• GeorgeMcCully

    Friends, the objective evidence on this issue is skewed, because it’s taken from IRS data on Itemized Charitable Deductions, about which it is well known that only the decreasing percentage of top earners in lower income groups itemize, whereas in the highest income groups itemization is the norm, owing to taxes being prepared by attorneys and accountants skilled at extracting every possible deduction for their clients. In effect, the comparison is between the many top earners as a group and the few highest earners in the lower groups, which distorts upward the comparative generosity if the numbers are attributed to the group as a whole.
    Second, this has nothing to do with whether philanthropy can pick up the slack on government spending for human services. Philanthropy simply isn’t big enough in dollars to replace government spending. That is why the proper relation between philanthropy and government has always been a partnership, in which philanthropy identifies emergent issues and possible solutions before they have enough political power to evoke government attention, at which point government learns from philanthropic experience what responses have worked and which ones haven’t.