Despite hard times, Americans are the most generous in the world

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  • Marine Corps Vet Tempe, AZ
    Dec. 21, 2011 11:19 a.m.

    An interesting study would be to calculate the percentage of overall contributions given to charitable causes by the super rich (1-2%)versus the rest of American society. I feel comfortable in supposing, as in guessing, that the 2% more than double the contributions made by the 98%. So often we read of well known philanthropists giving billion dollar +/- donations for the welfare and betterment of all. Sometimes we are a little to quick to condemn that which we know precious little about choosing to make assumptions based on envy rather than fact.

  • Prodicus Provo, UT
    Dec. 21, 2011 12:20 a.m.

    Other (more socialized) nations often chide the US for our low government foreign aid spending per $GDP. But our relatively free market and tax benefits for charitable donations means that we spend a lot more per capita in private giving to overseas charities, and if you include private foreign aid our contributions dwarf anybody else's. Further, private giving has been shown to be more likely to be effective; governmental foreign aid often goes largely to grease the palms of corrupt administrators in the target nations, and even when the money reaches its intended well-intentioned projects it usually has minimal positive impacts on poverty, education, and the environment.

    Even beyond that, the most effective form of aid to other nations is one that lots of people here in America participate in but which may not immediately seem like it falls into the "charitable giving" category. Money sent from immigrant and green card workers in the US to family and friends abroad is extremely effective in promoting education and lifting people out of poverty, much more so than any other form of giving.

    Being the land of opportunity allows us be a land of giving. Something to be proud of.

  • A1994 Centerville, UT
    Dec. 20, 2011 10:07 p.m.

    @New Yorker

    "Everything they spend is paid for by the customers who use their products and/or services. "

    Worst argument of the year. Congratulations. That is like saying that your lights, heat and food are actually paid for, not by you, but by the people who employ you. It doesn't matter that you provide a good or service to that employer.

  • XelaDave Salem, UT
    Dec. 20, 2011 9:03 p.m.

    Self reported giving numbers- now that is reliable- what a worthless piece of research- essentially like asking if you cheat on your taxes- no never- do Americans give yes but the real question is how much per capita or something along those lines but even that will be skewed by our overall wealth- tough number to get accurate- thus give and give some more and you might be a OK

  • New Yorker Pleasant Grove, UT
    Dec. 20, 2011 8:56 p.m.

    The actual CAF report (in PDF), page 7, says: "Individuals can assess how much time and money they can afford to give to charitable causes. There should be a 'social norm' where individuals give at least 1.5% of their income to charity, with the affluent giving a larger proportion of their wealth."

    This seems like they're setting the bar low enough for everyone to work toward and it should be a do-able proposition for most people. Let's step up!

  • New Yorker Pleasant Grove, UT
    Dec. 20, 2011 8:23 p.m.

    @ A1994:
    Corporations do not make any donations. Everything they spend is paid for by the customers who use their products and/or services. Likewise, corporation do not pay taxes, so that corporate tax is only a tax hidden from the real taxpayers.

    I'd be more impressed if you dug out the real numbers about which income strata is the most generous as a percent of their disposable income.

    Dec. 20, 2011 8:05 p.m.


    I hope your post was sarcastic or I will have to assume you drank the kool-aid of occupy protesters and the main stream media. While there may be a few in the top 1% who are greedy and give to no one, over 98.2 percent of the super rich gave to charity last year, compared to 64.6% of the general population. In addition, 78.7% of the super rich donated their time to charity, compared with 26.8% of the general population. Of course, if you are super rich then you have more time and resources available to give away, but the facts still speak highly of American's generosity, even the filthy rich Americans.

  • A1994 Centerville, UT
    Dec. 20, 2011 8:01 p.m.


    Yours was a pretty uneducated comment. Every corporation I've worked for, without fail, has reached out to the community in the form of cash donations and paying their employees to volunteer at things like the Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity, Toys for Tots, and the Special Olympics.

    You may have also recently read the story about the woman in New York who was out buying several hundred dollars-worth of Halloween candy for under privileged kids when she had a shopping cart dropped on her head by some juvenile delinquents.

    This idea that everyone who falls in the "1%" is greedy and heartless is pure garbage.

  • Vince the boonies, mexico
    Dec. 20, 2011 6:50 p.m.

    I will "guarantee" one thing it is not the 1% population with the real big bucks that are contributing! Yes most americans have big hearts, just not the filthy big business greedy thiefs that have robbed our country the past 20 plus years on the backs of little people! DISGUSTING.