I'm not convinced Jono.
Whilst you are not proposing a return of feudalism, and indeed times have changed, the reason that they have changed has been, in part, as an outcome of the actions of the State. The State has used its period of being in control of the levers of the economy to shape society into that which we know today. Part of that has been the evolution of the complex and (we agree) out of control tax system. Equally, what started as a means to ensure a suitably fit and educated workforce now costs in the extremis but produces a population ill suited to commercial requirements.
As you know, I'm on the 'flat-tax' side of the argument, and we've covered that previously at length. It is clear to me to continue to tweek what is failing is folly, but to revolutionise will have the change consequences that you point to. Thinking of how times have changed, I can not see any indication that people have socially evolved such as to support the change you would see introduced. Only recently it has been made clear that the elite (who some thought were paying so much into the tax pot, and now find that they are not) use charity to reduce taxation - yet offered lower taxation but a cap on further tax reduction from 'excesive' charitable giving chose not to give. They want the low tax and low donation option - i.e. given the choice those with the most would prefer to keep it thatnk you very much.
So I remain of the opinion that what we have seen with Housing Action is the shape of things to come - just as I forecast the consequences of Tory social and housing policy, the details of which are now becoming reality to the shock and horror of the less astute.
Not that I call you less astute, for you are, as has been seen, one of the most astute avatars to post on IH. What I mean though is that your faith in people to donate is misplaced, based on the evidence around.