Money Matters

The interview about giving to charity that blew my mind...

okay, maybe not quite, but it was really inspiring. His basic assertation: if most people in the 1st World gave 1% (yes, one percent) of their income, we could solve world poverty.

http://www.cbc.ca/thehour/videos.html?id=1067176678

Peter Singer makes my list of  Most Awesome People.

Oh, and it's not religious at all. Simply pragmatic.

Re: The interview about giving to charity that blew my mind...

  • Americans already give between 2.0%-4.5% of their income to charity (depending on income bracket), being by far the most generous in the Western World.  Who does he want to pick up the slack?
  • image SueBear:
    Americans already give between 2.0%-4.5% of their income to charity (depending on income bracket), being by far the most generous in the Western World.  Who does he want to pick up the slack?

    Source?

    And did you watch it? I mean, I know it's ten minutes, but I'm not going to debate his point if you don't actually want to care.

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    Dambrisa Moyo (author of "Dead Aid") would disagree.  Her position is that Aid to Africa has kept it down.
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  • image uncannycanuck:

    image SueBear:
    Americans already give between 2.0%-4.5% of their income to charity (depending on income bracket), being by far the most generous in the Western World.  Who does he want to pick up the slack?

    Source?

    "Yet when we measure monetary giving as a percentage of income in order to ascertain the level of one?s ?sacrifice,? we find a surprising result: it is low-income working families that are the most generous group in America, giving away about 4.5 percent of their income on average. This compares to about 2.5 percent among the middle class, and 3 percent among high-income families."

    http://www.american.com/archive/2008/march-april-magazine-contents/a-nation-of-givers

  • I watched the whole video.

    I am very interested in where he gets his info that Americans and Canadians give less to charitable organizations than those in Europe.  Or is it that Americans and Canadians give less to those oganizations that he feels are deserving of that money?

    I agree that more can be done, but I have to say that right now, I give money (in an amount well in excess of the amount that Mr. Singer's website says I should give) to local organizations that I know.  So if I follow Mr. Singer's argument it appears that I should stop giving to those groups and give it to those groups he feels are worthy.  That is crap. 

     

    And here is a link to an article interview with Dambisa Moyo talking about how aid to Africa has done more harm than good. (this was referred to in a PP).

  • image uncannycanuck:

    okay, maybe not quite, but it was really inspiring. His basic assertation: if most people in the 1st World gave 1% (yes, one percent) of their income, we could solve world poverty.

    http://www.cbc.ca/thehour/videos.html?id=1067176678

    Peter Singer makes my list of? Most Awesome People.

    Oh, and it's not religious at all. Simply pragmatic.

    Gave 1% to what charities??

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  • image dusk42:

    Gave 1% to what charities? 

    This is the crucial question.

    I give more than 1% of my income to charity every year.  But I don't give a penny to world poverty.  World poverty is simply not an issue that I am passionate about.  It's not that it doesn't matter, but I can't give 1% of my income to every issue that matters.  There are too many.  So I've chosen the ones I care most about and I allow myself to be indifferent (from a charitable perspective) to the rest, world poverty among them.

    So what Peter Singer is saying is that I ought to give 1% more than what I currently give, and I ought to give it to a charity he cares about.  I will consider doing so when Mr. Singer begins giving 1% of his income to each charity I designate for him.  It's only fair.

  • I didn't watch the video, but a large chuck of what americans donate to charities are going to their churches. Some churches do amazing outreach. Others build amazing structures. I think the percentage Europeans give may be lower but if you take out church giving it is actually higher to non-profits.

    I hate these statistics that say southerns give more to charity than northerners based on IRS records but that includes church tithing.

  • Oh wonderful - criticism about where those who donate to charity, should be putting their money.  Love it.

     

  • Trite, but true - Who died and made him boss?

    Why does he or any other person get to decide which charities are more important.  What is his/their rational behind their beliefs?

    Because while my specific charities (ovarian cancer research being one) may not have a short term affect on the world - in the long run, it will. 

    If I have to divert my very limited funds to ending poverty (again, which specific charities?), then the hundreds of thousands of other needy organizations that affect mankind will suffer.

    This is why individualism WORKS and collectivism DOES NOT. 

     

     

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  • Peter Singer has absolutely no credibility when it comes to ethics or morals.  The man believes infants can be killed at birth if they have disabilities.  Forget Most Awesome Person - I think he is a disgrace to humankind to advocate such a thing - and that's before we get into his wacky views on animal rights.
  • image hoping4septimus:

    I didn't watch the video, but a large chuck of what americans donate to charities are going to their churches. Some churches do amazing outreach. Others build amazing structures. I think the percentage Europeans give may be lower but if you take out church giving it is actually higher to non-profits.

    I hate these statistics that say southerns give more to charity than northerners based on IRS records but that includes church tithing.

    Have you read Arthur Brooks' research?  His findings don't match what you are saying here.

    "Mr. Brooks says the data show that religious people, on average, give 54 percent more per year than secular people to human-welfare charities. Some of those charities may be religiously affiliated, but their work is focused on charity and not religion, he says.".................

    "Religious people are more likely to give to charity, and .when they give, they give more money -- four times as much.

    But doesn't that giving just stay within the religion?

    "No," says Brooks, "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." "

  • image berry25:
    image hoping4septimus:

    I didn't watch the video, but a large chuck of what americans donate to charities are going to their churches. Some churches do amazing outreach. Others build amazing structures. I think the percentage Europeans give may be lower but if you take out church giving it is actually higher to non-profits.

    I hate these statistics that say southerns give more to charity than northerners based on IRS records but that includes church tithing.

