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My Neighbor's Keeper? Rethinking Responsibility and the Role of Government

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Publication Date: August 2007

Publisher(s): Heritage Foundation (Washington, D.C.)

Author(s): Ryan Messmore

Series: Backgrounder

Topic: Social conditions (Community life and organization)

Keywords: Religion; limited government; responsibility; care for poor

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


It is only when local communities based on personal interaction fail to provide for people's needs that government responsibility comes into play. Even in such cases, policy should acknowledge the responsibility that such institutions as families, neighborhoods, and churches have for their members and remove barriers and disincentives for them to act in personal ways to solve problems.