Saturday, March 30, 2013

Sweet charity

I didn't find this at all surprising. Anybody who has ever worked in the restaurant/hospitality industry knows the rich are tightwads. Indeed the richer the are, the stingier they are with tips. So it goes with charitable giving.
One of the most surprising, and perhaps confounding, facts of charity in America is that the people who can least afford to give are the ones who donate the greatest percentage of their income. In 2011, the wealthiest Americans—those with earnings in the top 20 percent—contributed on average 1.3 percent of their income to charity. By comparison, Americans at the base of the income pyramid—those in the bottom 20 percent—donated 3.2 percent of their income. The relative generosity of lower-income Americans is accentuated by the fact that, unlike middle-class and wealthy donors, most of them cannot take advantage of the charitable tax deduction, because they do not itemize deductions on their income-tax returns.
It's not that rich don't donate at all, but they do it mainly for self-interested reasons. Like tax breaks. This is especially true of conservatives. Something that was made perfectly clear after the fiscal cliff farce of 2012 finally concluded and Ari Fleischer tweeted this threat.

The super wealthy also do it for prestige. Billionaires will donate hundreds of millions to museums and universities and other cultural insitutions that cater mainly to their social class to either get things named after them, or to advance academic work that suits their personal agenda. You won't see the Kochs endowing a chair in civil rights studies or labor law. Nor will you likely see the Waltons donating to Planned Parenthood even as Walmart's business practices create the welfare clients who desperately need the affordable health care.

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Blogger Daro said...

Charity is anonymous. Publicly broadcasting your giving of money is just self-paid publicity.

8:24:00 PM  

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