Government is not society. There are many things that society should address but that government should not. Objecting to government involvement in an issue is not tantamount to saying an issue should not be addressed at all.
Among the social issues that need to be addressed and that we often ask government to get involved in are caring for the poor, humanitarian assistance, protecting the environment, protecting minorities, healthcare choices and ensuring a certain level of education for our children.
Pessimistic View of HumanityThe impulse to have government prescribe solutions for social issues concedes a pessimistic view of humanity. It assumes that people won't or can't do compassionate things without coercion. It starts with the premise that if the government has the power to help, it must act.
There is no lack of effective actors, both locally and globally, showing compassion and influencing public opinion. Religious groups, non-profit organizations, charities, private businesses, informal groups of concerned citizens, neighbors and the family all address these issues.
When many groups seek to solve these problems it leads to innovation and experimentation. It could be described as a laboratory, working out the most effective and efficient solutions.
Government Charity = MonopolyWhen government becomes a charity itself, it has a monopoly effect. It effectively limits the ability of society's other actors to play a meaningful role. It does this in three ways.
Second, it creates the impression that an issue is being fully addressed and therefore other actors are redundant. Their ability to influence public opinion diminishes. People become less likely to donate to or volunteer for them. It weakens people's natural impulses to help people around them.
Third, it siphons money away from other groups. Because government funds its charitable initiatives through taxation, it takes from the discretionary funds people have to donate to their preferred groups. This includes very wealthy people who try to fund their own charitable enterprises, like the Gates Foundation.
Lack of Compassion, Punishable by Fine
Once the government is committed, influencing public opinion to try a different approach is subversive. Tolerance and compassion can literally become required by law.