It is perfectly acceptable from a moral perspective to take the position that free-market capitalism coupled with intense private charity and expanded social ministry on the part of various religious groups is the best way to address the needs of the poor and sick. It is also perfectly morally acceptable to take the position that the government should do these things.
Socialism as defined by say, the Christian Democratic Party of Germany is perfectly morally acceptable. I don’t subscribe to their worldview, but suffice to say that it is not immoral to be a socialist provided the elements of authoritarianism and anti-Christian, anti-religiosity that pervades communism are absent.
I personally am a fan of the free markets. I’m someone most people would consider “far right.” I find it totally abhorrent when people on “my side” ignore the plight of the poor and toss out simplistic statements like “if we cut non-essential spending, we’d save Social Security and Medicare” because they are not factual.
I honestly believe that expansion of the state has hurt the Church in the West. We have abdicated our responsibilities to help our fellow man. Instead, we as a society all too often say “I pay my taxes, that’s how I give to the poor. They have plenty of programs. I don’t need to do more.” That’s a distorted worldview and our failing to exercise the corporal works of mercy has curtailed our ability to perform the spiritual works of mercy.
The two works go hand in hand. One must open the door to ministering to the spirit by first ministering to the body. People started to listen to Christ’s teachings because they saw His power to cure physical ailments. He opened their hearts by ministering to their bodily needs.
We must do the same. Ideally we’d live in a society where the government’s job would be national defense, maintaining infrastructure and that’s about it, because we as good Christians would step in and pour out our love and our treasure to take care of the bodily and spiritual needs of our fellow men and women. This, however, is a crazy pipe dream that will never happen. So finding some kind of equilibrium is a must.