CHARITY: CONSERVATIVES VS. LIBERALS

One of the reasons people style themselves “liberal” or “progressive” involves their need to feel morally superior to “mean-spirited conservatives.” This moral vanity also drives their ostensible generosity with regard to large social welfare programs, including government-run health care.

According to George Will, however, such people are generous mainly with other people’s money. While progressives are very enthusiastic about giving away tax dollars extracted from your wallet, they give less of their own money to charitable causes than do conservatives.

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).

Progressives, while giving lip service to compassion and generousity, are pretty stingy when it comes time to actually put their money where their mouths are. Could this be driven by the same character trait that causes them to yammer so much about racism while hiding out in white bread communities?

Comments 15

  1. SmartDoc wrote:

    Liberals are exceeding charitable. With the involuntary separation of you from your money, not theirs.

    “Vision of The Annointed” and all that.

    Posted 28 Mar 2008 at 12:51 pm
  2. Marc Brown wrote:

    You must have thought this through, surely. The more we give to charity the less incentive there is for government to fix things properly. Also, wealthy people generally are markedly less generous than poorer people, certainly in the UK. To be fair to Americans, the US has a strong overall charitable ethic, because of low taxation and obvious dire need.

    Posted 28 Mar 2008 at 1:38 pm
  3. Rich wrote:

    “The more we give to charity the less incentive there is for government to fix things properly.”

    That is the funniest thing I have heard in a week. First, that people deliberately give less charity to incentivize the government, and second, that anyone could expect a government to do it “properly.”

    Are you sure you are not in show business?

    Posted 28 Mar 2008 at 3:29 pm
  4. Joe C. wrote:

    Marc,

    You place an excessive amount of faith in the idiots that con their way into office. Larry Craig, Ted Kennedy, Ron Paul, Elliot Spitzer, et al. I wouldn’t trust most of these clowns to wash my car, much less solve complex issues such as poverty and health care. I think David takes things too far with his deregulate everything stance, but this expectation for the government to solve all problems is unrealistic and dumb.

    Posted 28 Mar 2008 at 9:05 pm
  5. Marc Brown wrote:

    ‘First, that people deliberately give less charity to incentivize the government’

    It’s true. A lot of people in the UK do not feel that we should be propping up systems that central taxation is paying for.

    ‘Larry Craig, Ted Kennedy, Ron Paul, Elliot Spitzer, et al. I wouldn’t trust most of these clowns to wash my car, much less solve complex issues such as poverty and health care.’

    Well, which politicians introduced Medicare and Medicaid? Would you really want to go back to a society with no state welfare or healthcare where people were reliant only on charity?

    Posted 29 Mar 2008 at 8:08 am
  6. Marc Brown wrote:

    What happened with the grass isn’t greener item? I emailed it to you as well.

    Posted 29 Mar 2008 at 8:38 am
  7. Micheal wrote:

    Open your eyes. The economy hasn’t been in this poor of shape since WWII. Yes, please, let’s find another conservative to trash the country and spend our money in a “war to find Bin Laden”. While we’re at it…I think we could definitely solve the greatest budget deficit in history by cutting taxes.

    You can sit on your high horse and preach about dumb liberals who spend your money helping the poor, but I’d love to hear the alternative. Should we just let them die from poor health or just kill them straight off at birth? I’d explain the argument for universal healthcare, but what’s the point…. congrats on a super job running the country for the past 8 years.

    Posted 29 Mar 2008 at 12:37 pm
  8. SmartDoc wrote:

    This study of generosity (one of many) shows that for conservatives, every day is Christmas.

    For liberals, every day is April 15th.

    Posted 29 Mar 2008 at 3:40 pm
  9. Joe C. wrote:

    “The economy hasn’t been in this poor of shape since WWII.”

    Patently false. Look up “stagflation”. You lend yourself little credibility when you post obvious falsehoods like that.

    Posted 29 Mar 2008 at 5:24 pm
  10. Marc Brown wrote:

    One on 10 people in Ohio are on food stamps, and only 40% of those eligible apply. Oregon is now running a lottery to see who can have healthcare – for a small minority of those in need. The dollar will almost certainly be usurped by the euro has the world’s reference currency in a few years. It’s not looking good for you.

    Posted 31 Mar 2008 at 2:53 am
  11. Joe C. wrote:

    Marc,

    Nobody said that times were great. The point was we had worse times in the 1970s and actually the economy immediately post-9/11 was worse as well.

    As for the issues surrounding currency, nobody, your arrogant self included, can predict the future. If you could, you’d be one of the wealthiest people alive and certainly wouldn’t be wasting your time posting here.

    Posted 31 Mar 2008 at 9:50 am
  12. Marc Brown wrote:

    Sorry, but the sight of millions in the world’s supposedly most advanced economy depending on food stamps and drawing lots to see if they live or die is not the hallmark of a decent modern civilisation. As for the dollar, the euro is undoubtedly gaining on it – unless you know different.

    Posted 31 Mar 2008 at 10:11 am
  13. Joe C. wrote:

    Marc,

    I’m not sure what your point is. It’s ironic that you criticize the US for being a welfare state when you’re a principal avatar of the same.

    My point is simple: Exaggerating the magnitude of the situation is useless. You strain your credibility when you throw out phrases like “drawing lots to see if they live or die”.

    Everyone knows that the dollar is junk right now. However, nobody knows how this is going to play out. If this were the 1980s, you would be saying that Japan was going to overtake the US economically. And we all know how that one worked out.

    Posted 31 Mar 2008 at 11:12 am
  14. Marc Brown wrote:

    There are two key points. The first is that there is a lot of suffering in the US, the scale of which per head we don’t see in more equal societies such as Sweden or Denmark. The number on food stamps is heading for a record since the program was introduced in the 1960s.

    The second is that the nature of the present economic troubles is rather different from before. Not only is the US going bankrupt and running a huge deficit, but as this article from Fortune notes:

    ‘How is this slowdown different from other slowdowns? Normally the economy goes bad first, creating financial problems. In this slowdown the markets are dragging down the economy – a crucial distinction, because markets are harder to fix than the economy.’

    http://money.cnn.com/2008/03/28/news/economy/disaster_sloan.fortune/?postversion=2008033103

    Posted 31 Mar 2008 at 11:57 am
  15. Joe C. wrote:

    Marc,

    You got me. We’re doomed. I guess I’ll quit my job and start hopping trains. :)

    Posted 01 Apr 2008 at 7:09 am

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