Not only can’t we rely on them to create jobs – but we can’t rely on them to give charity either. A new study by the Chronicle of Philanthropy examined tax deduction data from the IRA and discovered that middle class Americans give a larger share of their income to charity than do the rich. A household earning between $50,000 and $75,000 averaged contributing 7.6% of their income to charity. But as the income scale goes up – that percentage drops.
For those making more than $100,000 a year – only 4.2% was given to charity. And for those making more than $200,000 a year, the charity rate was just 2.8%. The far Right – people who adore Ayn Rand and Libertarians – argue we don’t need a social safety net in this country – or even a government to look out for the poor – because rich people will simply step up with charity.
These facts show the lie in that argument. But they do support a different argument – and that is that the rich – not all – but a lot – are less sympathetic than the middle class. After all, being holed up in your gated communities, driven around by a chauffeur, attending high-priced private education – it is often easy to overlook the plight of your fellow Americans.