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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


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Comments (42)

Let's start at the top, wit... (Below threshold)
Maggie:

Let's start at the top, with Michelle
Obama in sharing someone else's piece
of the pie.

I know conservative give mo... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

I know conservative give more charitably and want to help people strive to achieve. Liberals want neither. I have liberal friends that always want to "improve" what the government can do. Remember Katrina. Texas, a republican state rose up and took care of the people in crisis. There also were Vietnamese that pulled themselves together and took are of business. The liberals don't talk about them. Mississippi rose up and took care of themselves. But the liberals only want to talk about how the government let the people down in New Orleans. Basically they are saying, "They cannot take care of themselves. They don't have the abilitya and are too stupid to do so." conservatives rule. As long as there is a strong conservative middle class, the country can survive. ww

This is like the 8th time W... (Below threshold)
jp2:

This is like the 8th time Wizbang has run this same statistic and I still have yet to see any hard numbers. Besides that, I have a funny feeling that most of his stats come from church donations, which isn't charity, it's stupidity.

jp2, He referenced... (Below threshold)
Faith+1:

jp2,

He referenced Will's article and the book the numbers came from--go read the book for the numbers. As for the "church donations are stupidity not charity", but "Huh?" If you are trying to prove you're stupid you can stop. We're convinced.

I'm an agnostic with a lot of personal reasons to really not care for churches, but even I acknowledge their charitable contributions. Just because you can't handle the fact that most lefties care more about "feeling" charitable rather than actually "doing" something doesn't mean you get to change the definition of charity.

Don't you realize that the ... (Below threshold)
yetanotherjohn:

Don't you realize that the liberals are willing to give billions of your tax money to charitable causes that match their politically correct biases, but you just won't count that will you.

Besides, all the spare cash the left has is going to Obama.

jp2, then I guess you'll su... (Below threshold)

jp2, then I guess you'll support taking away the tax deductions for the tens of thousands of dollars Barack Obama gave to his church? And can we also go after the ministries of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton and Louis Farrakhan?

J.

I give significant amounts ... (Below threshold)
Mattnu:

I give significant amounts of personal time and money to helping the poor, down-trodden, elderly and needy. I help run a local food bank, and also provide home repairs for those that request it. I have had the opportunity now and then to teach people how to make their own repairs as well. I have had the great pleasure of getting food to families on their last meal. I don't do it because I am compassionate (I'm not), I don't do it because I am conservative (I am) I do it because I am a Christian. Kind of a job requirement in my book. I do it personally, not through sending money to a church or charity and feeling better. I do it personally because at this time in life I can, when I am no longer able I'll send money so others can. No, I am not "paying it forward," I am doing it because it is right and just.

I have lots of liberal and Christian friends and relatives that can't even begin to imagine why anyone would want to help others in need. They will donate to charity, but getting down and dirty, helping someone that might forget to say thank-you (rare), or that might smell bad, or be obviously poor, is something inconceivable to them.

As the character Morpheus s... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

As the character Morpheus said "There's a difference between knowing the path and walking the path." Liberals may know the path, but few walk the path. It's so prevalent in the liberal psyche that the reverse is usually also true. That is, those who know the path, but won't walk the path are liberals.

If you don't think the statistics are right, go to any food shelf or place where goods are regularly distributed to the poor and you'll find the volunteers manning the place are mostly church going folks and conservative. As you can tell from prior comments liberals think that's just stupid.

Wow, jp2. That was low eve... (Below threshold)

Wow, jp2. That was low even for you.

While ineloquent, jp2 raise... (Below threshold)
matthew:

While ineloquent, jp2 raised a valid point: do church donations count as charitable donations? If so, they shouldn't.

