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Private philanthropy can be used to help people escape generational cycles of poverty and welfare-dependency, and make their way in the free enterprise economy.

Private Philanthropy Promotes Human Wellbeing

By Chelsea Follett @Chellivia

In recognition of private philanthropy’s role in promoting human wellbeing, HumanProgress.org has just added a new category of data: charity.

Most people agree that charity is a good thing, but laws may restrict or dis-incentivize philanthropic action. Higher tax rates, for example, may negatively impact charitable giving. State-run welfare may also discourage charity, altering “a welfare system of mutual aid based on reciprocity to one of paternalistic dependency based on hierarchy,” as David T. Beito has argued in his book, From Mutual Aid to the Welfare State.

In the United States, the structure of the welfare system may contribute to generational cycles of hardship. Jo Kwong of the Philanthropy Roundtable eloquently summarized the situation, describing how private philanthropy can be used to help people escape generational cycles of poverty and welfare-dependency, and make their way in the free enterprise economy. 

How charitable is your country? Explore the data.

Chelsea Follett is the managing editor of HumanProgress.org and a policy analyst in the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity.

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