[FoRK] What Americans Do...

James Tauber jtauber at jtauber.com
Wed Jan 5 08:33:05 PST 2005

It just occurs to me that one advantage of private giving over government
aid, beside efficiency, is that the opportunity cost is less likely to
affect the poor.

The money I've given so far will slow down my plans to build a house, but
the money the Australian government has given so far is, I'm guessing, going
to have to come out of government programmes for people more in need than
the local building industry.

Just a thought.


> Oh, sure. I mean, I'm the last to defend Bush & co. The current bump
> in direct US government aid is a completely cynical PR move to counter
> all the other stupid things we've done in the past five years. You'll
> find no disagreement here on that.
> I'm just pointing out that even if the US government had done nothing
> after its original offer, the criticism of America(ns) as stingy would
> have been bullshit, given that on average Americans are provably
> substantially more giving personally (and in toto) than Western
> Europeans. There will be no headlines saying 'Amazon gives as much as
> many small governments'... maybe the average American needs a PR firm.

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