I don't give as much a %age of my income to charities as, say, my conservative father, but I want a government that wants to take about a third of my income and spend it on other people, whereas he thinks tax rates for upper-middle class earners should about 15%. He doesn't trust the government with his money, but based on what I've read about too many charities, I don't think the government is any less efficient at doling out aid than, say, UNICEF. My folks used to sponsor a bunch of children in Africa until they realized the organization only dispensed about 20% of its revenues and spent the other 80% on its own internal bureaucracy. Leaders of the big charities here in Ontario make more money than any government employees.

But if your glib "analysis" makes you feel really good about yourselves, it really doesn't matter very much to me. Giving to charity is a good thing, reflects a good spirit, etc.. Ask yourself, though, whether a charitable act can be considered noble if it is motivated in part or fully by a conscious or subconscious desire to get into Heaven.

Liberals don't give as much... (Below threshold)
Kenny:

Liberals don't give as much to charity because the believe that Government should solve problems, not people.

Thanks Matthew (#10) for proving my point. You want a government that takes a third of your money to sped on other people. And deep in your heart, you know you want that government to take 90+% of rich, white, or conservatives money too.

One of the main differences between liberals and conservative:
Liberals believe in the government solving problems, Conservatives believe in people solving problems.


Kenny, I assumed it went wi... (Below threshold)
matthew:

Kenny, I assumed it went without saying that yes, I think the largest burden by far should fall upon those who earn a lot of money. I pay a third of my income back to the government, and I can still afford everything I need and want. What of it?

Charities are inefficient. Governments are inefficient. Money gets wasted. Bears shit in forests.

Don't even bother to argue ... (Below threshold)

Don't even bother to argue with Matthew on this. He's perfectly happy to be forced to give his money to a government who could at any moment decide it's not enough and take more. After all, charities are inefficient. Never mind that one can choose an efficient charity. You know, that whole freedom of choice thing is just so messy and requires thought.

Brooks' makes no clear de... (Below threshold)
GWB:

Brooks' makes no clear definition of "charity" anywhere in his book. A "foundation" can be considered a "charity" under section 170(c) of the Internal Revenue Code. Not so curiously omitted is that such donations to IRS approved charities are tax deductible.
Residents of the states that voted for Bush are donating to "charities" that reflect their views also reap the benefit of having their donation being a tax deduction. The same goes for people in the "reddest states" -Charity via the public dole.
Merely an oversight by Brooks, himself an indirect "charity" recipient as Visiting Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

It rankles the lefties that... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

It rankles the lefties that they are stingy. You cannot deduct donations to a church. You can to a charitable institution. Conservative just care more for their community. ww

Matthew,Please exp... (Below threshold)
Conservachef:

Matthew,

Please explain why church donations shouldn't be considered charitable donations?

You mention inefficiency, yet you are ok with the goverment taxing you and using that money as charity? The Government?? Every church I've known has been far more effecient at distributing charity than the govn't. Not to mention the fact that taxes are required, where charity is voluntary. Charity at gunpoint is not really charitable.

As for this statement,
Ask yourself, though, whether a charitable act can be considered noble if it is motivated in part or fully by a conscious or subconscious desire to get into Heaven.
You sort of have a point, in that my acts of charity won't earn me a spot in Heaven. I've done enough bad stuff to overwhelm it a hundred times over. However, thanks to what Christ has done in my life, I want to help others. For no other reason than they need it.

Residents of the s... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Residents of the states that voted for Bush are donating to "charities" that reflect their views also reap the benefit of having their donation being a tax deduction. The same goes for people in the "reddest states" -Charity via the public dole.

And the Residents of blue states are free to donate to "charities" that reflect their views, but they don't at the same level as those in red states. They know the path, but they want someone else to walk the path.

The idea that a tax deduction is the same as being on the "public dole" reflects the difference in attitudes between conservatives and liberals. Conservatives think the money individuals earn belongs to them and a deduction is a tax cut. Liberals think 100% of what people earn belongs to the government and that any deduction or credit is a government subsidy (public dole).

