I've known charitable better off people too, but in some of those cases, they have been poor or known people who were poor and knew what it was like. Also one thing that has happened in America, is the media is full of decrying the poor, telling those who are better off, that the poor are lazy, undeserving, etc. So many buy these notions and do not question them. Many of those who are not so generous or compassion have forgotten what it is like, or have not even experienced it. Another thing we are finding in America, is rather then a mixing of social classes, we are ending up with a country where every socio-economic class is divided by zip code. This isolation helps add to refusal to help: "out of sight-out of mind"!
Studies try to find why poorer people are more charitable than the wealthy
Kraus said people with lower income are familiar with resource scarcity and how vulnerable it makes them. They worry about all the external factors that can immediately affect their lives. There is no cushion. There is no emergency fund.
People who have a lower income are always wary of possible threats to their precarious position, Kraus says. They are always on the lookout for negative emotions.
But such awareness makes people more generous. "Because you notice other people in need a lower class person may say, 'I know what it is like to be in need. We need to help those other people out. It is wrong to turn a blind eye,'" Kraus says.
And without the constant threat to financial, social and familial survival, middle and higher income people just don't notice things.