03 June 2014

I'd Call This Exceptional

The richest Americans are more generous than the wealthy of other countries, a study recently found. But it isn't just the super rich. At all levels Americans are more generous than residents of other countries. . . . American capitalism differs from other societies in its historical focus on both the creation of wealth and the reconstitution of wealth through philanthropy. In 1957, Historician Merle Curti argued that “philanthropy has been one of the major aspects of and keys to American social and cultural development”. The implicit social contract allows rich Americans to retain most of their wealth from taxation. In return, they voluntarily give much of it back to society, in projects of their choosing. The notion exists that wealth beyond a certain point should be invested back in society to expand opportunity for future generations. In this way John D. Rockefeller, the richest man in American history, gave back 95 percent of his wealth before he died.
What would the enemies of American Exceptionalism call it? (And does anyone really care?) Source.


Phil LeDuc said...

A very good book related to this subject is "Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism" by Arthur C. Brooks and James Q. Wilson. Their research shows that Americans who identify themselves as conservative generally are more philanthropic than those who identify themselves as liberal. A highly recommended read. (Brooks is a social scientist and president of the American Enterprise Institute, and Wilson was a highly-respected political scientist/academic.)

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Thanks for commenting Phil. Yes, a number of studies have confirmed this. Elites on the left and socialists are always very generous with OTHER people's money. You similar mindsets worked out among those advocating a "smaller carbon footprint" for everyone - except themselves.