Poll

What percentage of gross income do you donate to charity each year?

Nothing: I have debt, view taxes as my contributions, donate non-monetarily, etc
83 (26%)
1-3%
138 (43.3%)
3.1-6%
36 (11.3%)
6.1-9.9%
18 (5.6%)
10% or higher
44 (13.8%)

Total Members Voted: 315

Author Topic: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity  (Read 21289 times)

arebelspy

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #50 on: November 22, 2016, 07:07:19 PM »
I also think it was meant to be a bit tongue in cheek, since actually there are plenty of religious mustachians. And generally there is mostly plenty of tolerance manifested towards us. Just sometimes...not so much, and then the mods come out and try to keep things civil.

And when they do, they get * for it, from the very group they were defending.

lol, just gotta laugh sometimes.  :)

Thanks for helping clarify, ETA.
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Metric Mouse

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #51 on: November 23, 2016, 04:20:48 AM »
Taxes are good. They give you and your community the bones to flesh out your community - the roads, schools, police, hospitals, laws... that create a decent society. Your community has decided which of these things your taxes will pay for. As you live in a democracy, you have been part of that decision. Your community has also decided as a group how all these things are paid for, and one of them (in your case) is income tax. If you want to change your taxation mix, you can engage with your community to do so.

I've said quite a few times - one of the greatest returns on my investment is through taxes. I get back so much more than I give; the rate of return is astronomical.

Villanelle

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #52 on: November 23, 2016, 07:19:53 AM »
Quote
I have donated for years, and I look at this as compounding over time. A life saved twenty years ago is a life lived
+1 this
I get the appeal of saving for a massive contribution towards the end of life, but I'm skeptical of myself being able to relinquish after a lifetime of frugality. Providing small business loans to the poor in impoverished countries could possibly out compound an index fund. The journey inward for me is how much is my giving (lack thereof) self-interest veiled in strategy for the long game. Not projecting...this is my baggage.


This is a a great idea. Micro loans have been shown to make a huge positive imoact on oeople in developing countries.

For me, being able to compound the growth on my future donation is a very distant second to the real reason that I'll likely do one large donation upon death, or several larger donations during my very-later years.  The real reason is just uncertainty.  If I give away that money now and I realize my FIRE plans are coming up short, I can't get that money back. 

Holding on to it until I'm dead (or close) means I can still use it as an insurance policy against issues with FIRE.  And I figure the money will do at least as much good (if not more due to hopefully significant growth even in real dollars) in the future as it will now.  I suppose one could argue that "good" can compound as much or more than money, but I'm not sure I believe that's exactly true. 

HeadedWest2029

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #53 on: November 23, 2016, 09:37:52 AM »
Quote
And when they do, they get * for it, from the very group they were defending.
Hey man, I appreciated it and took no offense.  I can do without hubris from both the religious and non-religious sides who pretend to know with 100% certainty whether or not an omnipotent deity is controlling our universe.  A little humility
I have to agree though that people crapping on religious folks giving to charity seems like an odd campaign...unless it goes to some bloated mega church with zero % going to people in need.

In reference to question not addressing FIRE'd folks, I guess I could add the qualifier to chime in with how much you contributed percentage wise pre-FIRE.  Really just curious how people handle the two ideas seemingly at odds. 

SeaEhm

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #54 on: November 23, 2016, 10:11:05 AM »
I am not sure why people make it their life purpose to try and convince someone one way or another regarding religion.

If someone wants to use an out of body person/place/thing that they use for guidance and enlightenment, so be it...
If someone wants to use only intrinsic will as guidance, so be it...


on topic - I read the thread and was shocked at how much people are donating.  Then, I looked at the results and realized that most/many of the 0% donors are not responding, haha.

Will be interesting to see the % donated combined with the household income poll thread.

For many of the people in the $200k/yr+ zone, I couldn't imagine donating $20k to a charity.

Lagom

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #55 on: November 23, 2016, 10:46:32 AM »
I am not sure why people make it their life purpose to try and convince someone one way or another regarding religion.

If someone wants to use an out of body person/place/thing that they use for guidance and enlightenment, so be it...
If someone wants to use only intrinsic will as guidance, so be it...


on topic - I read the thread and was shocked at how much people are donating.  Then, I looked at the results and realized that most/many of the 0% donors are not responding, haha.

Will be interesting to see the % donated combined with the household income poll thread.

For many of the people in the $200k/yr+ zone, I couldn't imagine donating $20k to a charity.

Why not? Assuming they itemize, they get even more value out of such a donation (i.e. a substantially lower % of net income affected). Many with those kinds of incomes also work for companies that will match at least several thousand of those donations. I tread lightly here because I know it can be a touchy subject and as someone who screwed myself with debt in my 20s, I am especially sympathetic to those who worry about delaying their potential FIRE date, but here's the thing:

As an American raised in a highly educated middle class household, I am uniquely privileged in human history to have an opportunity to build wealth on a scale that puts me well into the top 1% globally, even though I am "only" top 15% in the US (albeit in an extremely HCOL area). I have advantages that billions of my fellow humans do not. To squander that privilege only on myself just feels...unfair. The fact that I can FIRE in the first place (even after digging myself into 6 figures of debt as a 20 something) is something few on earth can realistically dream of. In that light, while I in no way assign this expectation to others, I personally feel that I have a moral obligation to share some of my riches.

