John Stossel

And thank goodness we do, because charity does things better. I notice the difference on my way to work. In my neighborhood the "Men in Blue" -- that's what they call themselves -- clean streets. I wondered who the "Men in Blue" were. Day after day they did menial work energetically ... even enthusiastically.

It turns out that they are mostly former street people, ex-alcoholics, and drug addicts. A private charity, the Doe Fund (LINK: http://www.doe.org/), puts them to work while trying to teach them to be responsible and stay clean.

One year later, 54 percent of the "Men in Blue" are drug-free and employed. That's twice the success rate of other city shelters.

I'm still not sure exactly what makes Doe Fund successful, but they clearly have discovered something. I never see government workers clean anything with enthusiasm. Doe Fund workers do. It's why I voluntarily give them some of my money.

Charity almost always does it better.

America is a uniquely charitable country. So when you hear that "Americans are cheap," just remember: We gave $260 billion in charity last year. That's almost $900 for every man, woman, and child.

Of course some people give nothing. Some people are cheap. Which raises the question: Who gives and who doesn't? I'll report on that in my next column.


John Stossel

John Stossel is host of "Stossel" on the Fox Business Network. He's the author of "No They Can't: Why Government Fails, but Individuals Succeed." To find out more about John Stossel, visit his site at >johnstossel.com. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com. ©Creators Syndicate