Ask yourself, thou... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Ask yourself, though, whether a charitable act can be considered noble if it is motivated in part or fully by a conscious or subconscious desire to get into Heaven.

By far the largest religious group in the U.S. is Christian. If you knew the basic teachings of that religion you would know how ignorant your statement is. Salvation (get into Heaven) is a free gift of infinite value that cannot be earned, it can only be received.

What a howler from Matthew,... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

What a howler from Matthew, that churches are "inefficient." WTF does he think government is? It's a hell of a lot less efficient.

Plus, what's your data, Mattie? None, of course.

Liberals make shit up, so they don't have to read/think/analyze. It makes them feel "SPECIAL."

Feel this, fother mucker!!!

Church based charities get ... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

Church based charities get more funds into the hands of the needy in terms of actual help than do many non-church non-profits and extraordinarily more than government run aid.

"It rankles the lefties ... (Below threshold)
I'm An Asshat:

"It rankles the lefties that they are stingy. You cannot deduct donations to a church. You can to a charitable institution.

False. You can itemize a church donation provided there is a record of transaction. Besides, I didn't bring up churches, Jay Tea did on the comments so he could conjure the Sharpton-Jackson-Obama-Farrakhan boogeyman. Rankle that.

..And the Residents of blue states are free to donate to "charities" that reflect their views, but they don't at the same level as those in red states. They know the path, but they want someone else to walk the path

Or that the charities that reflect liberal views require less money to operate -hello? efficiency?

Or that the charities that ref... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Or that the charities that reflect liberal views require less money to operate -hello? efficiency?

LOL. What, you don't think helping the poor reflects liberal views, or did they run out of poor in blue states? You could be 100% efficient and spend 10% of the income of all the liberals in the blues states and still have poor people left over. Your statement is just another mental defense liberals use to keep from feeling bad about being so selfish when it comes to giving away their own money.

GWB,Actually, jp2 ... (Below threshold)
Conservachef:

GWB,

Actually, jp2 was the first to mention churches with regards to charities.

Red states represent... (Below threshold)
Brian:


Red states represent:

It's not surprising that charity is greater in states that require more of it.

I like paying taxes. I vote... (Below threshold)
matthew:

I like paying taxes. I vote for the party that is most likely to take even more from me (the NDP). And I live really well, in a relatively expensive city. Your values are Locke's; mine are Kant's. You think private property is the most fundamentally valuable thing; I think social justice is. You think that people are inherently good and we can depend on the kindness of others; I say that poverty levels in your country demonstrate that no, in fact, we cannot depend on charity to ensure a morally respectable minimum threshold of existence for others who cannot or choose not to earn a decent living.

As for charities not being efficient, the Heart & Stroke Foundation here has hundreds of millions of dollars and still had the gall to demand more to pay for some defibrillators, and they won't disclose what their CEO gets paid. Hospitals and researchers would love that money, but it trickles out, and they have to beg for it. My friend worked for an environmental advocacy group, that spent over 80% of their revenue on operating expenses. My parents gave money to something called "Plan", only to realize that the African girl they were sponsoring named Kamissa died, and they were receiving photos of her younger sister after the first few years and not her. They had to write directly to the village to confirm their suspicion. So yeah, charities are wildly inefficient/unaccountable, and sometimes immorally so--same as the government, in your view.

As for my problem with churches being "charities", some do good things, but many package aid with promises of supernatural salvation. Once you start with the Jesus/Allah/Buddha-Is-Magic nonsense, I think you should have to start paying property tax on your real estate, frankly. (I assume churches don't pay property taxes in the U.S.; they don't here.) And anyone who spends other people's money to tell hungry poor people that the way to salvation is through prayer/subjugation/being meek, and not sustainable agriculture and responsible use of contraceptives, is of questionable character at best.

Our government is more efficient than yours. When people discovered that a hundred million dollars were unaccounted for, the Liberal party was kicked to the curb. Over a hundred fucking million dollars! There is far less graft and far fewer lobbyists persuading pols to steal from taxpayers here than there are there.

Mac Lorry, I don't claim to be an expert in supernatural B.S., but I could've sworn that there was a link between one's behaviour here on Earth and one's prospects of going to Heaven. If not, why be good if you believe in such a place as Hell?

All ya'll conservatarian loud-mouths need to get off your high horses, by the way. You give a few hundred extra dollars more per year to charity than those snooty liberals in New York (bravo! the best part of giving to charity is rubbing your fucking receipt in other people's faces, isn't it!), but when they earn a higher income than you and vote for people that don't pretend to want to slash their taxes, they're hardly selfish, are they.
depp=true
notiz=no quarter will be taken.

"This is like the 8th time ... (Below threshold)
Herman:

"This is like the 8th time Wizbang has run this same statistic and I still have yet to see any hard numbers. Besides that, I have a funny feeling that most of his stats come from church donations, which isn't charity, it's stupidity." -- jp2

Exactly what I was thinking, jp2.

As for one who provides hard stats, see Brian's fine post.

Brian--that is some funny s... (Below threshold)
matthew:

Brian--that is some funny shit right there.

Seriously, people who don't live in squalor might see less reason to throw money at problems.

Also, consider that some liberals understand that giving money to people isn't a sustainable way of addressing systemic poverty--it's a bandage. Want less poor people? Educate them. For free. As Amartya Sen (Nobel Prize in Economics) explains in plain English in Development As Freedom, parts of India that drastically increased public investment now have very high literacy rates and low rates of poverty, whereas jurisdictions that went all supply-side are home to the worst slums in the country. Educated people, Sen demonstrates, make better use of market opportunities; low tax rates don't help people stuck in cyclical poverty.

You're right, Asshat. I int... (Below threshold)

You're right, Asshat. I introduced churches into the discussion by boldly responding to jp2's assertion that "Besides that, I have a funny feeling that most of his stats come from church donations, which isn't charity, it's stupidity."

How dastardly of me.

J.

Brian,It'... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Brian,

It's not surprising that charity is greater in states that require more of it.

What, you don't give to charities that might benefit people in other states? Arthur Brooks' book tells us where the givers are, not where the needy are. The relationship between the givers and the needy is not their location. That connection is a drawn by liberals to cover their own shame.

matthew,b... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

matthew,

but I could've sworn that there was a link between one's behaviour here on Earth and one's prospects of going to Heaven.

The good news is that you're wrong. The bad news is that you're dead wrong. Salvation cannot be earned. It's the ultimate treasure guarded from the intellectual proud by an impenetrable veil, yet any child can find it.

Not much more to say except... (Below threshold)

Not much more to say except this: the reason they don't donate is fear. Fear that they will find they have given too much, and are now in danger of being out on the streets. Fear that the economy will crash, or the dollar will devalue. They don't give because they are afraid of causing their own demise.

Ahead of time, that is. They forget that EVERYONE dies; the longer they hold on, the longer they get to think they won't be touched by death, or loss, or pain.

but I could've sworn that t... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

but I could've sworn that there was a link between one's behaviour here on Earth and one's prospects of going to Heaven
-------------------------------------
Yup, there is no reason for atheists like Matthew to be charitable. They are simply products of mindless and purposeless evolution. They are nothing but biological accidental machines! Yet Matthew claimed that these accidental machines can know right from wrong. But Matthew admitted that he needs to do more homework on his metaphysics still.

Arthur Brooks' book tell... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Arthur Brooks' book tells us where the givers are, not where the needy are. The relationship between the givers and the needy is not their location.

Well, given the abysmal condition of the social infrastructure and values of red states (as indicated by the data), if it's not then perhaps it should be.

Well, given the abysmal con... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

Well, given the abysmal condition of the social infrastructure and values of red states (as indicated by the data), if it's not then perhaps it should be.
-------------------------------------
Brian is trying to Obama as usual here. Look at the social infrastructure of the liberal utopia in DC, Detroit etc... and tell us how great they are.

