When it comes to charitable giving are we more like:
Well, apparently a bit of both:
The truth is that Americans are generous when it comes to private aid, domestic or overseas. But the U.S. government is comparatively stingy when helping the poor, here and abroad.
The disparity is nothing new. It’s a reflection of a political debate over the role of government in America that dates to the 18th century, scholars say. Americans have long clashed over what’s the most effective way to help the poor — through government or charity. Timeline: America’s history of giving »
“America is firmly rooted in the idea of the rugged individual — you do it on your own and you don’t turn to the government for help,” says Mark Robert Rank, author of “One Nation, Underprivileged: Why American Poverty Affects Us All.”
Pete, who sent me this link, has it right:
Charities’ strengths are in spotting needs FIRST, and in filling needs no one else has. But the number of needs that even the largest ones can fill have definite limits.