Despite that feeling, I have to be honest that it's still often difficult to push myself higher with my giving (especially since I am one of those people who pretty much never enjoyed working), but I find that I never regret it when I do.

tweezers

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #56 on: November 23, 2016, 10:54:12 AM »
I am not sure why people make it their life purpose to try and convince someone one way or another regarding religion.

If someone wants to use an out of body person/place/thing that they use for guidance and enlightenment, so be it...
If someone wants to use only intrinsic will as guidance, so be it...


on topic - I read the thread and was shocked at how much people are donating.  Then, I looked at the results and realized that most/many of the 0% donors are not responding, haha.

Will be interesting to see the % donated combined with the household income poll thread.

For many of the people in the $200k/yr+ zone, I couldn't imagine donating $20k to a charity.

Why not? Assuming they itemize, they get even more value out of such a donation (i.e. a substantially lower % of net income affected). Many with those kinds of incomes also work for companies that will match at least several thousand of those donations. I tread lightly here because I know it can be a touchy subject and as someone who screwed myself with debt in my 20s, I am especially sympathetic to those who worry about delaying their potential FIRE date, but here's the thing:

As an American raised in a highly educated middle class household, I am uniquely privileged in human history to have an opportunity to build wealth on a scale that puts me well into the top 1% globally, even though I am "only" top 15% in the US (albeit in an extremely HCOL area). I have advantages that billions of my fellow humans do not. To squander that privilege only on myself just feels...unfair. The fact that I can FIRE in the first place (even after digging myself into 6 figures of debt as a 20 something) is something few on earth can realistically dream of. In that light, while I in no way assign this expectation to others, I personally feel that I have a moral obligation to share some of my riches.

+1000.  Our household income isn't as high as $200K, but we're >$100K, and donate ~$10%/year.  Planned monthly giving over a year isn't as gut-wrenching as writing a check for $10K+, and our contributions provide very real benefits now (as opposed to XX years from now when we die).

SeaEhm

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #57 on: November 23, 2016, 11:35:34 AM »
I am not sure why people make it their life purpose to try and convince someone one way or another regarding religion.

If someone wants to use an out of body person/place/thing that they use for guidance and enlightenment, so be it...
If someone wants to use only intrinsic will as guidance, so be it...


on topic - I read the thread and was shocked at how much people are donating.  Then, I looked at the results and realized that most/many of the 0% donors are not responding, haha.

Will be interesting to see the % donated combined with the household income poll thread.

For many of the people in the $200k/yr+ zone, I couldn't imagine donating $20k to a charity.

Why not? Assuming they itemize, they get even more value out of such a donation (i.e. a substantially lower % of net income affected). Many with those kinds of incomes also work for companies that will match at least several thousand of those donations. I tread lightly here because I know it can be a touchy subject and as someone who screwed myself with debt in my 20s, I am especially sympathetic to those who worry about delaying their potential FIRE date, but here's the thing:

As an American raised in a highly educated middle class household, I am uniquely privileged in human history to have an opportunity to build wealth on a scale that puts me well into the top 1% globally, even though I am "only" top 15% in the US (albeit in an extremely HCOL area). I have advantages that billions of my fellow humans do not. To squander that privilege only on myself just feels...unfair. The fact that I can FIRE in the first place (even after digging myself into 6 figures of debt as a 20 something) is something few on earth can realistically dream of. In that light, while I in no way assign this expectation to others, I personally feel that I have a moral obligation to share some of my riches.

+1000.  Our household income isn't as high as $200K, but we're >$100K, and donate ~$10%/year.  Planned monthly giving over a year isn't as gut-wrenching as writing a check for $10K+, and our contributions provide very real benefits now (as opposed to XX years from now when we die).

very interesting philosophy. 

I respect that. 

HeadedWest2029

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #58 on: November 23, 2016, 12:44:09 PM »
Personally, I think donating $2k on a $20k salary is a bigger sacrifice than $20k on a $200k salary.  Easy for me to say though, I don't make $200k :)

robartsd

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #59 on: November 23, 2016, 12:46:09 PM »
As someone closer to median US income than most on these forums, I'm pretty sure I would contribute less right now if I were not religious. While I do make additional charitable donations, the bulk of my giving is a full tithe (10%) to my church. Before I started thinking about retirement I used my gross income to calculate my tithe; however, I have now decided to deduct contributions to defined benefit plans (social security and pension) as I will count payments from those plans as income and it would be very difficult to separate what I contributed from the increase. So my total giving may be a little less than a full 10% of my gross income.

Off topic:
I am not sure why people make it their life purpose to try and convince someone one way or another regarding religion.
While some religious people do make it their life purpose, most do not. I think most of the time when someone brings up religion, they are simply trying to share something they have found that benefits their life (much like trying to share mustachianism).

boarder42

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #60 on: November 23, 2016, 01:36:44 PM »
As someone closer to median US income than most on these forums, I'm pretty sure I would contribute less right now if I were not religious. While I do make additional charitable donations, the bulk of my giving is a full tithe (10%) to my church. Before I started thinking about retirement I used my gross income to calculate my tithe; however, I have now decided to deduct contributions to defined benefit plans (social security and pension) as I will count payments from those plans as income and it would be very difficult to separate what I contributed from the increase. So my total giving may be a little less than a full 10% of my gross income.

