“Why Are Donations to Government So Small?”

Bryan Caplan asks an excellent question.

“What’s stopping Warren Buffett from paying more taxes?” is a red herring.:  The fundamental question is: “Why is government’s share of the voluntary donations market so damn small?”: : All: genuinely charitable donations suffer from the Prisoners’ Dilemma problem that Will describes.:  That’s probably a big part of the reason why charity is only a few percent of GDP.:  But none of this explains why out of the more $300 billion that Americans give to charity, the American government garners about $3: million.:  Despite widespread nationalist and statist sentiments, Uncle Sam’s share of the charity market is microscopic – less than .001%.:  How very odd.

Craig Newmark

Associate Professor of Economics, North Carolina State Univ.

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