December 18, 2005

'Tis the season for charity and Chias

While you may think the Chia has gone the way of the pet rock, the "holiday" season proves the concept alive and well and available as either cat grass or edible herbs. However much of a novelty item a Chia anything might be, all manner of oddities are represented on TV commercials at this time of year. Anything that might remotely be construed as present-worthy gets air time.

Meanwhile, my mailbox heralds the arrival of the annual beg-a-thon. For me, 'tis the season for survival, not the one for boundless generosity to organizations that have enough spare change to rent a mailing list with my name on it, then entice me with address labels or note cards I give all year round. I'm not looking for a year-end tax deduction. I'm not looking for anything to remind me it's December: the short days, minimal sunlight and freezing cold are inescapable.

Besides, according to the New York Times, my demographic -- a working American "who makes $50,000 to $100,000 a year" is "two to six times more generous in the share of their investment assets that they give to charity than those Americans who make more than $10 million. "

The Scrooges, if you will, are "the least generous of all working-age Americans in 2003, the latest year for which Internal Revenue Service data is available. [They] were among the young and prosperous - the 285 taxpayers age 35 and under who made more than $10 million - and the 18,600 taxpayers making $500,000 to $1 million. The top group had on average $101 million of investment assets while the other group had on average $2.4 million of investment assets."

So much for trickle-down economics. But if these are the people who have everything, perhaps a Chia garden wouldn't be amiss.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It has always seemed to me that the fewer physical belongings and the less money a person has, the more willing s/he is to share what they have. During my working life, I was only too well aware of how little people in my somewhat well-paying profession (engineering) were willing to share with the less fortunate. They talked a good game; but when it came to dollars and cents, they kept it in their pockets under some pretext (belief system) or another--most not even meeting their professed goal of tithing to their faith-based organizations. On the other hand, tradespeople of my acquaintance gave up to 1/3 of their total incomes to charities/faith-based organizations.
Cop Car

4:15 AM  

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