Off topic:
I am not sure why people make it their life purpose to try and convince someone one way or another regarding religion.
While some religious people do make it their life purpose, most do not. I think most of the time when someone brings up religion, they are simply trying to share something they have found that benefits their life (much like trying to share mustachianism).

i havent seen a mustachian go to other countries or to native american reservations under the guise of helping people in order spread the good word of pete. and keeping a quick copy of the mustache commandments handy to distribute. i could be wrong maybe ARS is doing that right now but i tend to think he's just enjoying life and traveling with his family to experience the world.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2016, 01:38:25 PM by boarder42 »

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #61 on: November 23, 2016, 01:49:37 PM »
i havent seen a mustachian go to other countries or to native american reservations under the guise of helping people in order spread the good word of pete. and keeping a quick copy of the mustache commandments handy to distribute. i could be wrong maybe ARS is doing that right now but i tend to think he's just enjoying life and traveling with his family to experience the world.

Reservations and other countries are not where one would find the unenlightened (with regards to mustachiansim). Perhaps there are prosthelytizers at new car dealerships, payday loan outlets and large oil refineries.

robartsd

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #62 on: November 23, 2016, 02:24:32 PM »
i havent seen a mustachian go to other countries or to native american reservations under the guise of helping people in order spread the good word of pete. and keeping a quick copy of the mustache commandments handy to distribute. i could be wrong maybe ARS is doing that right now but i tend to think he's just enjoying life and traveling with his family to experience the world.
I was thinking more along the lines of friends/neighbors/co-workers who bring up religion; not full-time missionaries when comparing to sharing the way of the mustache. However, ARS as a missionary does make sense - that would explain why he spends so much time cultivating the community here.

Reservations and other countries are not where one would find the unenlightened (with regards to mustachiansim). Perhaps there are prosthelytizers at new car dealerships, payday loan outlets and large oil refineries.
You mean you don't go out this week every year to spread the word at retail stores in an attempt to save spendy-pants heathens from destroying their financial lives in the name of getting a good deal on stuff they don't need?

arebelspy

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #63 on: November 23, 2016, 04:34:22 PM »
The "religion" sidebar on this thread is interesting to me and I can't quite make sense of it.  Someone apparently made some nasty comments about "religious" people, but that got erased so I don't know what they were.

Nothing was deleted.  One post was moved asking questions about tithing, but the link was included here.

You see everything that made a few people huffy; not being able to make sense of it is still reasonable.

i havent seen a mustachian go to other countries or to native american reservations under the guise of helping people in order spread the good word of pete. and keeping a quick copy of the mustache commandments handy to distribute. i could be wrong maybe ARS is doing that right now but i tend to think he's just enjoying life and traveling with his family to experience the world.

Oh man, the opportunities I've missed!

Reservations and other countries are not where one would find the unenlightened (with regards to mustachiansim). Perhaps there are prosthelytizers at new car dealerships, payday loan outlets and large oil refineries.
You mean you don't go out this week every year to spread the word at retail stores in an attempt to save spendy-pants heathens from destroying their financial lives in the name of getting a good deal on stuff they don't need?

Hah.  Awesome.
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Hotstreak

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #64 on: November 23, 2016, 06:11:22 PM »
For those who give money to your church, did you count in your % for the poll?  Since it's more like paying dues to a social club than an actual charity, I don't think it qualifies.  It varies from church to church, but a huge part of that donation is to keep the church open, not to provide charity.  Maybe we should count 5-20% of those donation, or whatever % the church actually uses for charity.

MoonLiteNite

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #65 on: November 23, 2016, 09:36:36 PM »
Until federal income tax is removed, i will never donate cash to a charity.

I do donate tons of time and knowledge to several events throughout the year, around 40-120 hours or so.

arebelspy

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #66 on: November 23, 2016, 09:44:50 PM »
Until federal income tax is removed, i will never donate cash to a charity.

I'm not following.  I mean, obviously you're against taxes, and have a quite extreme view on it.

I just don't get the connection to this thread.

What does contributing to society have to do with helping those less fortunate than you (especially if those people aren't even in the same country, but a much worse-off one)?
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deborah

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #67 on: November 23, 2016, 10:26:52 PM »
I do donate tons of time and knowledge to several events throughout the year, around 40-120 hours or so.


If there are 2080 working hours in a working year, 40 - 120 equates to somewhere between less than 2 - 6%. If others are donating 10% as a minimum, that is not tons of time.

Lagom

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #68 on: November 23, 2016, 10:51:29 PM »
Until federal income tax is removed, i will never donate cash to a charity.

I do donate tons of time and knowledge to several events throughout the year, around 40-120 hours or so.

So taxation is "theft," therefore people far more screwed by the system than you (or worse, in a much much less beneficial system) just have to deal? I mean, I try not to get too judgmental about it but that view makes you seem 10x more selfish than if you just were worried about delaying your FIRE date.

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #69 on: November 24, 2016, 12:47:28 AM »
I donate blood, they claim it saves lives, that is priceless.

I also donate blood or plasma every two weeks, but like to donate cash as well as they are helping in different ways

Half-Borg

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #70 on: November 24, 2016, 03:27:14 AM »
Until federal income tax is removed, i will never donate cash to a charity.

I'm not following.  I mean, obviously you're against taxes, and have a quite extreme view on it.

I just don't get the connection to this thread.

What does contributing to society have to do with helping those less fortunate than you (especially if those people aren't even in the same country, but a much worse-off one)?
Maybe I can help out.
I pay 93€ every month for "Arbeitslosenversicherung" (unemployment protection). Nobody asked me I want to do that, it's forced upon me.
I think it's a great thing to have and enjoy paying it, but I will not give money to a homeless shelter. I think for 93€ a month, it is the governments job to provide for these people, not mine. If it's not enough, raise the tax.

