Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Sweet Charity

When I started my first job at age 11 washing dishes at a local restaurant I learned a few important lessons that shaped my thinking today:

  • Getting educated to earn more money is much better than the "false charity" of mandated increases in minimum wages
  • Government likes to tax everyone -- even though I was making $1.20 per hour at the time
  • I much prefer to decide which charities I want to support with my personal funds versus the practice of governments taxing us and then offering "grants" to their favorite non-government entities. Yes, this includes my opposition to President Bush's faith-based initiative -- I much prefer putting my cash directly into the collection plate after the sermon at my church -- now that is transparency!!!

Thanks to my girlfriend's own charity I am now addicted to reading "Men's Health" ("health" widely defined to include physical, mental, and financial) magazine so this posting is focused on their April 2006 article - "How Charitable is Your City?" which ranked 100 US cities' residents in terms of supporting charities/non-profits via cash donations and volunteering their time. I won't reconstruct the entire list but here is an overview for your consideration:

1. Atlanta, Georgia

2. Washington DC

3. Wilmington, Delaware

4. San Francisco, California

5. St. Paul, Minnesota

6. Minneapolis, Minnesota

7. Oakland, California

8. Birmingham, Alabama

9. Richmond, Virginia

10. Charlotte, North Carolina

A few observations on this Top Ten list -- 4 out of the 10 are Southern cities (a cultural element at work here perhaps?) , 2 are in California, and 2 are in Minnesota which I am proud of as a resident of Minnesota but also shocked since our state is the 4th highest taxed state in the USA yet we still support charities in a substantial way.

And coming is last at #100 is -- Manchester, New Hamphire -- in the "Live Free or Die" state which is a creed I subscribe to so I can't believe Manchesterians (a word?) are heartless. Such a ranking deserves further consideration by my free market think tank friends who belong to this organization --

Write a check before Uncle Sam takes it,



Ben said...

Did they talk at all about how urban areas compare in this way to rural or suburban areas? Interesting that ultra-blue sites like DC and San Fran rank so high.

Todd said...

No distinction was made between urban or rural areas. Men's Health is published by and is based in New York City so they might have an urban/blue state bias. Here are some contacts at Men's Health if you want to explore this subject with them --

Public Relations
Jon Hammond, Director of Public Relations
Phone: (212)-573-0555

Karen Mazzotta
Phone: (631)-549-1580