AM)Percie Wrote: I didn't say those taxes would be significant financially. But where is the principle here? Christians who claim to follow the teachings of Jesus, here in America, seem awfully concerned with dollars, don't you think? If the tax burden is that small, what's the problem?
It seems to escape your grasp that you're not talking about politics.

Quote:I get it; you don't think Christians should feel obligated to help the sick and indigent.
As noted, the religious are more charitable.
Quote:You object to your tax dollars helping those less-fortunate than yourself. Got it.
And you're still not talking about politics, remember?

Quote:Seems to me that Jesus was more thoughtful about people than shekels. It's a shame so many of his followers worry more about their tax bills than their neighbors,
As noted above, they give more to charity than atheists.
Quote:Pity they can't find a way to put their beliefs into action.
Yeah, you'd think they'd be more charitable than other people. Oh wait...they are!

Maybe you, and they, should read Matthew 22:15 -- 22.

Why is private charity greater than public charity?

He should also be vetting his sources to make sure they're actually citing studies, as the article implies, not just throwing up charts.

He should also be vetting them to assure they don't have an overwhelming bias, like this right-wing rag does:
"The Acton Institute is a think-tank whose mission is to promote a free and virtuous society characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles." Source
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#47

Tithes to churches or Universal Health Care
(12-20-2020, 10:14 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: Why is private charity greater than public charity?
My answer to that would be the same as the generic question, is private anything greater than public anything?

The answer is "sometimes, but not necessarily". Some things require scale and coordination that is beyond what many independent private individuals or organizations can provide. The common defense, coordination of resources to provide for things deemed a human right by society -- or, really, anything where society as a whole sets priorities and wants to exert its will to make those priorities real.

A local charity is great for a local need: saving a historic bridge from demolition and raising funds to restore it, to name one that comes to mind in my area. It only takes a few citizens to make that happen and it's a manageable scope for them to address an issue that's tied to their local area and of little interest outside it.

Local food banks aren't so effective because a sufficiently wealthy society like ours should be preventing food insecurity systemically and nationally, obviating the need for food banks altogether. Food banks are necessary in our situation where we've made the decision for some reason to let some of our citizens fall into poverty and want, for reasons that aren't local or regional, but national. Just as we've seen with the pandemic, local resourcefulness in the face of national waste / bad priorities or abrogation of leadership and coordination is better than nothing, but can't compare to what we should have, either.

Then there's the problem that private charity often serves as a stage for performative bullshit by wealthy philanthropists or as a mechanism to collect $ for the people running the org or just to salve the conscience of local elites. Some large popular charities have massive administrative overhead and only a small percentage of donations go to the supposed work of the organization. The directors get big salaries and paid for luxury cars, but little actual charity takes place -- just enough to generate some good marketing and feel good stories.

Some on the right would argue that the government is wasteful and bad at everything and 100% of everything should be left to private charity including churches. But the track record of private charity is checkered in its own right, and even if it weren't, there are still large scale projects impossible for anything BUT national government.
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#48

Tithes to churches or Universal Health Care
(12-20-2020, 11:46 PM)mordant Wrote:
(12-20-2020, 10:14 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: Why is private charity greater than public charity?
My answer to that would be the same as the generic question, is private anything greater than public anything?

The answer is "sometimes, but not necessarily". Some things require scale and coordination that is beyond what many independent private individuals or organizations can provide. The common defense, coordination of resources to provide for things deemed a human right by society -- or, really, anything where society as a whole sets priorities and wants to exert its will to make those priorities real.

A local charity is great for a local need: saving a historic bridge from demolition and raising funds to restore it, to name one that comes to mind in my area. It only takes a few citizens to make that happen and it's a manageable scope for them to address an issue that's tied to their local area and of little interest outside it.

Local food banks aren't so effective because a sufficiently wealthy society like ours should be preventing food insecurity systemically and nationally, obviating the need for food banks altogether. Food banks are necessary in our situation where we've made the decision for some reason to let some of our citizens fall into poverty and want, for reasons that aren't local or regional, but national. Just as we've seen with the pandemic, local resourcefulness in the face of national waste / bad priorities or abrogation of leadership and coordination is better than nothing, but can't compare to what we should have, either.

Then there's the problem that private charity often serves as a stage for performative bullshit by wealthy philanthropists or as a mechanism to collect $ for the people running the org or just to salve the conscience of local elites. Some large popular charities have massive administrative overhead and only a small percentage of donations go to the supposed work of the organization. The directors get big salaries and paid for luxury cars, but little actual charity takes place -- just enough to generate some good marketing and feel good stories.

Some on the right would argue that the government is wasteful and bad at everything and 100% of everything should be left to private charity including churches. But the track record of private charity is checkered in its own right, and even if it weren't, there are still large scale projects impossible for anything BUT national government.

We get what we vote for. This country is mostly Christian. They don't seem too bothered by this issue, not enough to engage the help of the government. Many of the factors going into this problem are too large to be addressed privately, or locally.
Freedom isn't free.
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#49

Tithes to churches or Universal Health Care
(12-20-2020, 11:46 PM)mordant Wrote: Some on the right would argue that the government is wasteful and bad at everything and 100% of everything should be left to private charity including churches. But the track record of private charity is checkered in its own right, and even if it weren't, there are still large scale projects impossible for anything BUT national government.

This point gets no attention but should get all the attention:  only large entities engaged in large enterprise have sufficient visibility to set the most effective priorities.  You and I can donate individually to the Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, Amnesty International, The United Way, etc. etc. and hand out $20 bills variously to the homeless or to GoodWill and food banks and accomplish SOME good, but if instead we gave all that random largesse to an entity with larger visibility and a charter to follow priorities more or less objectively derived, it would help, say, 20 people profoundly instead of 2 people momentarily.

Government as that agency would suffer the same corruptions that affect any enterprise, but to a lesser degree.

Thanks for making that point.
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#50

Tithes to churches or Universal Health Care
The boyfriend, who is a driver for both Uber and Lyft has recently gotten a Canadian and a European passenger. Both have stated roughly the same thing: what is wrong with your country, why don't they like to help the people?
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