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There is an additional element of "failure" in this concept of alleviating suffering through government intervention, that is wonderfully described in Marvin Olasky's "Tragedy of American Compassion". When government "owns" the process of helping individuals facing challenges associated with poverty, or physical disability, or other similar issues, there is a dehumanizing aspect of this assistance that is not present when support is provided by private charities/religious organizations. As a result, quite often the unintended consequences of government involvement are the counterproductive outcomes that we have seen from the rise of the welfare state in the 1960's.
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