The “average American” (that’s a family making $50k–$99k in this article here) gives ~3–6% of their income to charity each year. Now, that’s income, not wealth. If we want to apples-to-apples this, we need to gauge giving vs. wealth. It appears the “average” American’s wealth is something like $97,000 (which kinda sucks, given that the average American home is worth more than twice that—and is mortgaged to the gills). So, we end up in about the same place: The average American annually gives money worth ~3% of their wealth.
In other words, the average American is significantly more generous with their wealth than pretty much every goddamned billionaire out there. Even Warren Buffet (who I actually really admire) is just a tiny bit above average on this one.
So, if your argument against a wealth tax is “It’s OK for folks to sit on billions of dollars, because rich people are super charitable”—well, they just aren’t. In fact, multiple studies have found that as folks get poorer in this country, they give a higher percentage of their income to charity (and generally have zero or negative wealth). People at or below the poverty line often give ~10% of their annual income to charitable causes each year.
So, yeah, give thanks on Thursday, sure—but give some fucking money, too, dammit.
You’ll be invited to your wife’s Full Family Thanksgiving Feast in Michigan
Attending means driving to the hinterlands around the middle knuckles of the Mitten’s middle finger. Shortly before leaving you’ll learn that this Full Family Feast does not, in fact, exist. Instead you’ll be directed to a somewhat lesser Secondary Family Feast in a somewhat less remote part of the hinterlands, at your in-laws’ cottage in a town mostly known for holding an annual ice fishing carnival on a frozen lake.
You’ve witnessed this carnival. You’ve ridden the ferris wheel atop the ice with your wife and young son, a ferris wheel you were told was unique for its age and direction of spin. You learned this from the man operating it, the man who proclaimed that he’d bolted it together himself, a man with something very clearly wrong with one side of his skull.
These are things you do in Michigan. These are the decisions you make by just letting things keep going the way they go in Michigan. …
And goes on from there. You can read it all free online here:
Rebel Nell works with local organizations to hire women transitioning from homelessness and teaches them to craft unique, wearable accessories made from the fallen layers of graffiti that grace the buildings and underpasses of Detroit.
DISCLOSURE: I’m from the Detroit Metro Area. My dad was born and raised in Detroit. We love that stupid city, my family has planted their hearts there, and I’ve bought Rebel Nell jewelry for my wife. It’s neat stuff!
But Rebel Nell isn’t just mining the lead-flecked ruins of Detroit to sell bougie baubles. Through their non-profit arm—Teaching. Empowering. Achieving. (T.E.A.)—Rebel Nell provides all the wrap-around services to empower vulnerable women and families as they transition to a life ofindependence. T.E.A. invests in training, education, skills development, coaching, and mentorship services (including basic employment opportunities), in addition to other support and assistance to these women.
This ain’t giving away fish; it’s teaching folks how to fish, and making sure they’ve got a decent rod and reel to get them started.
The Nelson Foundation provides financial support to individuals and organizations that use art to create opportunities that better our community. (Note conspicuous name similarity—this is something my folks and older sister make happen.) These usually take the form of direct grants and tuition support to underrepresented students in the arts in Michigan.
This Tuesday—November 27, 2018—The Nelson Foundation will be giving up to $5,000 to Rebel Nell/T.E.A. in matching funds.
You give $1, and the Nelson Foundation matches that. Everyone together gives $5,000 and the Nelson Foundation doubles that—boom!, $10,000 goes directly to supporting women and families getting free and building up their communities.