January 30, 2013
Liberals like to think they have a monopoly on charity because they support government programs like overseas aid.
But Daniel Hannan, a member of the European Parliament and one of Great Britain’s rising conservative political stars, explains that liberals focus on the “elevation of motive over outcome.” That can lead to feel-good programs that fail in real life.
In fact, as Heritage Foundation expert James Roberts explains, government antipoverty programs don’t work and can even be counterproductive. Economic freedom is a proven alternative that can lift impoverished nations from poverty.
Moreover, Roberts points out that private charities are more effective with their overseas aid than are similar government programs:
[O]ver the past half-century, the U.S. has donated over $1 trillion in official development assistance (ODA) to developing countries. The need for ongoing ODA is now openly questioned by such groups as the Center for Global Development, especially given that the annual private financial flows that are fueling the economic growth of the developing world now dwarf ODA.
According to the Hudson Institute’s Index of Global Philanthropy, billions of American dollars from faith-based and other charitable, academic, and humanitarian groups go to the needy overseas every year and have far better results than government [official development assistance]. It is through support for programs like these, which generate real improvements in peoples’ lives, that conservatives can demonstrate their compassion and care for those in need.
How else do you think conservatives can help the poor?