An act of charity is traditionally defined as generosity that would include donations to aid those in physical or financial distress. It is usually characterized by leniency in judging the acts of others, and forbearance when such others fail to act on a timely basis. It might be the benevolent feeling that wells up inside of us, especially toward those in desperate need or in societal disfavor. The Greco-Christian term Agape refers to an unconditional, even selfless love that, while sometimes seen as synonymous with charity, looks beyond any dysfunction to the highest and best interests of all.
The term welfare is generally understood as referring to the greatest good for a person, group, or organization. Etymologically the word was derived from the middle english phrase composed of the terms wel and fare while expressing the sentiment that others would fare well. It is in this sense that the Preamble to the United States Constitution includes the phrase “promote the general Welfare.”
Some would argue, and have argued, that the adoption of any social program constitutes “socialism.” By such an overly simplistic definition, if you carry a Social Security card, you are a card carrying socialist. Other people are simply perplexed asking: “Why would anyone want to kill Social Security and Medicare when we see payroll deductions, throughout our entire working lives, for these so-called entitlements?” After a little research, we are reminded that employers are required to make matching contributions of 6.2% for Social Security and 1.45% for Medicare. Upon further investigation, we learn that, for employees making $200k or more, employers have to kick in an additional .9% for Medicare.”
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