Philanthropy and social services

Many Milton Friedman disciples argue that social services, typically offered by government, would be better left to free market philanthropy. They claim this would lead to a more efficient allocation of resources, which would allow for a more productive economy, which would be better for everyone. In a vacuum, I'd like to agree with this argument, but in practice I think it's naive and misguided.

Some problems just aren't sexy and will never get the attention they deserve. In addition, people can only solve problems they know about. So, without perfect information people will give disproportionately to their local communities, even if that isn't efficient for the market as a whole.

Fortunately, these options aren't mutually exclusive. While the balance we have right now may not be perfect, I worry when people suggest that we move farther to either extreme.