The same goes for education and health care.

arebelspy

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #71 on: November 24, 2016, 05:07:49 AM »
Until federal income tax is removed, i will never donate cash to a charity.

I'm not following.  I mean, obviously you're against taxes, and have a quite extreme view on it.

I just don't get the connection to this thread.

What does contributing to society have to do with helping those less fortunate than you (especially if those people aren't even in the same country, but a much worse-off one)?
Maybe I can help out.
I pay 93€ every month for "Arbeitslosenversicherung" (unemployment protection). Nobody asked me I want to do that, it's forced upon me.
I think it's a great thing to have and enjoy paying it, but I will not give money to a homeless shelter. I think for 93€ a month, it is the governments job to provide for these people, not mine. If it's not enough, raise the tax.

The same goes for education and health care.

And your taxes cover everyone less fortunate than you, completely?

Quote
If it's not enough, raise the tax.

You'd prefer more taxes to, say, help out illiterate women in another country, or fund malaria vaccines, than voluntarily contributing to whatever causes are more important to you?

And you refuse to help others if it's not forced on you?

How about causes the government doesn't fund?  Nonprofits that support things that are vital, but depend on contributions?  (ACLU, for example, comes to mind in the US.)
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Half-Borg

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #72 on: November 24, 2016, 05:39:03 AM »
You'd prefer more taxes to, say, help out illiterate women in another country, or fund malaria vaccines, than voluntarily contributing to whatever causes are more important to you?
Like I said, this view includes education. A lot of money is shuffeld around the European Union to tackle things like this. A little money is shuffeld to countries outside the EU to these kind of things and I support that.#
I vote for raising taxes for high-income earners, which I am.

I don't feel personally responsible for some women, who I'll never meet, in some fucked-up country, which I'll never visit. So I don't feel any obligation to give additional, personal money.
Things I care enough for to donate for include cancer research, but that's 100% selfish, because I would not like to die of cancer. If anybody else profits from this research, that's for the better.

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #73 on: November 24, 2016, 05:50:48 AM »
You'd prefer more taxes to, say, help out illiterate women in another country, or fund malaria vaccines, than voluntarily contributing to whatever causes are more important to you?
Like I said, this view includes education. A lot of money is shuffeld around the European Union to tackle things like this. A little money is shuffeld to countries outside the EU to these kind of things and I support that.#
I vote for raising taxes for high-income earners, which I am.

I don't feel personally responsible for some women, who I'll never meet, in some fucked-up country, which I'll never visit. So I don't feel any obligation to give additional, personal money.
Things I care enough for to donate for include cancer research, but that's 100% selfish, because I would not like to die of cancer. If anybody else profits from this research, that's for the better.

Selfish giving for the win. It's exactly why I'm so excited to pay taxes - I benefit (and many, many, many others benefit) from it far more than I could ever hope to from the small amount of money the government takes from me.

SeaEhm

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #74 on: November 24, 2016, 08:31:42 AM »
Maybe I can help out.
I pay 93€ every month for "Arbeitslosenversicherung" (unemployment protection).

I would probably be unemployed in your country if all of the words take that much mental brain power to memorize their spelling.

Interesting philosophies are brought up in here

We have some people who feel guilt that they have things others do not while others feel they they keep what they've reaped.



Half-Borg

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #75 on: November 24, 2016, 08:46:25 AM »
Maybe I can help out.
I pay 93€ every month for "Arbeitslosenversicherung" (unemployment protection).

I would probably be unemployed in your country if all of the words take that much mental brain power to memorize their spelling.
Well you wouldn't get any benefits, because you'd have to go to the "Agentur für Arbeit" to fill out a "Arbeitslosengeldantrag", which probably includes a lot more fancy words :D

But don't feel bad, I can't remember how to spell "especially" and "specifically".

englishteacheralex

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #76 on: November 24, 2016, 09:40:26 AM »
For those who give money to your church, did you count in your % for the poll?  Since it's more like paying dues to a social club than an actual charity, I don't think it qualifies.  It varies from church to church, but a huge part of that donation is to keep the church open, not to provide charity.  Maybe we should count 5-20% of those donation, or whatever % the church actually uses for charity.

This is one way of looking at church.

Our church does not own a building and meets at a community gym in an urban area that is mostly housing projects. Our congregation is extremely diverse and a large number of them receive help from our church. Our church's budget is broken down into 25% given to local organizations that help the poor, around 20% to rent the gym, 10% to support two missionaries from our congregation who live in a remote and impoverished area of Indonesia and run a free Judo school for the neighborhood kids there, and the rest to salaries of the pastors and counselors who minister to our congregation, many of whom do not have access to other means of support. Our donations also at one time supported a restaurant in the neighborhood that operated on volunteer labor from our congregation and who only employed people with criminal records and sex trafficking victims, although the restaurant has since gone out of business, sadly.

To us, it's more than a social club, and our tithe is not required, so the analogy to dues doesn't quite work. It would actually be a pretty crappy social club, since one of our volunteer positions is setting up all the chairs and sound equipment in the gym every Sunday, which takes hours. It's not air conditioned, which means it's generally pretty muggy and hot. If I were going to join a social club I'd probably pick something with a pool and maybe some tennis courts.

But never mind. Yes, there are probably churches that function as social clubs and not as ministries. The ideal, however, is that a church functions as a means of charity in and of itself--a place where people of all walks of life can receive spiritual and material comfort regardless of their ability to contribute materially.







