Government's role and the public welfare


Published: Friday, January 6, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 5, 2006 at 10:18 p.m.
Jeffrey Jones' Jan. 1 letter states that charity is not the business of government. I disagree, for two reasons.
First, life is much more complicated now than it was in former times. Because of modern medicine, people are living now who formerly would have died, yet many cannot take care of themselves without some help.
Outsourcing has robbed many more of jobs. The people who are "supposed to take care" of others are too busy or are having trouble just meeting their own bills. It is no longer possible for many of us to give lavishly to charities such as the Red Cross.
Second, government is responsible for the general well-being of citizens. The Constitution states that we are to promote the general welfare. If a group of children is deprived of a basic education because of their parents' problems, for which they are not accountable, they will grow up angry and alienated. Some will turn to crime. The whole citizenry suffers for this.
Since World War II, at least, domestic problems have been largely neglected. Because of the Cold War and now terrorism, foreign policy has been the priority. Yet the entire population suffers because of the deprivation of an ever-growing few.
Private charity can no longer take up the slack. Government programs are desperately needed.
Anne Lambert, Gainesville

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