Whether tis nobler to give one's excess money to charity to take care of the poor, or to spend it on things you enjoy and which provide employment (and paychecks) to others, so they do not become the poor who need your charity. I apologize to Shakespeare for the take-off on his words, but I'm serious about the question. I've read several things lately,and unfortunately didn't keep links, which seem to suggest that one reason people, especially people in the third world, are poor is because we middle and upper income Americans consume more than our share. It was suggested that if we really wanted to put our Christian beliefs into practice, we'd simplify, get rid of the excess and give more away to those who need it.
The reality is that most Americans do have far more than what we need. One of the fastest growing businesses is storage facilities--and that is during a time when experts say we have the biggest houses and smallest families in history. Yes, we have a lot of stuff, and besides that, we do a lot of things. We go out to eat, we travel, we entertain ourselves, we educate ourselves and yes, most of us even give to charity (and that's besides paying taxes). However, I have to ask "Is that a bad thing or a good thing?" My family will go on vacation in a few weeks--an utterly frivolous endeavor. We will burn up gas--and people working in the oilfield and refineries get a paycheck as a result. We'll stay in a hotel, providing profits for owners and paychecks for maids, clerks, office personnel and more. We'll visit attractions, providing jobs for yet more people. We'll eat in restaurants and buy junk--yup, more jobs. Then the people we helped pay can go out and buy yet more stuff,or save for future or give to the poor, or any combination thereof.
I'm not suggesting that we never give to charity, or that we spend beyond our means just to help others, but if everyone gave away their excess rather than spending it or saving it to spend in the future, then, in my opinion, we'd just have that many more people needing charity. What do you think?