Why are bureaucratic approaches superior to GoFundMe campaigns? Private efforts to help are not a sign that government has fallen down on the job.
For the 10th year in a row America has been named the most generous country in the world. That is the conclusion of a new report of the Charities Aid Foundation, which ranks 128 countries according to how many citizens volunteer, help a stranger in need and donate money to a philanthropic cause. In the past year, almost three quarters of Americans helped a stranger, more than half donated money, and 42% gave their time. Charitable giving and voluntary aid have been features of American life since at least the 1830s when Alexis de Tocqueville called attention to them in Democracy in America.
But American generosity, rather than a reason for celebration, is viewed these days by many observers with deep suspicion. Many in the popular media are determined to show that the American system of voluntary giving is fundamentally unfair and helps to perpetuate what they call “systemic inequality.”
James Piereson is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.
Naomi Schaefer Riley is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a senior fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum.
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