Saturday, November 25, 2006


In sometimes disgraciously flavored popular culture, we often hear how American "savage" individualism represents greed and selfishness and how Europe's devastating welfare models embody solidarity and the so called "social care". But in his new and astonishing volume, professor Arthur C. Brooks, finds first that family that works for its own income on a market basis, donated three times as much money as the family receiving exactly the same amount of income from welfare programs. In the previously written volume, professor Brooks found out that people who believe that they should take care of themselves accounted for 25 percent of the population but they gave 31 percent of America's blood. If the whole population gave blood like the opponents of social spending do, says Brooks, the blood supply would increase by more than a quarter. But if everyone in the population gave like government-aid advocates, the supply of the blood would drop by 30 percent. Another survey found that people who believe that government spends too much on welfare, are more likely to give directions to someone on the street, return extra change to cashier and give food or money to a homeless person.

Finally, how often we hear how generous Europe, namely the island of socialism, is compared to "merciless American individualism". Well, it's not like that, survey under the leadership of professor Brooks found. Here're some rough estimates. Americans gave vastly more charity per person. Twice as much as Spanish, three times as much as French, seven times as much as German and fourteen times as much as Italians. Despite working an average of 1 895 hours per year, Americans are 15 percent more likely to volunteer their time than Dutch, 21 points more likely than Swiss and 32 points more likely than Germans. In fact, 80 percent of Germans never volunteer their time.

USA - 1895
Portugal - 1804
Great Britain - 1787
Ireland - 1779
Sweden - 1775
Luxembourg - 1768
Italy - 1764
Spain - 1763
Greece - 1744
Netherlands - 1741
Belgium - 1722
Finland - 1714
Austria - 1696
Germany - 1674
Denmark - 1658
France - 1651

Source: IMD, 2004; Stanislav Kovac, Public Enemy: The Triumph of Workoholic Americans (Zmagoslavje deloholicnih Americanov), Finance, 2005

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