Dammit, it isn’t charity if you are using someone else’s money!
It is not the place of the government to help out the poor and downtrodden.
It is not the place of the government to help foreign countries when their socio-economic system collapses around them due to natural disasters exacerbating their gross mismanagement.
The very idea of positive rights is twisted and damaging since the only way to deliver them is to take from others by force.
It is not charity and it certainly isn’t benign when it is built on the threat of grossly disproportionate violence. The state wants to take from Peter so that they can give to Paul… and if Peter resists, the state will send heavily armed men who will imprison or kill Peter if he does not bow down to the confiscation.
Yes, the state considers it entirely reasonable to crucify Peter to redeem Paul- I do not.
It is not the government’s job to help those in need.
It is mine.
And it is yours if you want it.
Locally, I help my father with the community gardens where we plant potatoes, turnips, cabbages, carrots, peas and a few other staples that he then delivers to families that are in need, The Pines Care Home (a retirement home and hospice) as well to the local Food Bank. The picture below is one of two plots that a local physician, Dr. George Magee, donated the use of. There were several other pieces of land donated and my dad put a lot of time into the planting, weeding, watering and harvesting. If any locals are reading, he could use a lot more help with it next season.
I wasn’t in town much during the season but I still managed to put in a several days of weeding, watering and harvesting.
My dad also helped organize the local Tragedy Fund that helps people when they are hit with an unexpected emergencies. Examples being homes lost to fires or when someone needs to go to Vancouver for medical care and they don’t have the means for any family members to travel with them- the Tragedy Fund helps out.
Both of those are local and they do not have any web presence… I really should put something together for them, even if it is just a way for folks to organize their time so that the fields don’t go too long between weeding and watering.
Our families go to regional charity has been the BC Children’s Hospital.
Logically, it makes sense that if you take care of people while they’re young, that will reverberate throughout their life and therefore have a compounding effect in comparison to helping an adult… but I am self aware enough to know that the primary motivator is the strong protective instinct toward the young that evolution has instilled in me. I’m fine with that.
As for the world; there are many charities that have fallen victim to Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy and where all but a tiny fraction of the money ends up paying for “administration”.
There are a couple of organizations that I feel are at the top of the ROI heap.
Doctors Without Borders is one of the causes that I feel comfortable putting money into. They have a solid reputation of converting donations to results with the minimum loss to overhead. They do a hell of a lot of good and your money is well spent there.
The Red Cross has more… uhm… administration friction than Doctors Without Borders but by sheer dint of the amount of money that passes through them they are able to mobilize and get things done that few other charitable organizations can dream of doing.
That isn’t to say that there aren’t dozens of other worthy causes to invest your time and money in- these are just my picks. Embrace philanthropy and take it back from the state, it isn’t an onerous duty that you can foist off of the self serving power brokers and thugs. Nor is it the purview of the rich, if you can’t give money then try and give a little of your time.
And I want to make something clear. I do not do this because some sky bully tells me I have to if I want to get past the bouncer at his afterlife party. I do not do this because I feel an obligation or duty. I do not do this out of guilt for living a comfortable and safe life.
I do this because I see people in need and I think that the world will be a better place if I helped- not just for those I try to help but for myself and for those I care most about.
This is an element of rational self interest that Ayn Rand just couldn’t seem to grasp.