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Are Americans charitable? Or chintzy?
By Clara Jeffery, Mother Jones

2 IN 3 American households say they give to charity, at an average of $1,262 a year. But only 1 in 3 households report charitable deductions to the IRS.

ON AVERAGE, Americans think that 24% of the federal budget goes toward foreign aid. Only 0.9% actually does.

FOUR YEARS after Bush founded the Millennium Challenge Corporation to reward Africa's best-run countries and pledged to fund it by $5 billion a year, the MCC has disbursed only 1% of that amount.

ASKED ABOUT doubling African aid, Bush said, "It doesn't fit our budgetary process."

ASKED HOW they would change President Bush's budget, Republicans would reduce foreign aid by an average of $2.6 billion. Democrats would increase it by $7.7 billion.

BECAUSE AID agencies are forced to buy from U.S. companies at inflated prices, historically America has effectively taken back 70% of the aid it donated.

LAST FALL, the U.N. requested aid for Niger and got almost no response. At that time, $1 per day per person would have solved Niger's food crisis. Now $80 is needed.

THE AVERAGE American family throws away 14% of its food. 1 in 9 families are never sure they'll have enough to eat.

A TYPICAL AMERICAN child receives 70 new toys a year, most of them at Christmas.

8 IN 10 DOG OWNERS buy their pet holiday gifts. 6 in 10 cat owners do.

AMERICANS SPEND $8 billion on Christmas decorations, almost 4 times what they give to protect animals and the environment.

This entry was posted at 4.12.05 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

7 comentarios

Dude,I been a family member for 4 years now. I've been living in the US and have seen a countless number of family members, from all areas of the world come through my area "raising funds". . . with much success, might I add. If americans are so uncharitable, why not go to Europe, or why bother? America has many problems, I will grant, but before you point at the mote in her eye, perhaps you should look at the beam in the eye of many other nations. For exapmle, Mexico while housing the largest concentration on Billionares in the World, contributes very little if anything to both foreign missions, foreign aid, other than the Catholic church, of course, which we know is b______t.

12:39 AM


4:24 PM
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10:53 PM

Are you serious?

Well if you are, please note that the above article was entitled in such a way as to ask a question, not express a statement. Within it facts are given wich caused me to reflect, not judge. Granted there are many very good hearted people in the US , those who see that they indeed live in abundance and yes thanks to their willingnes to share many lives are touched; that however does not overwrite the fact that it is a land of excess where most of its people take for granted or dare I say assume their lifestyle and luxury as their God given right while 3rd world countries (like Mexico) foot the bill. Fossil fuel won't be dirt cheap forever. We all have a little bit of selfishness in us and it was not my intention to point any fingers or make a statement about any idividual. I do hope that your Christmas is one full of giving this year and I salute you as a fellow brother.

Un abrazo.

10:58 PM

ha, ha, you started a s___t storm. . . merry christmas!! uhhh but no abrazo. :-)

12:41 AM

You see dear one slight thing you are missing your equation, or calculation, if you will, is the big C, and that is Credit. While there are a small percent of americans with vast wealth, your average american has 7 credit cards & owes and excess of $200,00, with 60%-80% of his/her paycheck going to bills, etc. You see while perhaps it is true that americans are vast over spenders, that is more due to the credit system being so "willing" to help, than an actual abundance of wealth. And as with all things, what comes easy is little apreciated. Hence the waistfullness, etc.

12:55 AM

It's not credit, it's debt. The US money sysytem runs on debt.


12:39 AM

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