GetItRight

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #77 on: November 24, 2016, 10:28:32 AM »
You'd prefer more taxes to, say, help out illiterate women in another country, or fund malaria vaccines, than voluntarily contributing to whatever causes are more important to you?
Like I said, this view includes education. A lot of money is shuffeld around the European Union to tackle things like this. A little money is shuffeld to countries outside the EU to these kind of things and I support that.#
I vote for raising taxes for high-income earners, which I am.

I don't feel personally responsible for some women, who I'll never meet, in some fucked-up country, which I'll never visit. So I don't feel any obligation to give additional, personal money.
Things I care enough for to donate for include cancer research, but that's 100% selfish, because I would not like to die of cancer. If anybody else profits from this research, that's for the better.

Selfish giving for the win. It's exactly why I'm so excited to pay taxes - I benefit (and many, many, many others benefit) from it far more than I could ever hope to from the small amount of money the government takes from me.

Please tell me you don't claim any deductions on your taxes or use any tax advantaged retirement accounts, since you're so enthusiastic to pay taxes. If you think the money the government takes from you, then takes 30%+ off the top for overhead and waste and make-work jobs which add nothing to the economy, then passes the rest on to whoever lobbied hardest (more wasted money); you should logically be all for eliminating compulsory income tax so individuals like yourself will have more money to donate to charities and the same amount will go a lot farther to help a given cause since private entities which rely on voluntary transactions for funding are far more efficient than the government at accomplishing their mission statement.

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #78 on: November 24, 2016, 10:34:34 AM »
Please tell me you don't claim any deductions on your taxes or use any tax advantaged retirement accounts, since you're so enthusiastic to pay taxes. If you think the money the government takes from you, then takes 30%+ off the top for overhead and waste and make-work jobs which add nothing to the economy, then passes the rest on to whoever lobbied hardest (more wasted money); you should logically be all for eliminating compulsory income tax so individuals like yourself will have more money to donate to charities and the same amount will go a lot farther to help a given cause since private entities which rely on voluntary transactions for funding are far more efficient than the government at accomplishing their mission statement.

I'm not sure how you got that I should logically be for eliminating taxes when I just stated they're super awesome...

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #79 on: November 24, 2016, 10:37:36 AM »
Please tell me you don't claim any deductions on your taxes or use any tax advantaged retirement accounts, since you're so enthusiastic to pay taxes. If you think the money the government takes from you, then takes 30%+ off the top for overhead and waste and make-work jobs which add nothing to the economy, then passes the rest on to whoever lobbied hardest (more wasted money); you should logically be all for eliminating compulsory income tax so individuals like yourself will have more money to donate to charities and the same amount will go a lot farther to help a given cause since private entities which rely on voluntary transactions for funding are far more efficient than the government at accomplishing their mission statement.

Not the person you're responding to, but since I agree with them, I'll chime in.

This is a misnomer, that one should just write a check or something to the IRS if they want higher taxes.  One can be for higher taxes for everyone (including themselves) without voluntarily paying more.

I'd be in favor of loopholes and deductions closed/eliminated (even if I currently benefit). I'm not going to voluntarily pay more, but I'll be happy to contribute more if everyone else is, as well.

That is, it's a team effort.  And I'm glad to do my part.

I definitely contribute to charity, too.  They're two separate ideas.  The government covers things charities don't and/or can't.  Things for society at large.

Charities help the downtrodden, disenfranchised, or otherwise unfortunate (among other things).  The government can do this, at times, but often don't do it in targeted ways.  Further, some charities I support actively work against the government, because the government does some things I don't care for (violation of civil rights, for example).

That doesn't mean I want to throw the baby out with the bathwater--on the whole, the government does more good than harm (even counting waste).  The ROI I get on my taxes in return for a stable society with many benefits (fire, police, roads, economy/trade, etc. etc.) is HUGE.  The ROI I get on my charity funds (someone else learning to read, not dying of malaria, getting clean drinking water, etc. etc.) is likewise great.

They're both good things, and I'm in favor of both of them.

:)
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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #80 on: November 24, 2016, 10:41:39 AM »
I'm not sure how you got that I should logically be for eliminating taxes when I just stated they're super awesome...

I benefit (and many, many, many others benefit) from it far more than I could ever hope to from the small amount of money the government takes from me.

I explained in my response to you, but I'll say it again slightly differently and I'll try to keep it short. If you believe government does things that benefit yourself and many others, using money it takes from you then it logically follows that you (being Mustachian inclined) would prefer a more efficient use of that money to benefit yourself and many others, without the massive overhead and waste of government. Private businesses and organizations do not have the massive waste of government.

If you prefer (or are indifferent to) a more wasteful use of your money, that is less benefit for yourself and many others than is optimally possible per dollar, then you may not care so much about efficient use of your money as I tend to assume most here do.

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #81 on: November 24, 2016, 10:44:11 AM »
"Taxes are theft" folks tend to reason like climate change deniers. They think all of their wealth was built entirely through their own talents and hard work and was in no way enabled by things like the country in which they live, which, you know, operates on taxes.

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #82 on: November 24, 2016, 10:50:25 AM »
I'm not sure how you got that I should logically be for eliminating taxes when I just stated they're super awesome...

I benefit (and many, many, many others benefit) from it far more than I could ever hope to from the small amount of money the government takes from me.

