The American Enterprise

Are Americans stingy?(Indicators)(Brief Article)

There has recently been heavy debate over whether the U.S. gives enough financial support to poor nations. The discussion is distorted by the fact that most arguments take into account only the simplest measure of assistance: official government aid.

For Europeans and other "rich" nations, government aid is most of the story. But in the U.S., government aid is the least important way we help. American private charities attacking hunger, disease, illiteracy, and other humanitarian problems spend three times as much across the globe every year as our government does.

And then there are the billions we send to poor countries as private investments. These funds create jobs, power plants, farms, and so forth--and they total more than two and a half times our government aid. …

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