Generosity Index and The Red State/Blue State Divide
..The Catalogue for Philanthropy has ranked the fifty states on their relative generosity, comparing each state's average itemized charitable deductions with its average adjusted gross income (based on 2003 IRS data).Click here for the whole thing.
The 50-state ranking has a decided Red State-Blue State flavor: 28 of the 29 "most generous" states are Red States that voted for President Bush (including all 25 of the "most generous" states), while 17 of the 21 "least generous" states are Blue States that voted for Senator Kerry (including all 7 of the "least generous" states).
I found the comments just as interesting as the piece itself (if not more so). There's a lot of discussion as to whether it's fair to exclude "state-provided" social programs in the calculation of philanthropy. I'd have to agree with the commenter that it's strange to take this tack, since philanthropy implies willing giving. In any event, it's a pretty interesting piece, and should provide some grist for your holiday conversations.