The Middle class gives a larger % of their income to charity than the rich!

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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.

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Thom Hartmann A...
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Probably the poor give quite a chunk as well, only it isn't "official" charity. it's neighbor assisting neighbor. I've been a direct beneficary of that lately.

It goes back to the old story...a woman living in a house with broken windows and a dirt floor was asked what she'd do if given $100. "I'd give it to the poor!"

When your life revolves around accumulation for accumulation's sake, it's hard to part with any of it.

Not much different than one who hoards so much, it's difficult finding an aise to walk through in their house from living room to kitchen. Accumulation for accumulation's sake. They need another storage shed.

If you hoard the wrong things, you have a mental problem. If you hoard the "right" things, you're a genius. Hoarding is hoarding.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Good story.

Even more interesting if you present all the facts.

It appears that those evil money grubbing Republican voting states give more to the poor than the Democrat voting states that are always screaming "pay your fair share".

According to a new survey of tax data by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, it appears that red states are much more prone to charitable donations than blue states

http://digitaljournal.com/article/331171

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0812/79888.html?hp=r5

Redwing's picture
Redwing
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Jun. 21, 2012 5:12 am
Quote Redwing:

According to a new survey of tax data by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, it appears that red states are much more prone to charitable donations than blue states

http://digitaljournal.com/article/331171

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0812/79888.html?hp=r5

Throwing money at charity is an easy, surefire thing to do if you're trying to win hearts and look like you really care about people, ALL people. It's especially easy when you won't notice the money is gone.

antiquated's picture
antiquated
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Aug. 19, 2012 9:02 pm

Romney charitable contributions

Tax year Taxable income Charitable donations Donations as % of income
2010 $21.7 million $2.98 million 13.73%
2011 (est) $20.9 million $4 million 19.14%

http://nation.foxnews.com/mitt-romney/2012/01/24/whos-greedy-obama-gave-...

mjolnir's picture
mjolnir
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Mar. 3, 2011 12:42 pm
Quote Thom Hartmann Administrator:

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.

Just some numbers first.

On the high end of the middle class, 7.6% of 75,000 is $5700. In the middle group 4.2% of 150000 is $6300. And on the highest group (but at the low end) 2.8% of 200000 is $5600. So, in absolute terms, things are comparable. However, as income goes up for the richest group, I would assume that the absolute dollar value goes up. Why should they give a higher percentage? Isn't absolute dollars all that matters to the recipient of the charity?

I have never said that rich people will provide charity. I said the American people would. I have also said that people, rich or not, should be free to decide if they are going to be charitable or not. How can one be free if they are "forced" to make the "right" choices? Please define far Right. Ayn Rand was not a libertarian and most of the Right didn't like her. In addition, the "far Right" as you define it doesn't like libertarians either. Philosophically, Thom Hartmann and the conservative movement are far more in agreement as to the role of government. You just want to use it for different things. Small "l" libertarians are anti-statists. Progressives and most conservatives are statists.

Quote Thom Hartmann Administrator:

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.

That is their right. Besides, who are the guards in these gated communities? Who are the chauffeurs? Who are the educators at the high-priced private schools? Middle class people. So, even in their selfishness, they are still providing jobs.

We know that poor people don't create jobs. So who is left? Middle class business owners and the rich. Unless there is some other group that I don't know about.

LysanderSpooner's picture
LysanderSpooner
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Just yesterday's example of how to steer a story in a misleading direction by reporting the words in the study that best serves the socialist viewpoint. I am supprised that Ronald Reagan's name did not get shoved in there.

Redwing's picture
Redwing
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Jun. 21, 2012 5:12 am
Quote Redwing:

Good story.

Even more interesting if you present all the facts.

It appears that those evil money grubbing Republican voting states give more to the poor than the Democrat voting states that are always screaming "pay your fair share".

