He who places his hope on thee, O Virgin all-glorious, will prosper in all he does.

Inscription on Byzantine coin during reign of Romanus III

Monday, October 04, 2010

At The Margin

Let me microscopically expand on a statement that I made over at Fr. Oliver Herbel's blog: "Charity can help at the margin–I don’t think anyone wants to completely remove the incentives for success and social mobility."

Yes, that's right. I don't believe in the same kind of charity in which many folks believe. For example, I was watching the TV show, 60 Minutes, in which Melinda Gates spoke about the causes to which she devoted large sums of money, like AIDs and malaria.

I'm not a fan of that kind of giving. Charitable spending, commonly conceived, is consumption spending. Nothing is saved; nothing is invested; nothing is available to aid economic growth; nothing is available for future generations. Capital formation aids future generations by making possible increased future consumption.

Any large charitable contributions that I'll make will go to endowments , not directly to recipients. Certainly, use a portion of the income for direct aid to recipients, but remember the remaindermen as well.

No comments: