This doesn't surprise me at all:
Syracuse University professor Arthur C. Brooks is about to become the darling of the religious right in America -- and it's making him nervous.
The child of academics, raised in a liberal household and educated in the liberal arts, Brooks has written a book that concludes religious conservatives donate far more money than secular liberals to all sorts of charitable activities, irrespective of income.
In the book, he cites extensive data analysis to demonstrate that values advocated by conservatives -- from church attendance and two-parent families to the Protestant work ethic and a distaste for government-funded social services -- make conservatives more generous than liberals.
The book, titled "Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism" (Basic Books, $26), is due for release Nov. 24.
When it comes to helping the needy, Brooks writes: "For too long, liberals have been claiming they are the most virtuous members of American society. Although they usually give less to charity, they have nevertheless lambasted conservatives for their callousness in the face of social injustice."
For the record, Brooks, 42, has been registered in the past as a Democrat, then a Republican, but now lists himself as independent, explaining, "I have no comfortable political home."
His book, he says, is carefully documented to withstand the scrutiny of other academics, which he said he encourages.
The book's basic findings are that conservatives who practice religion, live in traditional nuclear families and reject the notion that the government should engage in income redistribution are the most generous Americans, by any measure.
Conversely, secular liberals who believe fervently in government entitlement programs give far less to charity. They want everyone's tax dollars to support charitable causes and are reluctant to write checks to those causes, even when governments don't provide them with enough money.
Such an attitude, he writes, not only shortchanges the nonprofits but also diminishes the positive fallout of giving, including personal health, wealth and happiness for the donor and overall economic growth.
All of this, he said, he backs up with statistical analysis.
"These are not the sort of conclusions I ever thought I would reach when I started looking at charitable giving in graduate school, 10 years ago," he writes in the introduction. "I have to admit I probably would have hated what I have to say in this book."
Still, he says it forcefully, pointing out that liberals give less than conservatives in every way imaginable, including volunteer hours and donated blood.
Liberals don't want to spend their own money to help those in need. They'd rather spend the tax payers' money.
Greg Tinti has a theory:
Look back at the '04 presidential race. John Kerry was constantly bitching about Bush's "tax cuts for the rich." But in Massachusetts, there's an option on the tax form that allows people to be taxed at a higher rate if they so choose. Did Kerry opt to pay more? Absolutely not.
From a purely political standpoint, I don't think any of this indicates that liberals are stingy per se, but it does kind of prove that all their talk about class warfare and "Two Americas" is just that: talk. And like a moth to the flame, for liberals, the solution to all inequalities is higher taxes, government entitlement programs, and income redistribution.
Why? If I had to guess, fundamentally, I think it's because liberals tend to be more pessimistic and view the average person as inherently inclined to please their own selfish interests. Think about it. Isn't that the premise of books like "What's The Matter With Kansas?"
Why aren't these people voting for the Democrats who'll give them more from the government? Why? Whyyy?
They just don't understand that there's more to the equation than just pure economic interest. There's values, personal responsibility, etc.