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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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This is a provocative book on charitable giving in the United States and a variety of other countries. Approximately 75 percent of U.S. households make charitable contributions each year. They give away 3.5 percent of their $51,500 average annual income, with one-third of the giving going to religious causes. But there is much hidden behind these averages.
Arthur Brooks's findings, some of which are counterintuitive, are based on extensive statistics. Brooks, professor of public administration at Syracuse University, is surprised by the findings and appears to have altered his political perspective from liberal to conservative as a result of his explorations. There is much to be gleaned from this book, but some cautions are in order.
His thesis is that acts of charity are fostered primarily by conservative political and religious commitments and cultivated within a strong family context, and that such acts result in happiness, good health and more income for the giver. People who are skeptical about the government redistributing income also tend to give more. In contrast, the people who give and volunteer the least are more likely to be secular liberals from less stable families who support government redistribution programs. However, Brooks makes it clear that there are many exceptions to these tendencies.
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