Par FA Harper, via Mises.org:
In this essay I shall be dealing, however, with one aspect of economic charity — a form inferior to charity of the mind and the spirit. People spend vast sums trying to do good with economic alms in forms which, to me, seem open to serious question. In their haste to do good and to bask in the glow of immediate glory as purveyors of alms, they are being exceedingly wasteful of the means of benevolence. The methods they use would come to appear unbenevolent, I believe, if they would view them by the test of alternatives in the longer perspective of economic science. That is the thought I should like to explore here, in honor of Professor Mises.
A certain Talmudical philosopher once offered us this apothegm:
The noblest charity is to prevent a man from accepting charity, and the best alms are to show and enable a man to dispense with alms.
A profound observation! It deserves to be kept in mind constantly as we fumble along in attempts to do good to others.