I, of course, don't speak for all libertarian-minded people or for all limited government conservatives, but I can safely say that the Left doesn't have a corner on the market for compassion regarding the plight of the poor, disabled and disadvantaged. The Left doesn't want to research which groups give more to charity, or which groups are more active in volunteering time and energy to help those in need. Whether or not you agree with conservative politics, it's not reasonable to question their compassion. Most libertarian-minded people have always supported private charities, at least from my experience this is the case. America once was known for its charitable associations, a self-help nation of people helping one another in times of need, as Tocqueville wrote about long ago, but the welfare state replaced most local community associations, and taxes replaced a great deal of charitable giving, although Americans are still the most charitable people in the world.
There's no doubt that if the welfare state collapsed, communities would pull together and associations would once again proliferate. But small, loosely organized, local efforts are not the only organizations which can replace the welfare state. Sophisticated, national, private organizations, profit or not-for-profit, can develop to replace the welfare state without any government funding in some dysfunctional public/private "partnership" -- the private sector can do the job without government help or interference. If government can create welfare programs, the private sector can address the problems through private asistance organizations and do it more efficiently and effectively.
In a free market with low taxes and the absence of stagnating regulations, wealth creation will grow at a rapid rate. If society in the private sector is challenged with social problems like poverty, education, re-training, care for the indigent handicapped, etc., society will respond if they are allowed to keep more of what they earn. The charitable spirit of Americans and American companies will meet the challenge, and large organizations will develop to deal with these problems. We aready have the experience of helping organizations like United Way, church organizations, Red Cross, and others, to build on. Society just needs to trust the private sector and support the efforts. Together, the American people can do it, and do it well, utilizing all the experience and skills posessed by professionals in the helping fields all across the country. The duplication of wasteful government programs will be replaced by organizations specializing in different needs. There's no doubt that without red tape, bloated bureacracy and political manipulation, innovation in the private sector will do a better job and be more effective in providing true assistance. Creative means will develop to deal with problems the government simply throws money at and hides from the public. If people are invested in private helping organizations, they will take more interest in their efficiency and effectiveness.
What blocks this from happening is political in nature. The State justifies much of its power by being the source of welfare, but welfare is not something the State has to provide. If the national attitude changes and it's universally decided that the private sector will do a better job providing a safety net for the most disadvantaged, then it will be done. We just need to spur our imagination and think creatively.
This is the last of the posts for now dealing with free market solutions. Starting last week, I wrote about four posts dealing with this subject, and I would like to see more people thinking about ways to implement a free market which deal with societal problems. I post these periodically, restatisn how I think it can be done, but the truth is that "plans" are created once the freedomis established -- this is the nature of a free market -- many, many minds tackle the problems and create many, many solutions, not just a handful of government officials creating a one-size-fits-all solution.