- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Private initiatives may not provide 100% solutions, but what does?

Posted by: Frenchy on November 07, 1999 at 21:57:19:

In Reply to: Democratic or Participatory Welfare? posted by Lark on November 05, 1999 at 16:24:24:

: If anyone can give me references or wishes to debate this it'd be a fantastic help because I can reference posts from this site and absolutely nothing has been written in this area. Participation is usually considered a political rather than welfare issue so you can imagine the difficulties.

In America, and probably in Europe too, social "welfare" was a function of family. When a person, say a man with a family became unemployed, his immediate family, brother, sister, uncle, etc. would help him out until he found another job. There was a great benefit to this for everyone. The persons providing the temporary assistance always knew to what degree the person being assisted was earnest in his search. If you caught him wasting time there would be a breif heart to heart exchange. The person being assisted would either 'shape up or ship out'.
Another source of assitance was the local church. Small and temporary grants or loans could be provided by priests, pastors and rabbis to assist those in difficult financial times until they got back on their feet. The same benefit was applicable here as with assistance from the immediate family; is the recipient earnest in his search for employment?
A similar system is used today amongst Koreans living in America, a system with origins in Asia; that community pools it's resources together and makes low interest loans to those who need financial assistance. When the funds are repaid they are then able to help others by contributing to that community fund.
These are, as you suggest, community based. The thing that is common is the lack of government involvement via taxes and/or regulations. Those things are worked out by the individuals who offer the assistance so one entity may have different rules than another entity. These private initiatives are the real source of 'community'. Creating bureaucracies, at whatever level, local, state, federal, only creates an entity guaranteed to ensure a given 'problem' will not only never be solved, but an entity that will over time enlarge itself as well as increase it's power.
Private initiatives may not provide 100% solutions, but what does?

Follow Ups:

The Debating Room Post a Followup