Donations and Social Policies – Are Voluntary Donations the Better Means to Finance Public Services and Expenses?
In Germany, the state either entirely provides many goods such as education, infrastructure or cultural facilities or subsidizes them to a large degree, i.e. financed with taxpayers’ money. These goods are essential for economic prosperity and quality of life in a country. However, there are debates about the extent to which the state should promote these goods or to what extent (wealthy) private individuals should voluntarily finance these services.
In the USA, the financing of universities is often in private hands, and many cultural institutions also live off private sponsors. The question is what advantages and disadvantages these types of funding have for different goods.
What does voluntary financing mean as opposed to legally secured funding by the state?
Can private financiers make these goods available more efficiently than the state, and if so, in which area?
What type of financing is desired by the population, and why?