The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

7 November 2003

Where the cheapskates are

The Catalogue for Philanthopy has issued its annual Generosity Index — tax years being the indeterminate things they are, the 2003 Index is based on complete 2001 tax figures — and it's chock full of numbers.

The Index is determined by comparing the Having Rank of a state (how much money its taxpayers have) to the Giving Rank (what percentage they actually contribute to charity). A state that has little money but which manages to make bigger donations will therefore rank higher on the Index than a wealthier state with a greater proportion of skinflints. And indeed, Mississippians, seemingly always near the bottom of the per-capita charts, have the lowest income but the sixth-highest donation ratio, enough of a divergence to put them at the top of the Index. Oklahoma, 43rd in income and 10th in giving, ranks fourth.

Here's where it gets interesting. OpinionJournal's Taste section looks at the figures and notes the following:

[T]he top 20 states all went for George W. Bush in the 2000 election — while 15 of the 20 least generous went for Al Gore.

How did this happen?

Maybe...the difference is that those in red states are more generous with their own money while those in blue states are more likely to be generous with other people's money.

File this under "Things that make you go Hmmmm...."

(Muchas gracias: Wylie in Norman.)

Posted at 9:34 PM to Political Science Fiction


TrackBack: 11:17 AM, 8 November 2003
» Checkin' up on charitable contributions from Tiger: Raggin' & Rantin'
Dustbury points out that there is somethin' interestin' in the Taste Section of the WSJ Opinion Journal:Friday, November 7, 2003 12:01 a.m. EST RED STATES CARE: In news sure to depress those for whom Republican stinginess and antipathy for the......[read more]

TrackBack: 9:31 PM, 8 November 2003
» A Trend from The Bitch Girls
The 2003 Generousity Index brought to you by Catalogue for Philanthropy. State Having Rank Giving Rank Rank Relation Generosity Index Mississippi 50 6 44 1 Arkansas 47 5 42 2 South Dakota 45 8 37 3 Oklahoma 43 10 33...[read more]

Albert Jay Nock foresaw this, and wrote about it in the opening section of Our Enemy, The State, nearly seventy years ago. He wrote of a man who'd just paid his taxes in a high-welfare state being importuned by a beggar for a quarter. The man's response: "The State has your quarter. Go talk to them."

Posted by: Francis W. Porretto at 4:47 AM on 8 November 2003

I was so shocked to see the top three "having" states in the bottom 13 regarding "giving."

Color me stunned.

Posted by: Vickie at 5:26 AM on 8 November 2003

Vickie, you really need a <sarcasm> in there somewhere.

...don't you?

Posted by: McGehee at 1:47 PM on 8 November 2003

McGehee, you mean I'm losing my touch?

Posted by: Vickie at 5:11 PM on 8 November 2003

Not at all -- I understood what you meant, and my reading comprehension isn't firing on all cylinders this weekend. But some people need a road map to back out of the driveway, if you know what I mean.

Posted by: McGehee at 8:54 AM on 9 November 2003

In fact, the method used to calculate the
"Generosity Index" is so flawed, it's amazing
that anyone would repost it, much less create it.
See the article at the URL attached to this
message (
http://home.netcom.com/~rdavis2/genindex.html ).

Posted by: R. Davis at 12:45 AM on 11 November 2003