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raferguson


Aug 13, 2011, 5:47 PM

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Mexico charitable giving low - Washington Post article

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From the Washington Post, discussing the low level of donations to charity in Mexico.


Quote
When social scientists and policymakers here try to make sense of the beheadings, massacres and general mayhem afflicting large parts of this country, the blame often falls on the Mexican government’s under-investment in social programs and education.

But as researchers and advocacy groups look to confront the underlying causes of the spreading drug violence, they are also focusing on another shortfall: a lack of corporate and individual philanthropy.

The numbers point to a sizable charity gap. Mexico has the lowest taxes and second-highest income inequality among the 34 member nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which gathers data on the world’s leading economies, and yet it also has had some of the weakest levels of charitable giving.

According to Mexico’s Center for Philanthropy, the percentage of the country’s gross domestic product dedicated to charity was 0.04 in a 2003 study, nearly 40 times lower than the United States. Colombia, Brazil, Argentina and other developing nations also ranked much higher. "


The rest of the article at this link. http://www.washingtonpost.com/...ort-supply-in-mexico

My personal opinion is that part of this may be an outgrowth of the decades of PRI control, when the government did not want to encourage any organizations which were not affiliated with the PRI. Charities are part of civil society, which tends to be weak in Mexico. Some of it, I am sure, is also cultural.

Richard


http://www.fergusonsculpture.com



richmx2


Aug 13, 2011, 9:54 PM

Post #2 of 24 (12789 views)

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Re: [raferguson] Mexico charitable giving low - Washington Post article

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What a load of caca!

Most Latinamericanists stopped taking the Washington Post seriously some time ago. Its overt editorial biases towards regimes that follow U.S. economic prescriptions has, alas, been coloring their reportage for several years. In the lede Nick Miroff starts talking about "beheadings, massacres and general mayhem" (conditions much more severe in some other Latin American nations) as a way of building his premise that U.S. generated problems are the fault of Mexicans not doing as the U.S. tax code does. Please!


That article is nothing but propaganda for "reforms" proposed by the present administration, based on the assumption that "corporations" should function as they do in the United States. It says nothing about personal giving (which is much more likely to be interfamilial or inter-communal) which if you read carefully the article and the "study" said nothing about.

One questions whether the writer or the editors know that "corporations" in the U.S. sense don't exist here, and haven't since the 1850s. A "corporation" — not having personhood — certainly would not have political rights, nor would it be involved in any political discussion. That has much more to do with Benito Juarez than with the PRI.


http://mexfiles.net
http://mexicobookpublishers.com


mcm

Aug 14, 2011, 10:05 AM

Post #3 of 24 (12738 views)

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Re: [richmx2] Mexico charitable giving low - Washington Post article

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Interesting article (by the way, the link did not work, but I found the article by searching the Post for ''Mexican charitable giving').
Richmx2's reaction seems a bit strong -- in fact, the article DID discuss personal charitable contributions, noting that many charitable donations are through informal means, or churches, or family giving. The point that the reporter was trying to make is that these alternatives to the larger-scale corporate-based efforts don't do much to build a network of civic organizations that carry clout in addressing some of the many social needs of the country. The point can be argued, but it wasn't ignored (at least in my reading of the article).

Unlike richmx2, I hesitate to dismiss information from a source (such as the Washington Post) because of my disagreement with its editorial bias. Editorial bias can be factored into most discerning readers assessments (as one does with reports in the Mexfiles, for example). (Here I would insert a smiley face icon, indicating that this remark does not have a hostile intent, but find them too annoying).


Rolly


Aug 14, 2011, 10:14 AM

Post #4 of 24 (12738 views)

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Re: [mcm] Mexico charitable giving low - Washington Post article

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This link will work.