According to a new survey of tax data by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, it appears that red states are much more prone to charitable donations than blue states

http://digitaljournal.com/article/331171

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0812/79888.html?hp=r5

Actually, that makes sense to me. Poverty stricken red states have a greater need for charity. In conservative Missouri, people can't even afford to water their lawns. In my town, the lawns are all dead. Had my charitable poor neighbor not brought over an old air conditioner he picked up at a yard sale, I'd probably be dead too. It's on its last leg and makes a terrible racket, but it still works.

Incomes are so low, rental prices follow suit. They can't be high enough to maintain properties. Guess I'll replace all the broken window panes so I don't heat the great outdoors this winter. The slumlord can't afford to do it. In blue states, the property would be deemed uninhabitable.

Probably in another 20 years or so, they should just bulldoze the whole town and put up tents. Maybe the charitable Red Cross will provide them.

The "no new tax" theme of conservatives sells well in Missouri. With a combined state, county, city tax of 12% on food, I can see why. Taxes have been shoved onto the poor and middle class.They don't grasp that "no new taxes" means no new taxes for the wealthiest. The majority are excluded from that conservative theme. Voters don't get it.

They vote conservative to give the wealthy tax breaks not realizing they are going to make up the difference themselves.

Retired Monk - 'Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Redwing:

Good story.

Even more interesting if you present all the facts.

It appears that those evil money grubbing Republican voting states give more to the poor than the Democrat voting states that are always screaming "pay your fair share".

According to a new survey of tax data by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, it appears that red states are much more prone to charitable donations than blue states

http://digitaljournal.com/article/331171

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0812/79888.html?hp=r5

Not sure about your conclusion here, but since most blue states subsidize red states, then it's really blue state wealth enabling red state "charity." And I'm sure tithing at Churches is counted in this study, and I'm not sure I would count all of that as true "charity," as churches and megachurches are big business these days and money going into them (tithed by suckers, IMHO), funds growth, salaries, new gleaming additions to make them feel so much better about themselves. That's not charity, it's vanity, in my opinion. And it doesn't count giving your time either. Volunteering at a soup kitchen or tutoring poor kids doesn't register in the "charity" monetary column. Last but not least, I'm sure large checks are cut by a wealthy few to make a name for themselves and get a tax deduction.

I will gladly be corrected if I'm wrong about any of this, but I'm not sure about your conclusion.

al3's picture
al3
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Giving to churches isn't really 'charity". It's a payment for the services...not much different than attending a really good show or concert.

Everyone has differing tastes in "entertainment".

Really good entertainers have a life-style to match. It doesn't matter if it's Madonna or a flamboyant preacher.

Paying for entertainment really isn't charity.

Our Abbot is extremely devout...and puts on a really good show. He was a trained actor before he became an Abbot. He gives a new definition to a "reading of the Gospel":

Charity is charity. Entertainment is entertainment. Don't confuse the two. Some attend church for spiritual growth. Most don't. The "feel good" from the service is the same as the "feel good" from a secular concert. Tastes vary.

A "charitable" dollar often ends at the church collection box. Our "charitable" receipts are re-distributed to the community outside of monastic grounds. Don't expect that with most churches.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Actually, this point was covered, too. In fact, it was the whole story. Of course the red states give more money than the blue states. That's where the poorer people tend to live.

Don't ever make the mistake of thinking that the ones who vote Republican are all heartless bastards whose only wish is to be left alone to roll around naked in the piles of cash they have stashed in their basement. If the Republican Party had to actually serve the interests of the people that vote them into power, they'd have died out fifty years ago. This is a key part of the Republican Party's strategy: indulge in some bit of political grandstanding (my favorite is Roy Moore's Ten Commandments monument), have someone else (the ACLU is the usual bogeyman -- those liberal bastards, defending the Constitution like that...makes my blood boil...) protest, play the victim, then run for office again on the platforem of, well, his heart's in the right place, at least he tried. The beauty is that the Republicans never have to deliver on whatever they promise, even when they have control of all the branches of government.

Or hadn't you noticed that Roe v. Wade is still the law of the land?

Terry Allen
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Really? You still think that the rich are the "job creators"? Watch Fox News much? If so, consider Nickelodean instead -- it's much more firmly rooted in reality.

