In our comments to this post requesting financial help for women in crisis pregnancies recently, friends including Achromic bemoaned the fact that
...there is an underwhelming amount of help if you are in poverty and you are not a mother or preg. I know. IF you are not being abused, if you are not a mom, if you are not preg., if you are just plain poor because your family was poor before you.... well too bad. would like to see them helped to pay the rent regardless of whether or not they were preg...No wonder so many women feel like they are only value is their wombs.Hear, hear. So let's expose at least the truth about my state and its tony New England neighbors.
The newspaper link at top may not be valid forever, so I'll quote the gist:
According to a recent study by the Catalogue of Philanthropy, New England is the most tight-fisted region in the country. New Hampshire was ranked as the least generous state in the nation — for the fourth year in a row — followed directly by Massachusetts. Rhode Island and Connecticut both joined their two fellow New England states as the six least generous states.U. of Michigan's 2004 Election results map shows all New England states voted "blue."
Mississippi, one of the poorest states in America [actually ranked last in the "having" category], was ranked first [in generosity].
It's important to note that the yearly Generosity Index is ranked by the Catalogue of Philanthropy and is adjusted for average gross incomes and uses the value of itemized charitable donations reported to Internal Revenue Service tax returns. That means that the study takes into account both having and giving.
New England has been ranked as the most penny-pinching region for the past several years. Last year, Connecticut was 44th on the Generosity Index [i.e., seventh worst], and was 37th the year before that.
Princeton University's red-blue state color map of the 2004 Presidential election shows not a red region in all of New England, but all blues and many varying shades of "purple," what you get when you mix red and blue.
OK, Democrats, you rule Connecticut and Massachusetts (despite having Republican governors), and say you champion "the people" better than anyone else. What say you to this abysmal generosity ranking?
And you (often filthy-rich) wealthy Republicans, what's your excuse? Why is poor Mississippi outstripping us in the charity department?
Those of us who live in this state know all too well the insulting GEICO car insurance commercials talking about how "Connecticut is the wealthiest state in the nation" and how "we must keep this status" by buying cheaper insurance from this company. A video of a shiny-white schooner yacht blithely sailing along under a bright blue sky accompanies this drivel. All I can think is, what about the folks in this state who don't have heat this winter or even a place to sleep under a roof in their own bed? Talk about pretending people don't even exist.
Maybe a little spotlight on New England's shame will change some hearts to compete with Mississippi on the Generosity Index.
As for other well-off, suburbia-rich states: beware, New Jersey, New York, California and Pennsylvania. You're all in the bottom half of the list, too.
[This public service announcement brought to you by a registered Republican often disagreeing with and embarrassed by my political party but unwilling to lean toward pro-choice politicians]