Red States: poor, lots of t... (Below threshold)
matthew:

Red States: poor, lots of teenaged mothers, high divorce rates. Blue states: people who would rather pay taxes than give money to their church. So... what are you disagreeing about?

Mac Lorry, I was raised Catholic. I assumed Protestants had a similar idea of how to get to heaven. Guess not! I'd heard of Calvinists, but thought they were something that went away a few hundred years ago. So there are people on this planet who still believe that we're destined to go to Heaven or not from the moment they're conceived? Do I understand you correctly? I'm not sure that I do, because the last comment you left here doesn't make any sense whatsoever.

Brian,Wel... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Brian,

Well, given the abysmal condition of the social infrastructure and values of red states (as indicated by the data), if it's not then perhaps it should be.

The piece is about where the givers live and nothing you or others have shown changes the fact that conservatives are more likely to give to charities.

Also your data is suspect. I don't have time to debunk it all, but looking at the education link I find that 6 out of the top 10 states with high school or higher education are red states. The top state is Minnesota, which is blue in presidential elections, but up until 2006 had a Republican state majority in the house and still has a republican governor. Putting Minnesota in the red column gives 7 of 10 states with high school or higher education are red states. Not the abysmal condition you claim. Statistics is all about the art of using numbers to prove the point you want to make.

matthew,I... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

matthew,

I'd heard of Calvinists, but thought they were something that went away a few hundred years ago.

The Calvinists didn't go away. Many still believe in predestination, but I'm not one of them.

I'm not sure that I do, because the last comment you left here doesn't make any sense whatsoever.

I can explain it in detail, but it still won't make sense to many. The apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 1:21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.

In modern language the foolishness of the message preached is what you refer to as supernatural B.S. The impenetrable veil separating you from salvation is your intellectual pride. To receive the ultimate treasure you must believe the supernatural B.S. in your heart and confess it with your mouth. Easy for any child to do, even intelligent, well educated and long grayed children, yet you might find it impossible to do. It's not predestination, it's your choice, one I suspect you've already made. This may be the last pleading of the Holy Spirit you'll ever get. Will you blow Him off as you have before?

Michigan, California, and N... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

Michigan, California, and New York are blue states. Detroit and DC are liberal utopia. What are so great about divorce rate in these states? Why are the inner city blacks are still so poor given the liberals have been running these places for so long? How about Louisana, another blue state in the South? Missisipi can take care of Katrina, but liberal Louisana cannot. Again, you don't seem to know what you are talking about (Accidental biological "machines" know right from wrong!)

people who would rather pay... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

people who would rather pay taxes than give money to their church.
------------------------------------
More accurately: people who would rather use government power (given their liberal fascist view) to take money away from people by force. Liberals can form their own charity apart from churches to help the poor. But they wouldn't do that. The data simply show that, so let 's be honest and admit the obvious.

The answer is simple, reall... (Below threshold)
Cousin Dave:

The answer is simple, really. Leftists don't give. They take.

For Christians, there is a ... (Below threshold)
TGScott:

For Christians, there is a biblical mandate in 1 Corinthians 16:2 to give of our means every first day of the week. That is a thing we do every Sunday as a matter of faith. We trust that God will take care of our own needs. The money collected not only goes for missions, educational materials, staff salaries and the like. It is also used for benevolent matters. All churches I personally know of, and not just those of my own faith, have a benevolence fund and someone in charge of it. Most all churches I know of have food pantries as well that they use to assist those in need. We take care of the needy because it is the right thing to do. Period.

...and our church contribut... (Below threshold)
TGScott:

...and our church contribution IS tax deductible because we pay it weekly via check and have the records to account for it. Since were doing what's supposedly the government's job, why shouldn't we get a tax break? Hey, we got no breaks anyway this year. We have to pay in anyway.




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