The United States has a long tradition of philanthropy. Every community knows that unless their citizens contribute, they simply will not have a hospital, library, art gallery or museum. People of quite modest means feel obligated to donate to charities of their choice. They feel the need to give back to society.
On the other hand, countries with British or European traditions have long histories of state or local administrations providing support for arts and culture. Philanthropy was largely the preserve of authorities, or the “super-rich,” such…