This NPR article by Shankar Vedantam explores what happens to giving as people become wealthier, noting that individuals with more money are often less generous. Vedantam is, of course, not the first to make that observation, which has been highlighted by many commentators in light of surveys like this one from the Chronicle of Philanthropy. Vedantam adds to these observations, though, that the reason for stinginess may not be a straight-forward result of greed so much as a simple lack of need for outside help and hence a lack of community connection – the kind of connection that might make people aware of others’ needs.

That seems plausible, but how widespread do you think the issue is? In the pursuit of financial stability, how often do people lose the stability of community? And relatedly, why does it seem that individuals recognize and work to fix their financial woes so readily, while overlooking other, more serious deficiencies?