Jeff Jacoby writes ‘Tis better to give, but some give more in The Boston Globe:Jeff Jacoby
WHEN IT comes to charitable giving, America is a world-beater. According to Giving USA, an annual compendium of national data on philanthropy, Americans last year donated more than $316 billion to charity, or roughly 2 percent of GDP. Contrary to popular belief, most of that money didn’t come from foundations or corporations. It came from individuals. In 2012, donations from private American households added up to about $223 billion.
American generosity varies by region. Studies by Fraser and the Catalogue of Philanthropy, which use IRS data from itemized income tax returns, show a consistent pattern. “Measured by how much they share out of what they have available, the most generous Americans are not generally those in high-income, urban, liberal states like California or Massachusetts,” Zinsmeister writes. “Rather, people living in areas that are more rural, conservative, religious, and moderate in income are our most generous givers.”
Discussions of charity — who gives, who doesn’t — invariably become fodder for the culture wars. Let’s face it, an unmistakable aroma of hypocrisy wafts when those who preach a politics of compassion and denounce the greed of their ideological opponents turn out to be bleeding heart tightwads.
Perhaps Pope Francis overlooked this in his 50,000 word address, Evangelii Gaudium, in his condemnation of capitalism.
Capitalism requires a free economy, political liberty AND a system of moral virtues. He would have been far more effective if he addressed the moral component without the condemnation of an effective economic system with the pejorative of “trickle down economics.”