> Jason DeBacker wrote:
> >Why don't more people give more money to charity?
> >If you asked someone if they would rather see $50 used to
> >feed a child for a month or on another month cable TV (or
> >whatever), I can't imagine someone not saying that the child
> >should be fed.  But almost no one gives $50 a month to
> >charity and many give that to watch cable television (or
> >spend it on other `frivolous' purchases.
> >Why does this happen?
> >A few possible reasons: ...
> >- People really don't care about helping someone else, but
> >are ashamed to admit that. ...
> This explanation seems to me to clearly be the one to beat.

> Robin Hanson  [EMAIL PROTECTED]  http://hanson.gmu.edu

If you add uncertainty, I think the explanation becomes much
more true (as others noted later):

Most people have two real desires: a) to help, and b) to have
the someone else really benefit.  The high uncertainty of 
the (b) outcome of any small donation makes most
folk feel there's really NOT much benefit to somebody from
their help. And, being selfish, they don't want to 
sacrifice too much certain pleasure, so allow uncertainty
to be their implicit rationalle for less help.  

I'm personally certain that big gov't support programs are
so popular is proof that people really DO care. Any and every
pol who opposes gov't programs is accused of not
really caring or helping, and it's always an issue.  

There is also the very significant crowding out effect -- "it is
the GOVT's job to help, that's why they collect taxes, so my 
morality about (a) caring and helping is confirmed as I support
gov't spending."  And of course, many who care the most, or at
least the loudest, want to show their caring with other
people's money.  (collected by their friendly big nanny gov't!)

Tom Grey

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