Questioning your “compassionate” politics

My <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brian-t-schwartz/questioning-your-compassi_b_574030.html”>first article/post for the Huffington Post appeared today. It begins:

“You oppose Medicaid and government-run schools? You’re heartless and lack compassion.”  If you have ever made this accusation, even tacitly, I invite you to reconsider the government policies you support.

Why does being compassionate mean supporting government-run schools and health plans? This makes little sense if you view these programs as government-run charities. Would you agree to perpetually donate a portion of your monthly income to the same charity –  regardless of its effectiveness?  If the charity is doing a lousy job, wouldn’t you want the freedom to find a better one?

Read the whole article: <a id="title_permalink" title="Permalink" href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brian-t-schwartz/questioning-your-compassi_b_574030.html”>Questioning Your “Compassionate” Politics. (Update, the Denver Daily News also published the article.)

Thanks to Ari Armstrong, Paul Hsieh, Dave Kopel, and my wife for their comments. Thanks to Jessica Corry for putting me in touch with HuffPo.  I acknowledge many others in links within the article.  One person I did not link was Michael Cloud, whose book Secrets of Libertarian Persuasion was quite helpful, especially for this sentence, which is basically his:

If you support mandatory charity, what do you authorize government to do to those who peacefully refuse to cooperate?

I also recommend Cloud’s CDs on this topic. Great material, and not much overlap with the book.

Peter Saint Andre also inspired some of my ideas for this article. Many years ago I read his essay, On the Road to Voluntary Government Financing.

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