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    letters | examining a gift at MIT

    Charity is preferable to ever-expanding government

    In “The two David Kochs” (Op-ed, Oct. 10) Joan Vennochi criticizes Koch for supporting charitable causes while opposing government programs aimed at the same population, implying some kind of personality disorder. Progressive thought has long believed that government’s role is to fill all unmet needs, and that charity is a temporary expedient until the ever-expanding government has caught up.

    In Vennochi’s case, this strain of thought is evidently so strong that she can’t conceive of any reason other than “extreme cognitive dissonance” why someone would hold any other view. But surely one does not have to be schizophrenic to support, say, Habitat for Humanity while thinking the government should not be called upon to build everyone a house.

    Andrew E. Gruber