I want to point you in the direction of a wonderful post I read today (even though it was written a few days ago). In his post Ebenezer Scrooge Could Write a Best Seller in America, Andrew over at Hackman's Musings talks about the parallels between Ebenezer Srooge (from Dicken's classic, A Christmas Carol) and the American attitude toward charity and the poor. We often see the poor as, well, "they're only poor cause they're lazy" and we just want to be left alone to spend our money on ourselves without restriction, which is how we define being "rewarded for our work." We call anything else "socialism" as a way of demonizing the very thought that it might be unjust for someone to make too much money. Well, next time you find yourself thinking this way, think of good old Scrooge and expect some ghostly consequences.
Read his post.