Okay, I'll take it slow. The job creator is demand. Not the rich, not the poor, not wealthy capitalists, not God, not the genie with the light brown hair. Demand. No business owner would ever create a job if they had any realistic alternative (what? you think they're stupid?). You have (or have borrowed from the Republican Party) this idea that capitalists, flush with money, feeling not only fat, but dumb and happy as well, decide from their Olympian position of repose as the arbiters of our economic welfare, to vouchsafe us poor workers a few more jobs, purely out of the goodness of their hearts, and because they're motivated by their own deep-seated charitable instincts to do something for their fellow man (or worker...or whatever). And so they stretch out their hand, and magically, the jobs are called into being.

Horse hockey, as my Dad used to say.

When a business owner has no choice but to add payroll, or see his market share (and usually, his business) shrink, then he adds payroll. Now I promised I'd take it slow: if everybody else's business starts to do better, and yours just stays the same, that means your market share drops. And that means your competitors are out-performing you. What do you need to do in that case? Well, no, you don't have to grow your business, but eventually you're likely to get that 'left in the dust' feeling, and you'll start trying to figure out how you can catch up to the train all your competitors are riding (too many metaphors? I'll try to go easy). And usually, yes, that means you need to grow your business. And how do you grow your business? Well, you don't necessarily add jobs, because that might not be the fastest way to grow your business. Maybe instead you need to make some capital investments, meaning you start shopping for stuff you decided you wouldn't need "until times got better". Which means (when dozens of people like you start to do this) that the companies supplying you with the capital equipment need to add payroll to keep up with the new orders.

In short, what creates jobs is an expanding economy, and the economy expands because of demand, not because of the comfort and luxury and general satisfied feeling of the wealthy.

Ever since the Reagan administration (somewhere up above this post another poster is cackling to see me mention him) the Republicans have been trying to stand this perceived economic...well, I'll call it a fact, but you can call it a theory if you like...on its head and show that supply drives the economy instead. Hence the Laffer Curve, and all the rest of the delightfully zany theories that George H.W. Bush once famously called "voodoo ecnomics".

Terry Allen
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote al3:

Last but not least, I'm sure large checks are cut by a wealthy few to make a name for themselves and get a tax deduction.

Well put.

Depends on what type of world one wants to exist in. One in which the ability to accumulate vast, obscene amounts of wealth is manipulated and ensured by a handful of other obscenely rich people. Who then make decisions on whom to distribute said wealth to (if any)... a nation of philanthropists with people not being able to live without so much as a bye or a leave...

Or a nation in which such wealth accumualtion is regulated by the government.

I prefer the latter to the former... though I understand the desireability of the former to sociopaths...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jan/27/philanthropy-enemy-o...

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norske
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I've found the poor give a larger per centage of their income than even the middle class.

During our heat wave, my neighbor Charles brought me a fan...then a used air conditioner he found at a yard sale. From my physical symptoms, I've no doubt that a poor man literally saved my life.

Evidently when he installed it, he told another neighbor I didn't have a bed. Tonight I have one. The canvas cot I've fallen out of twice can be folded up and put away. The neighbor who shares the same slumlord I have doesn't share the slumlord's heart.

Perhaps I won't be woken up in the middle of the night any longer by back pain or a thump to the floor.

The heart of America seems to reside in the poorist of us.

The assignment to live as the poor among the poorist and report back on the state of Christianity in America has proven interesting...though I've found poverty to be life-threatening in this nation.

The poor neighborhoods of Denver were nothing compared to this poor neighborhood in Missouri. I still flush my toilet with a plunger and like another neighbor, wash my clothes in the bathtub by stirring them with a stick. Laundromats are outside of affordability for this area's average income ."Laundry Stamps" in addition to a few "Food Stamps" would be appreciated. Even a cheap washboard from the 40's would be nice. I can't find one.

The shop till you drop mentalitiy of America's middle class doesn't exist here. It's more like, find the money to shop before you do literally drop from a lack of it. The on-going battle to stay alive is a daily routine in this America..In this America, people help one another to do that....by giving much from little.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease".

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

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