ARE THE POOR MORE GENEROUS THAN THE RICH?

Seems so.

According to a new study, just out, people from upper class backgrounds consistently display deficits in empathy, social engagement, generosity and sensitivity as compared to those from the lower classes.

The differences are so marked that it is often possible to judge one’s socio-economic class within 60 seconds of an encounter.  Suppose a well-dressed matron says, “I have a luncheon engagement with a colleague.”  And a man says, I”m off to Macdonald’s for a burger.”   The difference is pretty clear.

According to Statistics Canada, in 2007, donors with annual incomes less than $20,000 gave an a verage of 1.6 of ther pre-tax earnings to charity compared to just o.5 per cent for donors with household incomes topping @100,000.

Are the poor more generous than the rich?

What do you think?

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3 Comments »

  1. 1
    jim Says:

    Well Mr.Neil the man who ran to “MacDonalds” for a burger to satisfy his plebeian tastes obviously wasn’t you incognito, otherwise if you had of graced the portals of “McDonalds” you might have noticed the difference in the spelling (I just couldn’t resist).
    Now, getting down to business, the subject matter was in the Gazette today and the third paragraph didn’t make sense to me. It read “The differences in behaviour are so marked, in fact, that ‘naive observers’ are able to detect a person’s socioeconomic background based on 60 seconds of interaction.” Whaaat? If someone naive can do that, imagine my potential to do it in 15 seconds. If I recall correctly Misty Harris the author of the original article used the words ‘unschooled observers’ Why there was a different word in the Gazette is beyond me. Bye-the-way, this is a rehash of a similar article written by the same author 2 years ago.
    In my experience I’ve noticed basically 2 types of rich. The old rich and the nouveau riche. Some rich who are to the manor born practice noblesse oblige and some don’t. . Some may not be selfish as much as willfully clueless (as in absent minded prof.).
    Years ago I was at an uppity something or other event and on entering the parlour in this uppity home I noticed a Gingras painting hanging over the fireplace. On accepting the usual welcome shake I mentioned the hanging to the hostess. I automatically became her best friend because she was so grateful that I had recognized her choice of artist from afar. That’s a classy rich lady who wore her gratitude on her sleeve.
    As to the stiffs with no personalities, forgive them for they know not what they are doing. The best way to get to understand the rich is to meet them one on one. There really great people.

  2. 2
    Neil McKenty Says:

    Jim,

    You’ve given me much food for thought.

  3. 3

    Your premise, Neil, may be a function of Canada’s tax system which takes so much away from everyone but, disproportionately, more from the rich who then may not be so inclined to donate to charity as much as they otherwise would.

    In the U.S. the wealthy give in the same proportion as those less wealthy, according to the following link:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/the-big-question-why-do-wealthy-americans-donate-so-much-to-charity-and-rich-britons-so-little-454789.html


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