Remember The Stingy Americans?


Apparently some peoples' generosity was just for show.
Communist China pledged $301 million to Sri Lanka but has so far delivered just $1 million. France promised $79 million but has only delivered $1 million. Spain pledged $60 million but has yielded -- you guessed it -- $1 million.
Now, to be fair, our own govt's pledge is but 38% fulfilled. But Americans are still more than their bureaucracy:
The U.S. Navy and other arms of the military made the rescue and recovery effort possible. The cost is known but to Pentagon bean-counters, perhaps not even them. Then there is private charity. A recent study by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University found that private U.S. donations to tsunami victims totaled $3.16 billion. Twenty-five percent of Americans gave.
Well, sure, because we're rich and can afford it, right? Actually not. This allows me to belatedly note Who Really Cares, the book that reveals the generous Americans are, on the whole, religious, Conservative, and the working poor:
the idea that liberals give more is a myth. Of the top 25 states where people give an above-average percentage of their income, all but one (Maryland) were red -- conservative -- states
and the people who give give everything:
Conservatives are even 18 percent more likely to donate blood.
Conservative households, incidentally, are poorer than liberal ones --and it's the poor in America who give. Not the middle class, who think they can't afford it. Not those on welfare programs, who have very different attitudes about giving. Not the rich.
[while] the rich give more in total dollars, low-income people give almost 30 percent more as a share of their income. Says Brooks: "The most charitable people in America today are the working poor."
But the most reliable predictor of generosity is religious commitment. And they're not just giving to the Church, either:
Religious Americans are more likely to give to every kind of cause and charity, including explicitly nonreligious charities. Religious people give more blood; religious people give more to homeless people on the street.