I explained in my response to you, but I'll say it again slightly differently and I'll try to keep it short. If you believe government does things that benefit yourself and many others, using money it takes from you then it logically follows that you (being Mustachian inclined) would prefer a more efficient use of that money to benefit yourself and many others, without the massive overhead and waste of government. Private businesses and organizations do not have the massive waste of government.

If you prefer (or are indifferent to) a more wasteful use of your money, that is less benefit for yourself and many others than is optimally possible per dollar, then you may not care so much about efficient use of your money as I tend to assume most here do.

Or we disagree with your premise, and think the government is a lot less wasteful than you do.

For the amount accomplished, the waste is surprisingly small.  If the same activities were done by private companies, I wouldn't be surprised to see it cost MORE, and the "waste" would come in terms of higher profits accumulating to those at the top.

We're getting a bit off topic from charity though.

I'm sure you will disagree.  No need to say so; we get it, you think government is wasteful.

Getting back on topic: If efficiency is important to you in charities, I'd encourage you to look into effective altruism!  (Google the term, if you're unfamiliar with it.)
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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #83 on: November 24, 2016, 10:56:27 AM »
I'm not sure how you got that I should logically be for eliminating taxes when I just stated they're super awesome...

I benefit (and many, many, many others benefit) from it far more than I could ever hope to from the small amount of money the government takes from me.

I explained in my response to you, but I'll say it again slightly differently and I'll try to keep it short. If you believe government does things that benefit yourself and many others, using money it takes from you then it logically follows that you (being Mustachian inclined) would prefer a more efficient use of that money to benefit yourself and many others, without the massive overhead and waste of government. Private businesses and organizations do not have the massive waste of government.

If you prefer (or are indifferent to) a more wasteful use of your money, that is less benefit for yourself and many others than is optimally possible per dollar, then you may not care so much about efficient use of your money as I tend to assume most here do.

Ahh... thank you for explaining. Assuming that someone believes that government is a net waster and that private structures would inherently perform all of these tasks better was a faulty starting point. It follows then that the conclusion would also be faulty.

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #84 on: November 24, 2016, 11:22:03 AM »
Please tell me you don't claim any deductions on your taxes or use any tax advantaged retirement accounts, since you're so enthusiastic to pay taxes.
I don't (because I'm not elligible for any) and don't (because tax advanced accounts around here suck).
The government covers things charities don't and/or can't.  Things for society at large.
Yeah that's right, thing is, I only care about society at large. The downtrodden just don't convern me that much.
So I'm back to "the only charites that might be worth consideration are research facilities"

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #85 on: November 24, 2016, 11:35:42 AM »
I'm not sure how you got that I should logically be for eliminating taxes when I just stated they're super awesome...

I benefit (and many, many, many others benefit) from it far more than I could ever hope to from the small amount of money the government takes from me.

I explained in my response to you, but I'll say it again slightly differently and I'll try to keep it short. If you believe government does things that benefit yourself and many others, using money it takes from you then it logically follows that you (being Mustachian inclined) would prefer a more efficient use of that money to benefit yourself and many others, without the massive overhead and waste of government. Private businesses and organizations do not have the massive waste of government.

If you prefer (or are indifferent to) a more wasteful use of your money, that is less benefit for yourself and many others than is optimally possible per dollar, then you may not care so much about efficient use of your money as I tend to assume most here do.

Ahh... thank you for explaining. Assuming that someone believes that government is a net waster and that private structures would inherently perform all of these tasks better was a faulty starting point. It follows then that the conclusion would also be faulty.

A net waster? I didn't say that (and am not certain on the numbers) but doubt government projects are an overall "net waste". Governmetn can accomplish things, just at a tremendously higher cost (and often lower quality) than private individuals or organizations. That much is a fact, I won't do all your research for you but here's a good start... I will say I was mistaken in the numbers I initially mentioned, in that I tremendously underestimated the wastefulness of the government.

“[Government] income redistribution agencies are estimated to absorb about two-thirds of each dollar budgeted to them in overhead costs, and in some cases as much as three-quarters of each dollar. Using government data, Robert L. Woodson (1989, p. 63) calculated that, on average, 70 cents of each dollar budgeted for government assistance goes not to the poor, but to the members of the welfare bureaucracy and others serving the poor. Michael Tanner (1996, p. 136 n. 18) cites regional studies supporting this 70/30 split.

In contrast, administrative and other operating costs in private charities absorb, on average, only one-third or less of each dollar donated, leaving the other two-thirds (or more) to be delivered to recipients. Charity Navigator, www.charitynavigator.org the newest of several private sector organizations that rate charities by various criteria and supply that information to the public on their web sites, found that, as of 2004, 70 percent of charities they rated spent at least 75 percent of their budgets on the programs and services they exist to provide, and 90 percent spent at least 65 percent. The median administrative expense among all charities in their sample was only 10.3 percent.”

https://www.theadvocates.org/effective-government-welfare-compared-private-charity/

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #86 on: November 24, 2016, 11:58:44 AM »
For those who give money to your church, did you count in your % for the poll?  Since it's more like paying dues to a social club than an actual charity, I don't think it qualifies.  It varies from church to church, but a huge part of that donation is to keep the church open, not to provide charity.  Maybe we should count 5-20% of those donation, or whatever % the church actually uses for charity.

This is one way of looking at church.