Rolly Pirate


ken_in_dfw

Aug 14, 2011, 12:46 PM

Post #5 of 24 (12699 views)

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Re: [richmx2] Mexico charitable giving low - Washington Post article

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Rich, seems to me that your fire is misdirected. If you want to take issue with information being presented, shouldn't it be with the OECD and the Centro Mexicano para la Filantropia that are cited in the article? By blasting away at the WaPo, you appear to be killing the messenger.


raferguson


Aug 15, 2011, 9:40 AM

Post #6 of 24 (12533 views)

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Re: [raferguson] Mexico charitable giving low - Washington Post article

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What is amazing to me is how many posts there are, but almost zero discussion of the subject of the article, Mexico charitable giving. Most of the posts relate to attempts to disqualify the other person or organization who has an opinion.

One possible interpretation of the thread is that this story does not reflect well on Mexico, so the rose colored glasses crowd wants to kill the messenger. Or maybe the first post started it off on a negative note that the thread became trapped in.

I would still be interested in seeing any discussion of the subject of charitable giving.

Richard


http://www.fergusonsculpture.com


Bennie García

Aug 15, 2011, 7:40 PM

Post #7 of 24 (12456 views)

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Re: [raferguson] Mexico charitable giving low - Washington Post article

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In all seriousness, how can this subject be debated when I'd be willing to bet no one on this board has enough information to be able to speak with authority.

I can only speak for for myself and my experience is limited to a relatively small amount of people whom are for the most part generous in their giving.

As far as the article is concerned, it was researched and written by a gringo who may have little knowledge about Mexican culture and applied his America-centric subjectivity to that process. As always, statistics can be interpreted to fit ones purpose.


dongringo_catemaco


Aug 16, 2011, 10:47 AM

Post #8 of 24 (12410 views)

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Re: [Bennie García] Mexico charitable giving low - Washington Post article

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I've found most Mexicans to be extraordinarily "giving" in times of emergency, but also see the shortcoming when the local "Blood Bank" is actually a cantina, the few existing service clubs do more politics than charitable works, and Mexico's richest man proclaims "investment not charity" in response to Bill Gates give away.

Mexico recognizes its shortcomings and there is an excellent site documenting the state of philanthropy and charity. In Spanish, of course.

http://www.filantropia.itam.mx/

Edited to make live link.
Visit Catemaco News



(This post was edited by esperanza on Aug 16, 2011, 11:06 AM)


tonyburton


Aug 16, 2011, 12:15 PM

Post #9 of 24 (12393 views)

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Re: [dongringo_catemaco] Mexico charitable giving low - Washington Post article

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The comments about Carlos Slim's lack of philanthropy may have been true thirty years ago, but are certainly no longer the case.
See, for example, http://www.carlosslim.com/...onsabilidad_ing.html

This previous MexConnect thread about the related idea of "volunteerism" is also worth re-reading for the additional light it sheds on charitable giving in Mexico.


eyePad

Aug 16, 2011, 1:28 PM

Post #10 of 24 (12371 views)

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Re: [Bennie García] Mexico charitable giving low - Washington Post article

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In all seriousness, how can this subject be debated when I'd be willing to bet no one on this board has enough information to be able to speak with authority.

Come on Bennie, that never stops anyone hereabouts. Anyway, why does someone have to be able to speak with authority to have an opinion?


Marlene


Aug 16, 2011, 2:03 PM

Post #11 of 24 (12360 views)

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Re: [tonyburton] Mexico charitable giving low - Washington Post article

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Thank you, Tony.


Bennie García

Aug 16, 2011, 2:24 PM

Post #12 of 24 (12345 views)

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Re: [eyePad] Mexico charitable giving low - Washington Post article

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In Reply To
In all seriousness, how can this subject be debated when I'd be willing to bet no one on this board has enough information to be able to speak with authority.

Anyway, why does someone have to be able to speak with authority to have an opinion?


