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Foundations of Social Welfare - Essay Example

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Public charity assures the rich of their wealth enjoyment without fear of losing them wholly on other individuals and as Tocqueville practically observed, the poor are guaranteed against their misery. It is a moving and an elevating sight to see some people give their surplus to meet others’ necessities when compelled by public charity to do so. However, public charity is tainted with disadvantages. Tocqueville ascertains that it is fatally flawed as it is filled with unfortunate consequences of good intensions, an irony that can’t go un-noticed. It is better to acknowledge that public charity denies most of the basic facts of nature which holds that men work only to sustain life or to improve their condition, something that forces the vast majority to earn a living independently. If men are granted a right to public charity, then they would be condemned to a life of idleness. Again, a right to public charity degrades the man who claims it by condemning him to a life of dependency and idleness. On the other hand, private charity has no rights or assurance but is also as spontaneous as public relief in times of public disasters. It is given secretly and temporarily according to Alexis de Tocqueville and it is less degrading to the recipient than the public charity. Since it is temporary and voluntary it has characters that lessen calamities without adding others. To its advantage, private charity is appreciated as an act of mercy. The society is better served by private charity than public for it establishes a moral tie amid the giver and the receiver whereas public charity eliminates any sense of morality from the transaction The disadvantage of private charity is that it may seem weaker than public charity because it grants indefinite and uncertain assistance for the needy. Alexis de Tocqueville prefers the private charity as the type of assistance to the public one and this is what he advocates for at all cost. Alexis de Tocqueville has a stern opinion about the public and private charities and what he wishes for countries to adopt is the private charity. I tend to support him in this for it is what would reduce pauperism. The known countries that tried the public charity had most of its people living in poverty, not to satisfy most of their essential wants and in times of natural calamities, they relied on support from other able countries. As if this is their right, countries that embrace public charity are nothing less than independent types. It is inevitable that when public charity is established in an enduring manner, a class of lazy and idle people would emerge to, only, live at the expense of the industrial and working class. When public charity is legalized, it is not only the poor man’s freedom that is tampered with but also his ethics. In England, there is a loud cry about pauperism and how public charity has created a degrading situation that the lower class has found itself in. What we perceive is an impoverished population and increasing number of criminals and unlawful children. Alexis de Tocqueville argues that private charity is barely known in a country that embraces public charity and that a person who cannot earn a living due to his hardship and vices is fated under anguish to remain at his birthplace. In support of private charity, Tocqueville notes that individual alms giving as a form of private or voluntary charity ...Show more
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Foundations of Social Welfare To, The Editor, Royal Academic Society of Cherbourg Annual Proceedings There have been so many opinions about the private charity and the public welfare that Alexis de Tocqueville observed in his Memoirs on Pauperism. The private charity had been the traditional form of assistance to the needy not until the public charity begun supplementing it…
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