As we close the year, people often give though to taxes and year end charitable giving. As we do, Thinking Man couldn’t help but ponder the topic. And because, after all, we do talk about ‘politics’, we talk about charitable giving and helping those less fortunate among us in the context of the ongoing debate that we have in our country about social programs, and how much the government should spend on programs to help low income individuals and families. A broad generalization, which admittedly leaves out very important details such as the effectiveness of social programs and their social effects, is that liberals tend to favor more spending on social ‘safety net’ programs that give money to the lower income or disadvantaged while conservatives tend to not want to spend as much as liberals on those programs.
Part of the premise of ‘Thinking Man’s Politics’ is to think and not to give attention to blind rhetoric or political ‘talking points’. To get answers, and answers that work we much think for ourselves and to find what’s best no matter which side of the political spectrum it comes from or who is in favor of an idea. So, Thinking Man wanted to use data to examine the intersection of those topics-does a certain political belief or perspective indicate a level of compassion, at least as indicated by personal charitable giving. And so the following is a summary of parts of that discussion: of where charity-specifically personal donations to charity- comes from and who gives the most to others. (In examining the issue, several sources have been used, including IRS data from 2012-admitedly a bit dated but it’s what was readily available and compiled). Continue reading “Giving Back and Helping Others-A Look At Ourselves”