This is the crucial point...This is the point which allows no compromise. You must choose one or the other. There is no middle. Either you believe that each individual man has value, dignity and certain inalienable rights which cannot be sacrificed for any cause, for any purpose, for any collective, for any number of other men whatsoever. Or else you believe that a number of men — it doesn't matter what you call it: a collective, a class, a race or a State — holds all rights, and any individual man can be sacrificed if some collective good — it doesn't matter what you call it: better distribution of wealth, racial purity or the Millennium — demands it. Don't fool yourself. Be honest about this. Names don't matter. Only the basic principle matters, and there is no middle choice. Either man has individual, inalienable rights — or he hasn't.
--Ayn Rand "To All Innocent Fifth Columnists", 1941
If you consistently hold that a man has an inviolable right to his own life, and only to his own, then a majority vote can not justify "redistribution" of property for any purpose. Not "universal" health care. Not "public" education or other "public works." Not "the greater good of society." Not anything.
Those who advocate taking from another without his explicit voluntary consent are violating a man's right to his own life.
Abandoning the principle of a man's right to his own life is not compassionate. It will not and can not lead to peace and cooperation but instead results in power struggles and an ever escalating use of force.
The best way to help the poor, and promote peace, is to rigorously protect individual rights--for everyone.
It's the right thing to do.
(HT Kelly Valenzuela for pointing me to the article)