Why the Rich don't give to charityDoes this surprise anyone but Republicans (and their condottieri, the Beltway punditry)? Because in that book which so many Republicans claim to love, we find:
One of the most surprising, and perhaps confounding, facts of charity in America is that the people who can least afford to give are the ones who donate the greatest percentage of their income. In 2011, the wealthiest Americans—those with earnings in the top 20 percent—contributed on average 1.3 percent of their income to charity. By comparison, Americans at the base of the income pyramid—those in the bottom 20 percent—donated 3.2 percent of their income.
I swear, it's like they don't even read the thing.
Mark 12:41-4441 And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.
42 And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.
43 And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:
44 For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.
I'm kidding a bit, of course. The article goes on to explain that rich people who are exposed to the problems of poverty are just as generous as the poor. So apparently it is not just being rich that makes you an asshole, but being isolated. Again, not news; but the point is that America's rich are increasingly isolated from the rest of the country, in where they live, work, and even in the media they use. And of course this goes a long way to explain the current Republican bubble; the problem with Fox is not so much that it is wrong so often, but rather that it is so isolated from the rest of society.
And again: Jared Diamond makes clear that one key to a society's ability to cope with environmental damage is making sure the decision makers suffer the effects of their decisions.
The echo chamber destroys everything human. This is because human beings are auto-calibrating feedback loops; they must have healthy input to generate healthy output. Absolute power corrupts absolutely, because absolute power operates in a vacuum: with no power to oppose it, with no useful feedback, every control circuit goes haywire.