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Countering greed

The article "Are Americans Really Greedy?," Sept. 5, is a reassuring analysis of Richard McKenzie's statistics showing that "American generosity in the decade of the 1980s hit record highs," but the author overlooks two important points.First, the 1980s weren't a decade of greed per se, they were a decade when Reagan administration policies indulged the greedy scoundrels who detract from ... the national welfare" as the author describes them. Second, I'd bet that much of the increased charitable giving was a direct response to the administration's handling of environmental affairs, the Supreme Court's (continuing) shift to the right, and related social issues. Interestingly, we were evidently aroused enough to outweigh the effects of drastic cuts in tax deductions for charitable donations. Let's hope future administrations don't consider that grounds to shirk their social and environmental responsibilities! Kent M. Campbell, Providence, R.I.

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