Bono on America’s efforts to help developing nations: “It’s the crumbs off our tables that we offer these countries.”

John Stossell (the gimme a break guy) on America’s efforts to help developing nations:

“…the U.S. government gave out $20 billion last year, much more than other countries give, but that’s only because we are so stupendously wealthy. If you calculate foreign aid as a percentage of our wealth, the United States gives much less than others.”

BUT…We, the people, make up for the government’s stinginess. Says Stossell:

“Charity almost always does it better.

America is a uniquely charitable country. So when you hear that “Americans are cheap,” just remember: We gave $260 billion in charity last year. That’s almost $900 for every man, woman, and child…Americans give more than the citizens of any other country. Individually, Americans give seven times more money than people in Germany and 14 times more than Italians give. We also volunteer more.”

Should our government do more? Should people of other countries do more? The fact is that there are a whole lot of poor people out there and we’re loaded. The more we talk about them, the more likely we are to help them charitably and politically.

Stossell did a recent show on American Stinginess and he also wrote this story, which the excerpts above are from. As much as we are blamed for the problems of the world we actually do some good. That’s nice to know. But is it enough?

Bono doesn’t think so. He’s the driving force behind the ONE campaign to make poverty history. I went down the list of their partners and I was amazed to see how many of the groups I saw in Asia, some of them working with and educating garment workers. If you’re looking for a way to give to the garment workers, this seems like a pretty good one.

With that, Bono definitely agrees…

Joel says:

Does anyone know if they’ve broken down those numbers to show which Americans are giving, and what ‘counts’ as charity?

I’m mostly interested in finding out which segments of American society are the big givers of time and money to charity (by religion, politics, age, income, etc.)

Kelsey says:

Joel, I’m with you. It sounds to me like Stossel’s figures include all charitable giving, which would include domestic. I wonder what the international giving would be?

Also didn’t Bill Gates and Warren Buffett give billions upon billions last year to charity? That has really got to screw with the average. I sure didn’t give $900 to charity last year. Although, I did give much, much more than that for an engagement ring. Sorry, poor people of the world. Maybe this year.

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