America the Generous? Not According to the Media

The media and liberals tend to portray Americans as selfish Scrooges, only interested in their own gain - why else would taxes be unpopular? But America has shown its generosity time and again, and this Christmas season, new proof of it has emerged. A report from the Charities Aid Foundation America, the World Giving Index 2011, finds that the United States is the most generous country in the world.

The World Giving Index 2011 measures generosity on three levels: giving money as a percentage of income, giving time, and helping strangers. Only the United States ranked in the top 10 nations of the world in each category. Charities Aid Foundation director Richard Harrison praised American charitable giving: "This research confirms that when we look at giving in a rounded way, including the extent to which we volunteer and help strangers, America is the most generous country in the world. America is the only country that ranks in the top ten globally on each of these three perspectives, and this first place ranking should be seen as source of real pride for people across America."

But American generosity is rarely acknowledged by the media. Instead, America is usually attacked by the media as not being generous enough, and American donations of time, money, and effort to countries are ignored or even scorned by liberal journalists.

On May 22, 2011, former New York Times economic reporter Eduardo Porter complained in a New York Times editorial that America was the "least generous" of industrial nations - by which he meant Americans were not being taxed enough to fund extensive government social programs. The networks refused to cover the extensive contributions of private faith-based charities when a tsunami devastated Japan in March 2011, and similarly ignored coverage of corporate donations when a destructive earthquake struck Haiti in Jan 2010.

This is because for the mainstream media, government social programs, fueled by taxation, are the only form of effective charity. At times, the media has even attacked private charity, because money given to private charity is not given to government programs. (This attack on private charity might be rooted in the fact that conservatives tend to be far more generous with their time and money than liberals.)

The New York Times' Stephanie Strom bizarrely blasted private charity in 2007 because it took money away from the government, declaring that "The rich are giving more to charity than ever, but people like Mr. Broad are not the only ones footing the bill for such generosity. For every three dollars they give away, the federal government typically gives up a dollar or more in tax revenue, because of the charitable tax deduction and by not collecting estate taxes."

In Nov. 2010, the Washington Post's Ezra Klein advocated giving to politically active think tanks as more effective than traditional gifts to charity.

Apparently, the "forced charity" of government social programs, fueled by higher taxes, is the only worthwhile form of charity, according to liberals. This is one explanation for the consistent media gripe that Americans are not generous, despite the mountain of evidence that suggests otherwise.