They don't really. But it also brings to mind the old saying: "opinions are like "#$holes, everybody has one."


mcm

Aug 17, 2011, 12:03 PM

Post #13 of 24 (12265 views)

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Re: [Bennie García] Mexico charitable giving low - Washington Post article

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As I said before -- the article was interesting, and the topic seems worth a discussion, if not ''debate''.
It did get me thinking about what I do know (have observed) during my 15 years of living in Yucatan. Charitable giving, on an individual basis, seems fairly prevalent -- Evidence: the local newspaper prints stories almost daily about individuals or families with needs -- either due to some illness, overall poverty that's reached a crisis level for some reason, etc., and the follow up articles relate multiple responses from individuals offering some sort of assistance (wheel chairs, food, medical supplies, sometimes cash), as well as usually a follow up by the municipal or state DIF. Likewise, calls for donations in the case of natural disasters, local, in other states, or international, seem to get a good response. There are also a fair number of private organizations, often very small scale which attract volunteers and donations (from breakfasts for undernourished school children, to animal rescue/shelters, to scholarship/school support programs). Some receive support from foreign residents, but by and large, most seem to be organized by Mexican citizens.

What I DON'T know is how the numbers of these organizations in my municipality (Merida, pop around 900,000) compares with other areas, or comparable cities in the US, or even how charitable giving has changed in the last few years.

It does seem (again, mostly based on local news coverage) that, in the last ten years or so, there is MORE charitable work being done by corporate organizations (many, but not all, national chains) -- in particular, these seem to be scholarship initiatives, or focused on other education-related projects.

It does seem to me (and this is really just an impression), that there is more attention paid to immediate/crisis situations, than to developing programs that might avoid these crises occurring. Along these lines, it is very common for people in need to attempt to get the PERSONAL attention of the governor (or mayor, or President), rather than going through established bureaucratic channels (in fact, there is an established bureaucratic channel to get the personal attention of the Governor -- it can take 6-12 months, though, to be granted an audience). This seems to happen a lot, and suggests that the established bureaucratic social nets are perceived as not very effective. Or maybe it is just one of the (many) differences between the US (my home country) and Mexico.


YucaLandia


Aug 17, 2011, 2:48 PM

Post #14 of 24 (12238 views)

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Re: [mcm] Mexico charitable giving low - Washington Post article

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Our local Men´s Club donates about $1,000 pesos a month each to a local program that feeds local kids breakfast & vitamins and also a local food pantry. I personally slip the guy who feeds the kids $400 pesos a month. I have no idea how much other expats give in secret. We also get a weekly pick-up load of fruits and veg from a local wholesaler and deliver them to a live-in girls school for girls whose families are having a hard time. None of this giving is tracked by Washington Post sources, and this giving is typical.

Since I have no idea how much similar giving my wife does, maybe she and her groups do similar quiet unrecognized giving.

This article looks like another broad misapplication of North of the Border standards to very different South of the Border realities. Do the NOB statistics subtract out the 60% - 80% overhead administrative fees charged by most NOB charities? (I would almost guarantee not.) This means that in actual $$$ that reach the poor, you would have to reduce US claimed giving by 2/3. The picture needs to be balanced by the fact that most Mexican gifts and charity are not reported, vs. the near 100% and average 125% over-reporting by US givers, due to the income tax benefits for claimed giving. (Old IRS reports estimated 25% over-reporting of charitable giving, because they do not audit returns within a standard deviation of the previous year´s average donation averages for that income bracket). This might mean that 50% - 90% of Mexican giving is not reported nor is it tracked by the Washington Post sources. This could mean that 75% of Mexican giving was not counted by the Washington Post report which would mean only $1 in $4 Mexican charity $$$ are tracked (4X lower than reality).

If we reduce effective US giving by 2/3 = 33 cents in relative terms that actually reach poor people (and not top heavy United Way or US Red Cross offices and personnel) and also reduce that by the IRS 25% over-reporting figure, then the net US figure is 25 cents and if we increase Mexican giving (2.5 cents for every US dollar donated) by the 4X conservative under-reporting ratio, then the Mexican giving that actually reaches people is about 10 cents vs the US figure of 25 cents.

If you consider how much higher US salaries are than Mexican salaries, the CIA reports that US addults have 3X more income than Mexicans on average, we have to ratio the Mexican giving rate up by another 3X to compare how much is given based on actual income: 10 cents x 3X = 30 cents received by Mexican needy.

So, using typical real world examples, the average Mexican 30 cents worth is given directly to the needy, compared to just US 25 cents that reaches US needy... (when adjusted for actual incomes). Which means Mexicans might actually give higher %´s of their income that actually help the needy.

