American citizens give away more than $300 billion each year in charitable donations. Only a tiny fraction of this (less than 0.001%) is donated to federal, state, and local governments. Politicians claim that they spend taxpayers' money efficiently, to accomplish the most good with the budgets at their disposal. But if this were true wouldn't governments be able to compete more successfully with private charities? What are the implications of your answer?
Governments do a lot of things, such as collecting taxes and drafting people into the military, that we would object to individuals doing. Can this be justified?
How much should we care about social cohesion?