    Have you read Arthur Brooks' research?  His findings don't match what you are saying here.

    "Mr. Brooks says the data show that religious people, on average, give 54 percent more per year than secular people to human-welfare charities. Some of those charities may be religiously affiliated, but their work is focused on charity and not religion, he says.".................

    "Religious people are more likely to give to charity, and .when they give, they give more money -- four times as much.

    But doesn't that giving just stay within the religion?

    "No," says Brooks, "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." "

     Brook's book completely changed my view on charitable giving in America. Everyone should have to read it before they spout off what they "assume" about who actually gives.

    Tithing to church is charitable giving. I give 10% to church and a large portion of that money goes directly towards food banks for my community, groups that support and educate migrant workers, rehab for prisoners -  not even to mention support for foreign causes. Anyone shoudl be able to request a copy of the annual report from their church and see exactly where the money is going.

  • image rcgreen:

    Tithing to church is charitable giving. I give 10% to church and a large portion of that money goes directly towards food banks for my community, groups that support and educate migrant workers, rehab for prisoners -  not even to mention support for foreign causes. Anyone shoudl be able to request a copy of the annual report from their church and see exactly where the money is going.

    Churches really do a lot.  Actually, it was one of my church's ministries that has inspired me to want to increase my giving AND to give more locally.  Generally, I give when friends ask (mostly a to camp for kids in Austin and the JDRF) and then on my own to my church (general fund), Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Habitat for Humanity, ALIVE (Alexandrias Involved Ecumenically) and Legal Aid (DC). But after reading about my church's Lazarus Ministry, and how our city's secular charities are so out of money that they are now sending those in need over to the church for help through our Lazsarus Ministry, I felt compelled to do more to support that mission.

  • image FarBeyondRubies:
    image rcgreen:

    Tithing to church is charitable giving. I give 10% to church and a large portion of that money goes directly towards food banks for my community, groups that support and educate migrant workers, rehab for prisoners -  not even to mention support for foreign causes. Anyone shoudl be able to request a copy of the annual report from their church and see exactly where the money is going.

    Churches really do a lot.  Actually, it was one of my church's ministries that has inspired me to want to increase my giving AND to give more locally.  Generally, I give when friends ask (mostly a to camp for kids in Austin and the JDRF) and then on my own to my church (general fund), Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Habitat for Humanity, ALIVE (Alexandrias Involved Ecumenically) and Legal Aid (DC). But after reading about my church's Lazarus Ministry, and how our city's secular charities are so out of money that they are now sending those in need over to the church for help through our Lazsarus Ministry, I felt compelled to do more to support that mission.

    That's an awesome ministry. Thanks for sharing.

  • image rcgreen:

    Tithing to church is charitable giving. I give 10% to church and a large portion of that money goes directly towards food banks for my community, groups that support and educate migrant workers, rehab for prisoners -  not even to mention support for foreign causes. Anyone shoudl be able to request a copy of the annual report from their church and see exactly where the money is going.

    I agree. At the church I work for and attend, tithes go for paying the staff, our programs, and tons of outreach: local addiction recovery programs, homeless shelters, and programs for kids with disabilities; we also support an orphanage, clinic, school, and farm-share in Zambia, post-Katrina construction work, working with pursued ethnic minorities in Kazakhstan, Lebanon, and Iraq; supporting investigators, lawyers, and counselors who work with children sold as sex slaves in India and victims of guerillas in other places, etc.

    Not one penny of tithe money goes towards the building itself. Instead, the building itself is funded by people who specify that they are giving above their tithe amount. We are not unqiue in this. There is a trend of churches that build large, new buildings because of explosive growth being VERY aware of the temporariness and superficiality of a building, but the eternal impact of treating people well. Perhaps the heart of that group of people being giving is why they need the big building in the first place: genuine kindness is attractive, superficial image is not. You cannot tell where the heart of the church is by looking at a building, and you cannot tell where money of the church goes simply by looking at the building.

    Through giving to my church, I have the opportunity to monitor and weigh in on where the money goes, how it is spent, what the overhead is, etc. more closely than I could with any other charity (though we do give elsewhere).

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  • image pixieprincss:

     

    Not one penny of tithe money goes towards the building itself. Instead, the building itself is funded by people who specify that they are giving above their tithe amount. We are not unqiue in this. There is a trend of churches that build large, new buildings because of explosive growth being VERY aware of the temporariness and superficiality of a building, but the eternal impact of treating people well. Perhaps the heart of that group of people being giving is why they need the big building in the first place: genuine kindness is attractive, superficial image is not. You cannot tell where the heart of the church is by looking at a building, and you cannot tell where money of the church goes simply by looking at the building.

    Not it's not unique. Every church I've attended has a special fundraising time or month where unique donations are requested for specific church improvement projects (repaving the parking lot, improving the sound system, etc.) There is also a specific donation request every month (not pushing it, ushers just stand in the back with baskets) for "needs for the church family", which is our benevolence fund.

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    I can't believe anyone would reference Dambisa Moyo in this context since the entire premise of her argument is that bilateral and multilateral assistance in which money is put directly into the coffers of the foreign government in question is harmful.

    Which has less than zero to do with private donations to charities that implement projects. Indifferent

    The US Government does hardly any of the type of bilateral assistance she's referring to (nor does Canada for that matter).She's mostly talking about the World Bank. Shocking, someone dislikes the World Bank and doesn't think they're effective :)

    I mean I get that she has a provocative argument to make, but at least read her book and digest it so you don't totally misrepresent her argument.

    "We tend to be patronizing about the poor in a very specific sense, which is that we tend to think,
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