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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Compassionate Conservatism? You got that right.

Liberals like to make themselves feel high and mighty through their self-righteous efforts to "save" the less-fortunate, usually through horrible policies that put the very less-fortunate liberals pretend to care about in worse positions than they were in before. But hey, it makes libs feel all warm and squishy inside, and then they get to pretend that they "care" -- paging John Edwards if you need an example. They then simultaneously deride conservatives as heartless bastards who don't give a rat's ass about those worse off than we are. They sneer about "compassionate conservatives", but guess what? They got that exactly right.

George Will's new Townhall column gives us some interesting facts about who puts their money where their mouth is, from Arthur Brooks' book, Who Really Cares: The Suprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism:
-- Although liberal families' incomes average 6 percent higher than those of conservative families, conservative-headed households give, on average, 30 percent more to charity than the average liberal-headed household ($1,600 per year vs. $1,227).

-- Conservatives also donate more time and give more blood.

-- Residents of the states that voted for John Kerry in 2004 gave smaller percentages of their incomes to charity than did residents of states that voted for George Bush.

-- Bush carried 24 of the 25 states where charitable giving was above average.

-- In the 10 reddest states, in which Bush got more than 60 percent majorities, the average percentage of personal income donated to charity was 3.5. Residents of the bluest states, which gave Bush less than 40 percent, donated just 1.9 percent.

-- People who reject the idea that "government has a responsibility to reduce income inequality" give an average of four times more than people who accept that proposition.

Brooks demonstrates a correlation between charitable behavior and "the values that lie beneath" liberal and conservative labels. Two influences on charitable behavior are religion and attitudes about the proper role of government.

The single biggest predictor of someone's altruism, Willett says, is religion. It increasingly correlates with conservative political affiliations because, as Brooks' book says, "the percentage of self-described Democrats who say they have 'no religion' has more than quadrupled since the early 1970s." America is largely divided between religious givers and secular nongivers, and the former are disproportionately conservative. One demonstration that religion is a strong determinant of charitable behavior is that the least charitable cohort is a relatively small one -- secular conservatives.

Liberals, when you start putting your own money where your mouth is, rather than taxing the little people you claim to want to help into oblivion to make up for your own lack of charity, then we'll believe that you really care. Until then, I think we'll hang on to that compassionate conservative label. It seems about perfect.

Hat Tip: Moonbattery


Amanda Mittlestadt said...

Money is not the only indicator of giving. It's a lot easier to write a check than it is to spend time volunteering.

Zirbert said...

Makes sense. If you believe that the government should have a program to solve every problem, then you see no reason to make any contribution yourself. Everything is somebody else's problem when you're a leftist.

As for the insinuation that conservatives give money while liberals give their time - first up, wow, look at those goalposts go! Second, that's actualy covered in the second point: "Conservatives also donate more time and give more blood.".


Baz said...

I don't think this information tells me very much. What's defined as a charity? How much charitable donation goes to actually help people? How do you define liberal and conservative? (interesting factoid: 30% of Americans self-identify as liberal, but when asked about specific issues, on average 60% of Americans agree with the liberal opinion.)
Lots of people give money to their church, but how much of that helps people in need, and how much of it goes into church construction? There are some big, expensive churches out there nowadays.