The rich get richer; the poor give more | Arkansas Blog

Sunday, December 25, 2016

The rich get richer; the poor give more

Posted By on Sun, Dec 25, 2016 at 7:55 AM

click to enlarge THE GAP: The idea is that those who are comfortable sometimes have a hard time imagining — or thinking about — the needs of those not so lucky.
  • THE GAP: The idea is that those who are comfortable sometimes have a hard time imagining — or thinking about — the needs of those not so lucky.
Consider this Yuletide message as you behold what's under the tree, from Vox:

Since 2009, a rising economic tide has mainly lifted yachts. During the recovery, the gap between the rich and the poor has widened. Both in terms of incomes and wealth, the rich got richer. Meanwhile, the poor and middle class either saw their earnings and wealth stagnate or fall off.

And yet amidst all that, something odd happened. Even during the downturn and recovery, the poorest Americans upped their charitable giving. Meanwhile, the highest-income people gave less and less, the Chronicle of Philanthropy reported in October.

The rich also give to charity differently than the poor: compared to lower-income Americans, the rich's charitable giving places a far lower emphasis on helping their disadvantaged peers. When the poor and rich are (figuratively and literally) moving farther apart, an empathy gap naturally opens up between the upper and lower classes — after all, if I can't see you, I'm less likely to help you.

Taken together, the trends paint a disturbing picture for the future of both the American economy and philanthropy: as the rich get richer and more removed from the daily lives of the poor, the bulk of charitable giving is also likely to become further removed from the needs of the poor.
The empathy gap is evident in governing, too. Remember how the first round of Arkansas income tax cuts pointedly left out the very poorest Arkansas workers. This seemed to be based in the belief that they were beneficiaries of government riches and needed only to work harder to be better off. Gov. Asa Hutchinson, to his credit, has demonstrated a willingness to consider the least among us in his latest income tax cut proposal, though it is meeting heavy resistance from some in the legislature who think a better approach would be cuts at the top end of the income scale.

Tags: , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (10)

Showing 1-10 of 10

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-10 of 10

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Jimmy Kimmel: Health bill flunks 'Kimmel test'

    Jimmy Kimmel gave an extended rip of the Graham-Cassidy health bill last night saying Cassidy had lied to him when he said he wouldn't back health legislation that didn't pass the "Jimmy Kimmel test." That is, no family should be denied emergency health care if they couldn't afford it.
    • Sep 20, 2017
  • The long shadow of Paula Jones looms over Donald Trump

    The Daily Beast reports that the precedent set in allowing Paula Jones to sue then-President Bill Clinton now holds peril for Donald Trump.
    • Sep 20, 2017
  • Legislature itches for more control over 'independent' agencies

    Michael Wickline of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports this morning on growing tension over the legislature's effort to exert more control over the state's constitutionally independent agencies. The immediae target is the Game and Fish Commission, but it's a sprawling dispute over balance of powers.
    • Sep 20, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Super Bowl line

    Over to you.
    • Feb 7, 2016
  • Satanic Temple: Make Rapert pay for Ten Commandments monument

    A petition drive has begun to encourage a demand that Sen. Jason Rapert pay for the legal fees in defending his Ten Commandments monument proposed for the state Capitol grounds. It's more work by the Satanic Temple, which has fought church-state entanglement around the country.
    • Aug 28, 2016
  • Auditor Lea caught not telling the truth

    State Auditor Andrea Lea, who began her tenure in statewide office with a degree of competence unseen in some other Republican counterparts (think Treasurer Dennis Milligan particularly), is becoming more deeply mired in a political scandal.
    • Mar 4, 2016

Most Shared

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation