On Charity

I have never felt any particular pull toward giving money to charity. I used to pay tithes and give offerings to the Mormon Church, but that was out of a sense of religious obligation. I have given and will give money to nonprofit organizations like the Mises and Libertas institutes, but I don’t consider that charity. I don’t give money to beggars and panhandlers, and I don’t give money to relief funds. Why not? I’m not entirely sure. Partly, I don’t believe that money given to charity is always spent in the most helpful ways. But the bigger reason for my abstention from charitable giving is simply that I don’t believe other people deserve my hard-earned money more than me and my family do. I am incredibly wealthy by world standards, but upper-lower class by American standards. I don’t have expendable income. Perhaps if I were a millionaire, I’d feel differently. But I’m not, nor do I ever expect to be. I much prefer trade and exchange. If I think you could use some money, I’ll offer you a job to earn it, and respect you more when you accept. And that’s today’s two cents.

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Founder and editor of Everything-Voluntary.com and UnschoolingDads.com, Skyler is a husband and unschooling father of three beautiful children. His writings include the column series “One Voluntaryist’s Perspective” and “One Improved Unit,” and blog series “Two Cents“. Skyler also wrote the books No Hitting! and Toward a Free Society, and edited the books Everything Voluntary and Unschooling Dads. You can hear Skyler chatting away on his podcasts, Everything Voluntary and Thinking & Doing.

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