Why the poor are more charitable than the rich
America's lowest-income earners give away a higher percentage of their pay because of tax and social discrepancies.
The Atlantic asserts that, despite all the charitable gifts and building naming on behalf of Carl Icahn, Phil Knight, Paul Allen, Mort Zuckerman and other members of the modern American aristocracy, rich folks aren't nearly as generous to charities as their poor counterparts. In 2011, the wealthiest Americans -- those with earnings in the top 20% -- gave an average 1.3% of their income to charity.
On the other side of the coin, those with earnings in the bottom 20% donated 3.2% of their income. It's not that either is particularly more generous than the other. It's just that the company each keeps has a strong effect on how much each donates and to whom.
The richest Americans, for example, have their charity numbers dragged down a bit by the charitable tax deduction that they tend to itemize on their return more frequently than poorer Americans. The wealthy also tend to give a bit differently, preferring to funnel their charitable donations to colleges and universities, arts organizations and museums. Of the 50 largest individual gifts to public charities in 2012, 34 went to educational institutions including Harvard, Columbia, and Berkeley. Museums and arts organizations such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art received nine such gifts, with the remainder going to medical facilities charities like the Central Park Conservancy.
Not one went to a social-service organization or a group that works with the poor. Those poor, meanwhile, tend to give almost exclusively to religious and social service organizations. Patrick Rooney, the associate dean at the Indiana University School of Philanthropy, told The Atlantic that increased exposure to poverty creates “higher empathy” among lower-income donors. Meanwhile, Paul Piff, a psychologist at the University of California at Berkeley, published research that drew a link between wealth and unethical behavior.
“While having money doesn’t necessarily make anybody anything,” Piff told New York magazine, “the rich are way more likely to prioritize their own self-interests above the interests of other people.”
The simple answer is that each group goes with what it knows. That neither really knows the other is a far more telling, if not troubling, economic and social indicator.
Why am I not surprised??? I was out of work between professional careers for 18 months. After I walked a mile in another man's moccassins (sp?), my whole outlook on life changed! I went Blue from life long Red, I now put 5, 10, 20 in the poor box whenever I pass it, AND I give thanks for what I have in life and have stopped worrying about what the 5% who cheat the "system" get!!! I recently sat in an airplane hanger in Texas on leather furniture sipping good bourbon and listened to a bunch of rich white guys bitch about what the illegals were getting away with! BTW, we were sitting beside a private plane worth at least $2M. Made me want to puke!!!
Give Thanks for what you have achieved, help the poor and unfortunate, and give a damn!!! You'll feel a lot better for it! And remember, no matter how bad you think you have it, someone always has it worse!!!
Self-actualization is all about getting a life and letting go!!! No pockets in a shroud! ;^)
When I was much younger, I had a job delivering pizzas. The people who lived in the nice big houses never tipped well at all. However, when I delivered to the run down side of town, small houses that were practically falling apart, I always got a better tip than from the upper middle class areas.
This article does not surprise me one bit.
That is NOT "giving"... that is greasing the wheels so that little Timmy gets in.
So the rich give to Harvard, museums, and the arts and the middle class and poor people tend to give to charities that help people. Hmm, why do these facts not surprise me at all.
It may be the middle class and the poor know what it's like to struggle in life...... Most of the rich are clueless for the most part, not all but most.
IF that is true it is very sad. I have tithed almost my whole adult life per my spiritual beliefs and all of my tithing goes to the poor for needed surgeries, Operation Smile, a wonderful operation that changes lives. Other giving over and above often goes to organizations that provide help to the less fortunate of us.
I have learned through life that you cannot out give God, the tenfold rule has always applied and the more I give the more I seem to have. If there are rich or poor reading this, I strongly suggest you try it. It feels good and I know my government is a poor handler of money, so yes I do itemize and take the deductions. But this way I choose to help those less fortunate and not those who just know how to play the government system. .
I got the giving bug in two small ways, and of course, having an organized mind, I had to systemize it. I started at $10 a month, adding $1 every year to that. The first snail mail to arrive asking for money, in a given month, that seems worthy enough, gets the $12.
The second way is the most fun. I watch closely among people I meet, and even some I've met only on-line, and when I get an indication that someone is destitute, their name goes on a list. Then, once a quarter, I go to the dollar store and fill a cart. This has never cost me more then a hundred dollars - usually runs about $60 - and I can fill a pretty big box.
I send it out anonymously because I don't want anyone tracking me down. But it gives me a great feeling to imagine a poor family opening a box to find oodles of goodies, from candy to household tools.
Oh, almost forgot a third thing I do, and that is picking up the tab of strangers at the little greasey spoon where I Iunch. This started because one day when I was sitting in a booth adjacent to a young mother with a baby and her mother, I heard the mom tell the daughter, "No, that's too expensive." If something was too expensive at that place, you could bet they had little money. I got the waitress, who now calls me her partner in crime, to let me pay for their meal anonymous. It was worth the feeling I got imagining how they would feel when they found out their tab was paid. Woth every penny.
I had been doing this, hit and miss, for a couple of years when something happened that made me misty-eyed. When I went into the restaurant, the waitress handed me an envelope. On the outside it said, "For the anonymous, giving guy." Inside was a $10 gift certificate for the restaurant. I got quite emotional that someone out there was thinking like that.
It's so easy to give, and you have to do it to discover that it is worth every penny. It does something good for YOU, when you give.
Y'all need to read between the lines: "The richest Americans, for example, have their charity numbers dragged down a bit by the charitable tax deduction that they tend to itemize on their return more frequently than poorer Americans."
Note, the article doesn't say how much their percentage was "dragged down".
The amounts given by Biden and Gore are particularly sad. If Catholics supported him like he supports the church he would not have been on the public dole for a lifetime!
The press never questions them but made an issue of Romney who has given more in one year than Biden,
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