Quote of the Day – OPM Edition

“If I give a lot of money to charity, then I am generous. If you give a smaller fraction of your money to charity, then you are less generous. But if you want to tax me in order to give my money to charity, that does not make you generous.” – Arnold Kling

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. steve says:

    True, but banal.


  2. raoul says:

    The statement can be taken two ways. Personally, I think charity giving should be decoupled from the tax code.

  3. Steve Plunk says:

    Giving under force of law is not charity.

  4. hcantrall says:

    Personally, I don’t give a lot of “money” to charities but I do donate hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars in goods. Clothing, appliances, household items as I’m sure lots of people do. I would donate these things whether I was able to write some of it off on my taxes or not because I can’t see throwing things away that other people might want or need. It is just kind of a win-win situation to be able to write some of it off.
    It’s too bad that the common folk get lumped in with the rich and famous who maybe give money away knowing they’ll get it back from the government, that’s a different situation entirely in my opinion.

  5. Tlaloc says:

    If you give money to charity you are interested in making yourself feel good, not in helping others. If you want to help others then you support actual effective measures. Charity is the least effective way to help others because it is done with no attempt to know what the real problems are, their severity, and the best means of addressing same. It is the very embodiment of throwing money at a problem. Solving problems requires knowing why they occur, and dealing with root causes, which charity does not.

    Charity is ultimately a very selfish act.