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It looks to me like the Great Depression was the result of the failure of the Federal Reserve and it proved to be to great a burden on charity and so Government stepped in. Of course the the Federal Reserve was created as a result of failures of the federal government money system that was created to fund the civil war. So government money was both the cause of the failure and reason that government could afford to step in an help.

Never the less, I think that the big flaw in Government charity is not that it helps the poor creating disincentive to work but that most of the money goes to rich and middle class (through SS, medicare, farm and other subsidies and Gov. schools) and so it is much more expensive that it should/could be. I do not think it is possible at this time for Government to subsidize the median life time earner.

So absent if the Great Depression was avoided how much of Government do you think would be devoted to charity?

We should not work to end Government charity but we should work to educate people about why Gov. charity should be for bottom percentiles of life time earners.

You are raising good points.

I like your conclusion in so far as I am much happier to accept the difficult challenge of figuring out the limits that we ought to put on the welfare state, rather than to throw out the baby with the bath water, i.e. deny any place for government "charity," as you call it.

Concerning this issue, we are facing tremendous challenges in the future. There are limits to a general discussion of "welfare." It is just as important, I suppose, to acquaint oneself with the nitty-gritty, the practical details of the system.

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