In 2017, Americans gave over $400 billion to U.S. charities. And this was not large corporations giving for the sake of tax breaks. Corporate philanthropy only comprises around 5 percent of all charitable giving in the U.S. Over 90 percent of high-net-worth households give to charity, the average rich household giving 10 times what the average U.S. household gives. More than 60 million Americans volunteer around $200 billion worth of their time. In money and time, Americans voluntarily give away well over a half-trillion dollars annually, more than the federal government spends on all welfare programs combined.
Open your eyes and see the good
ANTONY DAVIES AND JAMES HARRIGAN
“The Matter of American Exceptionalism” is a very well written explanation of what “American exceptionalism” is:
“American exceptionalism” does not mean that all Americans are, by virtue of being American, somehow superior by nature. Nor does it mean that everything that the American people or their government does or has done is above reproach. Far from it. The phrase is also not meant to imply that all other nations are bad or their people inherently inferior. Rather, “American exceptionalism” is the notion that says the United States of America, as a nation, is “exceptional” both in the sense of being very unusual and in the sense of being special and, yes, better at some things or in some areas. I suppose one might say that it is the collective “Spirit of America” that makes it superior. Grounded in its founding ideals, this spirit has led to America’s economic success and ability to be a huge force for good in the world.
Some people think it is self-righteous and arrogant to think America is better than any other nation. I’m not just referring to Putin. President Obama was asked at a 2009 press conference whether he believed in the idea (ideal?) of American exceptionalism. He agreed, but then went on to equate such exceptionalism with national pride. He said that it was no different than how Greeks feel about Greece or Brits feel about Great Britain, etc. So, really, Obama does not believe that America is any more exceptional than any other nation. This smacks of politically correct relativism. After all, we can’t have an “enlightened” world leader admitting that he thinks his own country is special! (Although, I’m not so sure the President does, since he is so focused on the negatives, perceived and otherwise. In fact, he seems increasingly “trans-national”.) Everybody and every system is equally good, valid, and “special”, right?
No, not in my book.