Voluntarism—sometimes called philanthropy or charity— is the donation of money, goods, and time either to those in need or an otherwise worthy cause.

A question that confronts every society and every political philosophy concerns our obligations to the poor and unfortunate and how we are to extend them help. Probably the most common answer involves an appeal to government to supply them welfare benefits and other entitlements financed through taxation. But free-market advocates maintain that coercing people to assist others is wrong, both pragmatically and in that it violates others' rights. Instead, they appeal to private organizations to provide the necessities for those in need.

Pragmatically, free-market advocates argue that a taxed and regulated society is less prosperous with less upward mobility and thereby experiences poverty; the ...

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