Here’s an unpleasant holiday statistic: Average Americans are giving significantly less to their favorite charities this year than they did just four or five years ago.
Average Americans have long been among the most generous people on Earth.
But this year, thanks to an economy disrupted by covid, soaring interest rates and three years of high inflation, many are unable to give.
Americans are hurting in their pocketbooks.
This past year credit-card debt jumped faster than ever before in history, reports Business Insider, as more Americans are borrowing at high interest rates just to meet their daily living needs.
An increasing number of people are taking hardship withdrawals out of their 401K savings accounts, reports CNBC — tapping their future retirement funds to pay bills they are unable to afford today.
As a result of these financial troubles, a regrettable shift in charitable giving has occurred.
When I last wrote about giving in America in 2017, the people who gave the most, as a percentage of their wealth, weren’t the richest Americans.
They weren’t even middle-class Americans.
They were the people on the lower end of the economic scale — people who gave almost 30 percent more of their income to charity than any other income bracket.
That changed in 2020 when covid lockdowns wreaked havoc on the economy.
Before that, according to Gallup, more than 80% of U.S. adults said they donated money to a religious or other type of charity.
But in 2023, regrettably, individual giving has dipped to about 70% — and the biggest drop-off has happened among America’s lowest earners.
Copyright 2023 Tom Purcell, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.