Even if these real world estimates of Mexican giving are 30% too high, it means that US and Mexican levels of giving, as received by the needy, are about equal, if you factor in high US sallaries. (It's easy to give from surpluses.)

Figures can lie and liars can figure.
steve
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Read-on MacDuff
E-visit at http://yucalandia.com

(This post was edited by YucaLandia on Aug 17, 2011, 3:40 PM)


Reefhound


Aug 17, 2011, 3:32 PM

Post #15 of 24 (12211 views)

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Re: [YucaLandia] Mexico charitable giving low - Washington Post article

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"The picture needs to be balanced by the fact that most Mexican gifts and charity are not reported, vs. the near 100% and average 125% over-reporting by US givers, due to the income tax benefits for claimed giving."

I don't think the amount reported is anywhere close to 100%, or even 50%. Maybe for corporate charity. But 90% of the people I know - who are mostly middle class - do not get to claim this so-called tax deduction because you only get it if you itemize. Unless you had high medical bills or just bought a house, the standard deduction is probably going to be greater. And I doubt few of those below middle class are going to have more itemized deductions than the standard deduction.


YucaLandia


Aug 17, 2011, 4:07 PM

Post #16 of 24 (12204 views)

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Re: [Reefhound] Mexico charitable giving low - Washington Post article

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A reasonable point.

If we back out the 25% reduction for IRS over-reporting, then Mexicans and US citizens give about the same amounts, when evaluated as what the needy receive.

The point that I was hoping readers would realize is that people around the world are more similar than different:
We all want good health.
We all want good educations for our children.
We all want decent food decent water for all our countrymen.
We want fair treatment by our governments.
We mostly want to see the orphans, widows, and truly needy given aid.

There are a core group of humans who look for differences between people and groups and then trumpet the perceived differences. Their scrutiny can border on being hyper-vigilant and the results of their zealous evaluations similarly border on being hyper-critical.

Do any of us really believe that average Mexicans actually care less and actually give 40X less to the needy than US citizens per capita? - It is difficult to avoid such a conclusion from rafer´s original post.

Is it possible that US people more often prefer writing a check or giving at the office, by gifts that partly go to anonymous needy people, while funding charity´s and church´s and Boards' overhead, vs. a Mexican face-to-face kind of direct-giving, where the giver sees and knows the real problems? I personally prefer giving that is specifically targeted to the actual need and knowing the needy person (because I don't like supporting people who are still drinking, drugging, etc), and I enjoy rolling-up-my-sleeves to help as needed.

To take the evaluation a step further: Decades of dropping-food-onto and throwing-dollars-at problems, (check-book giving) has not accomplished what people actually hope for: real relief and real change.

Maybe the real story is that both US citizens and Mexicans care equally about the needy, but they simply have different goals, and they find very different ways of accomplishing the same intentions?

Maybe the back-story is that the Washington Post is simply continuing with more of their less-than-fully-factual Mexico-bashing?

Maybe the moral of the story is that the conclusions each of us drew from the original post says a lot about: how much we want to believe that Mexicans are different from US citizens, and maybe even that we believe that US citizenry is somehow superior to almost everyone else?

Me? I find that people are far more similar than they are different, whether they be Canadians, Mexicans, Americans, Polacks, Germans, Italians, Africans, Ukrainians, and on and on.

When you meet someone, is your core reaction to look for how they are different, or do you pursue the search for common ground?
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Read-on MacDuff
E-visit at http://yucalandia.com

(This post was edited by YucaLandia on Aug 17, 2011, 4:30 PM)


YucaLandia


Aug 17, 2011, 7:09 PM

Post #17 of 24 (12170 views)

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Re: [raferguson] Mexico charitable giving low - Washington Post article

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Quote
When social scientists and policymakers here try to make sense of the beheadings, massacres and general mayhem afflicting large parts of this country, the blame often falls on the Mexican government’s under-investment in social programs and education.

... The numbers point to a sizable charity gap.

Mexico has the lowest taxes and second-highest income inequality among the 34 member nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which gathers data on the world’s leading economies, and yet it also has had some of the weakest levels of charitable giving.

