Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas-Visions of Giving

It's difficult to write about anything that could be called negative, so we will try to give some time to its reality.

#1-How do you feel about giving through the IMF to prop up Russia's bad economy which was predicated on the high price of oil and no one apparently thought it could ever possibly go down, so they just continued on using up reserves to prop up segments of the economy. Following this, and with foreign investors leaving in droves, they devalued the currency and the stock market plunged 75%. Who puts the money into the IMF? And why should Russia be looking to repeat 1998, the last time they tapped the rest of the world.

#2-Nonprofits beginning to talk about getting a bailout. Whoa.......... When I think of nonprofits, I generally think of groups or organizations which benefit the public and are usually held in high esteem by those who send them a yearly stipend and sometimes, like Planned Parenthood, should be re-examined as to their need for any public monies other than those privately donated. Shouldn't the government be precluded from giving anything that could be construed as being labelled discretionary income on their balance sheets? Frankly, I think most of these should be funded by individuals. It should be pretty special to deserve public funding.

#3-from the NY Times: "....the financial ability to contribute to charity, and the willingness to do so, are strikingly unrelated. Amazing, the working poor, who have the least resources somehow manage to be more generous as a percentage of income than the middle class.

So, even in tough times, there are ways to help."

We all know that we have a culture which has givers and takers. And, we also should know that except under extraordinary circumstances, it certainly feels a lot more satisfying to give than take. At this time of year it is brought home in myriad ways that it is the season of giving and we should all enjoy the activity.

Merry Christmas!

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