Our church does not own a building and meets at a community gym in an urban area that is mostly housing projects. Our congregation is extremely diverse and a large number of them receive help from our church. Our church's budget is broken down into 25% given to local organizations that help the poor, around 20% to rent the gym, 10% to support two missionaries from our congregation who live in a remote and impoverished area of Indonesia and run a free Judo school for the neighborhood kids there, and the rest to salaries of the pastors and counselors who minister to our congregation, many of whom do not have access to other means of support. Our donations also at one time supported a restaurant in the neighborhood that operated on volunteer labor from our congregation and who only employed people with criminal records and sex trafficking victims, although the restaurant has since gone out of business, sadly.


It sounds like a great church!


Quote
To us, it's more than a social club, and our tithe is not required, so the analogy to dues doesn't quite work.
Donations aren't required from any specific member, but they are necessary.  If the members want to continue going to church, they need to donate, and if they all stop then the church will cease to exist.


Quote
It would actually be a pretty crappy social club, since one of our volunteer positions is setting up all the chairs and sound equipment in the gym every Sunday, which takes hours. It's not air conditioned, which means it's generally pretty muggy and hot. If I were going to join a social club I'd probably pick something with a pool and maybe some tennis courts.
I saw 'social club' from an atheist perspective.  In addition to belonging to a group of like minded people (social club), there are other personal benefits derived from attending church such as believing you will go to heaven, teaching your family moral values, etc.  Those thing's aren't charitable, they are for your personal benefit.


Quote
But never mind. Yes, there are probably churches that function as social clubs and not as ministries. The ideal, however, is that a church functions as a means of charity in and of itself--a place where people of all walks of life can receive spiritual and material comfort regardless of their ability to contribute materially.


I agree.  The issues that detract from the 'ideal' are that 1) Members are paying for a service they personally derive significant benefit from, and 2) high overhead makes them inefficient charities (with salary ~40% and rent/mtg ~20).  So I don't think someone tithing can say "I give 10% to charity" if 6% goes towards non-charitable ministry and only 4% can be traced to bona fide charitable efforts.


If I make a $200 "voluntary contribution" to a community sports league for my kid to participate, and that amount pays for my kid as well as a poor kid who's family can't contribute, I would not count that whole amount as charity (regardless of whether the IRS considers the whole thing a donation).

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #87 on: November 24, 2016, 05:08:58 PM »
I make over $350k/yr.  I'm at 0% (ok I give about $100/yr but effectively that's 0%).  Unlike everyone else who says "but I give time...", I'm not going to even rationalize, because I don't feel guilty.  The fact that I contribute to taxes is more than enough.  Especially democratic "social good" taxes.  Especially since I live in CA.  Last year my income was around $425k, and I contributed $125k to taxes.  So the amount I was taxed is more than enough to support 3 other families fully. The amount I paid was more than the next 20 families earning median income.  So yea, I'm more than doing "my part". 

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #88 on: November 25, 2016, 05:04:56 AM »
Similarly to others, I believe my taxes are sufficient contribution to society. We pay more in taxes than the amount we spend on living during the year. Why would I contribute even more to others than the amount I spend on myself?

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #89 on: November 25, 2016, 03:04:04 PM »
To you anti-tax folks, I hope you have at least tried to reflect on the fact that living in a first-world country in the first place (which are built upon and run by the taxes you so decry) is what enabled you to make the income that you do. In that respect, the taxes are largely irrelevant, because if you were unlucky enough to be born elsewhere (more likely than not, in the cosmic probability game), there is almost zero chance you would have the opportunity to FIRE at all, much less thumb your nose at the less fortunate.

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #90 on: November 25, 2016, 03:44:01 PM »
To you anti-tax folks, I hope you have at least tried to reflect on the fact that living in a first-world country in the first place (which are built upon and run by the taxes you so decry) is what enabled you to make the income that you do.

I do not work for the government, I am not paid with your tax dollars. I earn a decent income and have a reasonable quality of life despite government taxes. I am not part of the make-work welfare class, the ruling class, nor am I paid with the 70%+ wasteful overhead of the government welfare apparatus.

In that respect, the taxes are largely irrelevant, because if you were unlucky enough to be born elsewhere (more likely than not, in the cosmic probability game), there is almost zero chance you would have the opportunity to FIRE at al

I know and have worked with plenty of immigrants who earn well over average income, in fact I'd wager most of the employees where I work now are immigrants. I work for a company with a very diverse and significantly immigrant workforce. I'm not seeing your alleged "almost zero chance" of opportunity to FIRE for those born elsewhere.

,much less thumb your nose at the less fortunate.

I certainly haven't "thumbed my nose" at anyone "less fortunate", I'll assume your directing this at someone else.

What are your thoughts on the 70%+ waste of government welfare vs the ~10% median overhead of charities?

How do you feel about the use of force (which is to say violence) to collect taxes? Do you find the use of violence to collect taxes ethical?

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #91 on: November 25, 2016, 03:56:16 PM »
I don't know what you're talking about but it has nothing to do with what I said.

Do you not comprehend that independent of anything the government is doing right now being born in the U.S. gives you unprecedented privilege with regards to economic opportunity? This is much less true at the bottom of the socioeconomic scale, of course, but still more true for most of them than the majority of the planet. Do you literally think that if you were born in, for example, rural India, you would still be able to accomplish what you have with no serious issue?

You know some immigrants who make a lot of money therefore my point is refuted? Really?? Do you deny the levels of poverty in much of the third world? Now I suppose you'll go dig up how many Africans have cell phones and tell me they have it just as good as us?

I am not going to rehash how silly the taxes is theft argument is. It's easy enough to find plenty on the subject but I doubt you're open to it anyway. It doesn't matter, though, because my point is that even with the government "stealing" so much of your money, you still have it better than 99% of the planet for reasons that have nothing to do with how hard you worked for your wealth. At least be honest that you don't care that others have it less fortunate, at least not enough to want to leverage your privilege to help in some small way.