According to Mexico’s Center for Philanthropy, the percentage of the country’s gross domestic product dedicated to charity was 0.04 in a 2003 study, nearly 40 times lower than the United States. Colombia, Brazil, Argentina and other developing nations also ranked much higher. "


The bolded quotes also deserve some examination.

Are there any simple dominant underlying reasons to why the accusations about Mexico's lowest taxes and 2'nd highest "income equality" are not the damning evidence or smoking guns that the OP and authors desire?

The OP and the supposed experts evaluating the issues have curiously ignored the roles of oil and remittances in the Mexican economy, Mexican GDP, and the real effects of giving and poverty in Mexico. What does it say that they ignore remittances's role in poverty in Mexico? And do patrimonial oil revenues play no role in the lives of the poor, and the relative needs for giving?

The whole analysis presented by the OP ignores that Mexico's government receives 35% of it's government revenues from government owned oil, which puts Mexico's tax collection needs in a totally different category from the cited USA, Colombia, Brasil, and Argentina. http://bakerinstitute.org/...conomic-04292011.pdf Mexico's oil income translates to lower taxes on the public - as if low taxes are a bad or disgraceful thing. What does it say when the authors and OP ignore something that is 45% of a country's GDP?

The Washington Post portrays lower taxes due to sharing the revenues from natural resources as somehow a bad or disgraceful thing. Is it better to have a system like the US, where big foreign companies pump out US resources, receive subsidies and credits, and pay few taxes?

The Mexican Government then uses some of the oil revenue money to fund subsidies as Abarrotes Basicos, to keep basic food commodities affordable for the poor. Some foreign sources quote 35%-41% poverty in Mexico (as salary or income poverty), while Mexico's "food poverty" is reported at just 13.8% by the US Govt. https://www.cia.gov/...ook/fields/2046.html

Do the people on this board prefer a system of oil-subsidized lower food prices for the poor vs. the multitude of US soup kitchens and food banks, while foreign companies take their US oil profits to off-shore tax havens?

That leaves the issues of "income equality" and rating charitable giving as a portion of GDP, which are both just straw men - deserving to be set ablaze? It speaks volumes that the people making this claim ironically have to go back to 2003 to dredge up figures to support their claims. How have "income equality" gaps widened in the USA since 2003?

As the US middle class and lower classes have watched their pensions drained and depleted through various Govt. and business schemes, watched the health benefits slashed, as they have watched their home values tank, as they have watched their cost of living rise, and bigger and bigger deficits to bail out big business failures, as the taxpayer dollars are effectively used to pay bonuses to the rank and file Wall Street bankers, can anyone really say with a straight face that 2003 "income equality" figures are representative or useful in evaluating 2011 data?

Continuing with the straw men posed by this OP, since 45% of Mexico's GDP comes from oil, they have presented a skewed case - since this much of this oil wealth is heavily shared with the populace. Are the charitable needs in Mexico substantially smaller or larger due to oil revenues subsidizing food and gasoline and chemical prices?

Their analyses also totally ignore the role of remittances in Mexico's GDP and need for charitable giving. Can we respect any analysis of the Mexican GDP and Economy and revenues for the poor while ignoring remittances? Do remittances play no significant role at all in supporting the poor of Mexico?

The simple facts that the OP, the Washington Post, and the Mexican Center for Philanthropy ignore the roles of oil revenues and remittances in forming their hypotheses, seem to show either great hubris, great ignorance, or a strong desire to deceive.

Clearly, Mexico can improve in education and food poverty, but the comparisons presented above ring very hollow when tapped even gently.

