First off, I am not a liberal or a socialist. I am an ex-conservative (I now consider myself a "realist" or "pragmatist" because there are no conservatives left in U.S. politics, except maybe Chuck Hagel). I do believe people should work for a living and that communism is a BAD thing. However, your argument is deeply flawed. As someone said in another post (and I actually agree with this) even the poorest Americans are rich by International standards. A homeless man in Florida can expect to get free meals and shelter, whereas hard working Africans might not get either. Furthermore, the idle rich here (notice I didn't say ALL the rich) who contribute nothing (like certain drunken celeb daughters) often live way beyond a reasonable standard of lifestyle. You may say, who defines such a standard? Nature defines it. We need food, clothing, shelter, basic medical care, and something to do. We don't need 20 limousine Hummers and a 300 room mansion on the French Riviera. In fact, we don't even need ONE Hummer or a $600,000 house. Have you noticed how the size of homes has increased dramatically since the 1940's and 50's (even 70's)? Do you think people are happier now? I do believe that MANY (not most) Americans are greedy. Look at all the unnecessary SUV's driving around which are nothing but status symbols and which have contributed to the deaths of 3000 American troops in Iraq by worsening gas prices and enriching Islamic terror supporters. And look at the increase in fat people in the U.S. over the last few decades. We take our cheap, low-quality food for granted.
Americans give more than anyone else because they have more than anyone else. Bill Gates, until recently the richest person in the world, also gave the most (and it's been said that he is an Atheist or Agnostic). But there are plenty of wealthy businesspeople who only give a drop in the bucket or only give to causes which aren't really helping the unfortunate. It doesn't show up in the statistics because we are SO MUCH RICHER than just about anybody else.
If you understood how the so-called "Free Market" has driven down wages and eliminated jobs just about everywhere (not just here in the U.S.) maybe you would understand the resentment we get from foreigners. I am a Capitalist and not ashamed to be one, but my biggest criticism of the "Free Market" is that it isn't free at all, and in fact it is empowering our greatest potential rival (China). The Chinese don't have to abide by the labor, health, and environmental standards that domestic U.S. employers (or E.U.) have to obey. Therefore, they get most of the business, and in the meantime the quality of life for many of their citizens declines, while American workers have been driven out of a job. And the Chinese government, not some private investor, reaps the profits of this system, which are immediately consumed to build weapons pointed at the U.S. Tell me, how is that conservative? Unfortunately, it's the American consumer who is to blame, because we are deeply in lust with cheap stuff at the lowest possible price, most of which we wouldn't want if we woke up and realized we didn't need it.
What's the answer? Two things: we have to become less materialistic and more aware as consumers, and we have to push for trade agreements that hold ALL parties to the same standards (financial, trade, labor, environmental, and health-wise). That means U.S. laws will apply to companies in Mexico and China who import goods, just as Chinese laws will apply to U.S. companies who export goods. Otherwise, no sale. I'm afraid that's a tall order, since we can't even agree on the basics in our own country.
Let's wake up and save our country.