As I mentioned above, if you prioritize you and yours, I won't call you out for it. But I will call you out if you pretend like there aren't billions of people on this earth who could benefit from us sharing (voluntarily) the obscene wealth that makes it possible for us to even be having this discussion right now.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2016, 01:25:00 AM by Lagom »

boognish

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #92 on: November 25, 2016, 04:02:40 PM »
That 70% figure on government welfare waste was a bit surprising to me. Googling around, it seems to be quite an overstatement (at least from non-libertarian sites).

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2013/mar/19/michele-bachmann/michele-bachmann-says-70-percent-food-stamp-fundin/

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #93 on: November 25, 2016, 04:31:21 PM »
Look around your house. It is built to the building code standards that were developed with your taxes. Walk to the front door and open it. Your block of land was subdivided, a title created... as part of your taxes. Look toward the road. It was planned and laid with your taxes (or if it wasn't the main road you go along to get anywhere was). No-one can claim that they get no return from their taxes. Sure there are some things governments do that are wasteful, but we have a system that distinguishes between government, judiciary and media (although the first two are both paid for by taxes), that enables our community to be informed about any waste and to do something about it.

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #94 on: November 25, 2016, 05:23:29 PM »
We donate both time and $. One of my favorite charities is The Salvation Army because even though it is christian based and we are not really religious they spend most of the $ on their programs and very little in salaries,etc. They have helped many people get clean and sober, provide them a place to live and give them job skills. I know many of my former clients have been helped by them. I also donate to local animal rescues that are doing great work with very little $.

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #95 on: November 25, 2016, 05:41:57 PM »
It varies from church to church, but a huge part of that donation is to keep the church open, not to provide charity. 
 
Umm, yeah, churches, museums, and other nonprofits need money to "keep their doors open".  So if I give money to them that I don't have to that is called charity and the community benefits because they can go to those places and benefit from their services.  Am I missing something?  You seem to have a very strict definition of charity... I would have to give money to something that is remote enough from me and my community that I don't benefit, it can't be for keeping a community facility open, etc.  By your definition if I give to NPR or wikipedia I would also be SOL because I benefit from their content and I believe their content benefits my community.  That money that keeps the church open enables weddings, baptisms, funerals, celebrations, spiritual seeking and counseling, community events, etc, etc.

And the local golf/country club? Does that count as a charity too then?  It's a facility that people enjoy the community there, where people have weddings, celebrations, etc., and the money is used to keep it open.

Hotstreak's definition of charity may be strict, but yours seems quite lax.

We all draw our own lines, is my point.  I don't see that yours is any more valid than his. :)
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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #96 on: November 26, 2016, 01:18:01 AM »
In San Antonio there is a very historic private and exclusive country club called The Argyle. Friends used to take me there for grand lunches when I was a student. Many years ago the officers came up with a clever way to minimize taxes for the club and members. It is a charity! The eye-watering initiation fee and dues support The Southwest Medical Foundation and the club is somehow run as an offshoot of the foundation, like a board room.

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #97 on: November 26, 2016, 04:13:04 AM »
"Taxes are theft" folks tend to reason like climate change deniers. They think all of their wealth was built entirely through their own talents and hard work and was in no way enabled by things like the country in which they live, which, you know, operates on taxes.

The same reasoning used behind California should be its own country argument ; it's the world's 6th largest economy! Of course, having nothing to do with the country it is part of.

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #98 on: November 26, 2016, 04:30:49 AM »
I don't know what you're talking about but it has nothing to do with what I said.

Do you not comprehend that independent of anything the government is doing right now being born in the U.S. gives you unprecedented privilege with regards to economic opportunity? This is much less true at the bottom of the socioeconomic scale, of course, but still more true for most of them than the majority of the planet. Do you literally think that if you were born in, for example, rural India, you would still be able to accomplish what you have with no serious issue?

You know some immigrants who make a lot of money therefore my point is refuted? Really?? Do you deny the levels of poverty in much of the third world? Now I suppose you'll go dig up how many Africans have cell phones and tell me they have it just as good as us?

I am not going to rehash how silly the taxes is theft argument is. It's easy enough to find plenty on the subject but I doubt you're open to it anyway. It doesn't matter, though, because my point is that even with the government "stealing" so much of your money, you still have it better than 99% of the planet for reasons that have nothing to do with how hard you worked for your wealth. At least be honest that you don't care that others have it less fortunate, at least not enough to want to leverage your privilege to help in some small way.

As I mentioned above, if you prioritize you and yours, I won't call you out for it. But I will call you out if you pretend like there aren't billions of people on this earth who could benefit from us sharing (voluntarily) the obscene wealth that makes it possible for us to even be having this discussion right now.

Lagom, you are right.  The fact that there are people like you make this world a better place.  Truly.

My problem is that I don't care.  And I don't mean that in a stuck up kind of way, but rather, while I recognize there are others much less fortunate than myself, it just doesn't stir any kind of emotion in me.  I'll watch something about the the plight of someone in the 3rd world, but once I turn it off, the thought disappears.  I do suppose if I ever get more convicted about it, then I would voluntarily donate more. 

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Re: POLL: Percentage of gross income donated to charity
« Reply #99 on: November 26, 2016, 04:48:53 AM »
Does the NRA really have charity status isn't it a lobbying group?