My humble thanks to mcm for bringing the discussion back to the OP, and its peculiar analyses and even more specious conclusions.
steve
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Read-on MacDuff
E-visit at http://yucalandia.com


dongringo_catemaco


Aug 17, 2011, 7:20 PM

Post #18 of 24 (12163 views)

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Re: [tonyburton] Mexico charitable giving low - Washington Post article

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Here is a somewhat dated, bust still functional overview of Mexican charity, by a Mexican.
Mexican Philanthropy
Visit Catemaco News



(This post was edited by dongringo_catemaco on Aug 17, 2011, 7:21 PM)


rockydog85251

Aug 18, 2011, 6:38 AM

Post #19 of 24 (12124 views)

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Re: [dongringo_catemaco] Mexico charitable giving low - Washington Post article

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I still believe that it all goes back to Maslow's Hierachy of Needs.............
Willie


raferguson


Aug 18, 2011, 8:29 AM

Post #20 of 24 (12089 views)

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Re: [YucaLandia] Mexico charitable giving low - Washington Post article

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Your claim about very high levels of overhead for US charities is not supported by the facts. Actual charitable overhead is in the range of 10% to 20%. The charitable organizations that I work with have pretty modest overhead, with low salaries for top officers.

The source below says that charitable overhead is about 9%, not the 60-80% that you claim. Your argument rests on numbers that are not factual, and therefore collapses when actual numbers are used. If you have any data that supports your claim, I would like to see it.

http://www.forbes.com/...3/04charityland.html

Another site with its own set of overhead numbers.

http://www.charitynavigator.org/...ent.view&cpid=48

Richard


http://www.fergusonsculpture.com


YucaLandia


Aug 18, 2011, 10:13 AM

Post #21 of 24 (12075 views)

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Re: [raferguson] Mexico charitable giving low - Washington Post article

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Your claim about very high levels of overhead for US charities is not supported by the facts. Actual charitable overhead is in the range of 10% to 20%. The charitable organizations that I work with have pretty modest overhead, with low salaries for top officers.

The source below says that charitable overhead is about 9%, not the 60-80% that you claim. Your argument rests on numbers that are not factual, and therefore collapses when actual numbers are used. If you have any data that supports your claim, I would like to see it.

http://www.forbes.com/...3/04charityland.html

Another site with its own set of overhead numbers.

http://www.charitynavigator.org/...ent.view&cpid=48

Richard


I note that you ignore the fallacies of ignoring oil revenues and remittances, and the resulting biased conclusions, and you instead choose to focus on a minor point of overhead.

I reported old administrative data by mistake. It's a messy area, because United Way, US Red Cross et al don't want the public to know the real figures, and there is a proven history of misrepresentation of overhead. United Way has routinely claimed 40% lower costs than actual, and the Forbes figures use the tainted "official" data. http://www.charlotteobserver.com/...d-some-salaries.html

Comparing US checkbook & "I gave at the office" choices, where US givers fund $1 million per year local charity CEO salaries, is not comparable to local face-to-face Mexican efforts where the gifts go directly from giver to the needy. http://www.wcnc.com/...ebsite-93725594.html

The main point still remains that the OPs original claims of a 40X difference are grossly misrepresentative of reality, and SOB giving is different from NOB giving. The OP's claims that ignore the effects and consequences of oil revenues and ignore remittances show great inherent error and implicit bias.

The GDP based approach and income-inequity based approach of the OP just don't work for Mexico's unique situation of govt's huge national oil revenues and remittances that go directly to the poor, and their ignoring these factors calls all conclusions into question.
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Read-on MacDuff
E-visit at http://yucalandia.com


richmx2


Aug 18, 2011, 11:36 AM

Post #22 of 24 (12065 views)

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Re: [raferguson] Mexico charitable giving low - Washington Post article

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One overlooked factor in the article — and I didn't pick up on it until my European editor mentioned it — is that corporate donations are pretty much unique to the U.S., for tax reasons as much as anything. The WaPo article is kind of confusing in how it presents data... showing charitable contributions from countries with tax credits for these kind of donations in one chart (which ranks Mexico very low), then another comparing income tax rates and wealth disparity against another set of countries. How does Mexican charitable contributions compare with those in countries with relatively similar economic conditions, Slovenia or Bulgaria, or even with wealthy countries with similar tax rules, like France?

