After the December t…
After the December tsunami, Jan Egeland, the UN’s head of humanitarian relief, called Western nations “stingy” when it came to providing relief funds. (His suggestion? The classic “raise taxes” answer.) The ~$850 million from the US government and ~$1.5 billion from private donors in the 6 months following the disaster put the lie to that.

Now comes the “Live 8” concert to raise money for poor countries. We still get ripped by the fund-raisers, but we continue to give generously anyway.

PRIVATE American citizens donated almost 15 times more to the developing world than their European counterparts, research reveals this weekend ahead of the G8 summit. Private US donors also handed over far more aid than the federal government in Washington, revealing that America is much more generous to Africa and poor countries than is claimed by the Make Poverty History and Live 8 campaigns.

And what are some of the secrets to this generosity? Let’s just say that Egeland would be surprised.

[Carole] Adelman [author of the Hudson Institute report] said this transforms the picture on aid to the developing world, showing how America’s stronger economic growth and lower taxation is giving indirect aid to the Third World which dwarfs the government’s donations.

(Emphasis mine.) Much more money goes to developing countries from private individuals and corporations than from the government because we have more money in our pocket and can afford to give voluntarily rather than by being “charitable at the point of a gun” (i.e. you’re thrown in jail if you don’t pay your taxes).

And the side issue is this: America and Americans never get the credit we deserve for being giving people. But y’know, we just keep giving and giving anyway. Instead of whining, more countries ought to be emulating this.

(Cross-posted at Stones Cry Out. Comments welcome.)

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