“How could this problem be solved without using the politics of plunder?”
First of all, the politics of plunder, according to the French economist Bastiat, is the “involuntary transfer of wealth from the original owner to the new owner.”
Secondly, the answer to this question was given clearly by President Grover Cleveland who said: “The friendliness and charity of our countrymen can always be relied upon to relieve their fellow-citizens in misfortune. . . . Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the government…while it prevents the indulgence among our people of that kindly sentiment and conduct which strengthens the bonds of a common brotherhood.”
Therefore, without the politics of plunder the solution to this question would be the neighborly regard of one man for another. This would invariably solve the problem of who will relieve distress if not the government.