And, as the article notes, charitable contributions to religious institutions are not included, which may or may not skew the figures. Nor, I suppose is there any way to calculate all those pesos traded off every day on buses and metro cars in exchange for karmic good-will. And, when I give the kid from the drug rehab or the AIDS hospice a couple of pesos for a smaltzy poem with a picture of Tweety-bird, or a tamindo-flavored lollypop, or even an off-key rendition of "Hotel California", is it a sale, or a charitable contribution?


http://mexfiles.net
http://mexicobookpublishers.com


YucaLandia


Aug 18, 2011, 12:32 PM

Post #23 of 24 (12053 views)

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Re: [raferguson] Mexico charitable giving low - Washington Post article

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If you step away from the very narrow "income-based" and "salary-based" definitions of poverty and move instead to the issues of real poverty as hunger and food poverty, the pictures change dramatically. In 2009 the US had 50.2 million Americans living in food insecure households, 33 million adults and 17.2 million children. This shows 16.5% of the US populace in food poverty vs. 18.2% in Mexico. http://feedingamerica.org/...erty-statistics.aspx https://www.cia.gov/...ook/fields/2046.html

If the 40x giving difference claimed by the OP is so significant to how the 2 societies actually function, then why do measures of actual suffering, like food poverty rates - actually show Mexico and the USA are nearly equal: 18.2% vs 16.5%? It is because of the huge differences between Mexico and the USA in: the ways of charitable giving; the differing needs for charitable giving; very different government support of the poor; how many poor Mexicans grow food at home; how many Mexicans actually own their land and homes vs. US bank-owned mortgaged homes; remittances from the US Mexicans directly back to Mexican poor; and how the societies use their wealth.

The simple choice of the USA to allow Royal Dutch Shell, British Petroleum, et al to pump US oil and take the revenues and profits offshore vs. Mexico's choice to use part of their oil revenues to subsidize commodities needed by the poor, makes GDP-based "giving" estimates nearly irrelevant, as proven by approximately the same % of "food poor" people in both countries vs. the 40X difference projected by the OP's claims.

If the GDP and salary based claims were relevant, then the US should have 40X lower rates of food poverty than Mexico, meaning US poverty rates would have to be at 0.4% which they clearly are not. The OP's linkages of drug violence and beheadings to personal charity, then seem as equally hollow as the claim of 40X differences in real giving to the needy.

Just because US citizens write more checks to the needy, does not mean that Mexican society is somehow worse or deficient. I personally see value in using national resources to aid the poor vs. the US depleting their resources through pumping oil, sending the revenues off shore, and giving subsidies and aid to foreign corporations. Said another way, US citizens must write more personal checks, just to stay even with Mexican levels of poverty and hunger, because Americans do not support the poor in other ways.

DonGringo's link to the Harvard study identify and describe how narrow traditional images of philanthropy of rich givers writing checks do not fit the modern realities of the varied methods of current charitable giving. The OP's attempts to mis-characterize Mexican society and compare it to the USA, fail because they use a flawed check-book-giving standard. Since check-book-giving is only a small piece of a much larger puzzle, the OPs conclusions are not representative of reality.
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Read-on MacDuff
E-visit at http://yucalandia.com

(This post was edited by YucaLandia on Aug 18, 2011, 12:57 PM)


raferguson


Aug 18, 2011, 1:32 PM

Post #24 of 24 (12032 views)

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Re: [YucaLandia] Mexico charitable giving low - Washington Post article

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 I focused on the issue of charitable overhead because of my personal policy of challenging demonstrably untrue statements by anybody, at any time. Also, since I support various charitable organizations with cash and time, I don't like to see them slandered. I am sure that there are specific charitable organizations which do not spend the donor's money as prudently as they should, but don't tar them all with the same brush.

I agree that comparison across borders is troublesome because of different systems, varying data collection, etc. The US government has large cash payments and other support to the poor, welfare alone totaling 126 Billion dollars per year; if hunger is an issue in the USA, it is not because the government doesn't spend money.

I would note that direct charitable giving takes place in the USA, not just in Mexico. I was just speaking last night to a neighbor (in the USA), and she was explaining how some of her charitable giving is direct cash to a family that needs the money. It would be very difficult to measure direct giving, either in the USA or in Mexico, so it is hard to determine how much larger that might be in Mexico vs the USA.

Richard


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