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Thread: Conservatives More Charitable Than Liberals

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    Conservatives More Charitable Than Liberals

    Interesting article.

    [B]Bleeding Heart Tightwads [/B]

    By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
    Published: December 20, 2008
    This holiday season is a time to examine who’s been naughty and who’s been nice, but I’m unhappy with my findings. The problem is this: We liberals are personally stingy.

    Liberals show tremendous compassion in pushing for generous government spending to help the neediest people at home and abroad. Yet when it comes to individual contributions to charitable causes, liberals are cheapskates.

    Arthur Brooks, the author of a book on donors to charity, “Who Really Cares,” cites data that households headed by conservatives give 30 percent more to charity than households headed by liberals. A study by Google found an even greater disproportion: average annual contributions reported by conservatives were almost double those of liberals.

    Other research has reached similar conclusions. The “generosity index” from the Catalogue for Philanthropy typically finds that red states are the most likely to give to nonprofits, while Northeastern states are least likely to do so.

    The upshot is that Democrats, who speak passionately about the hungry and homeless, personally fork over less money to charity than Republicans — the ones who try to cut health insurance for children.

    “When I started doing research on charity,” Mr. Brooks wrote, “I expected to find that political liberals — who, I believed, genuinely cared more about others than conservatives did — would turn out to be the most privately charitable people. So when my early findings led me to the opposite conclusion, I assumed I had made some sort of technical error. I re-ran analyses. I got new data. Nothing worked. In the end, I had no option but to change my views.”

    Something similar is true internationally. European countries seem to show more compassion than America in providing safety nets for the poor, and they give far more humanitarian foreign aid per capita than the United States does. But as individuals, Europeans are far less charitable than Americans.

    Americans give sums to charity equivalent to 1.67 percent of G.N.P., according to a terrific new book, “Philanthrocapitalism,” by Matthew Bishop and Michael Green. The British are second, with 0.73 percent, while the stingiest people on the list are the French, at 0.14 percent.

    (Looking away from politics, there’s evidence that one of the most generous groups in America is gays. Researchers believe that is because they are less likely to have rapacious heirs pushing to keep wealth in the family.)

    When liberals see the data on giving, they tend to protest that conservatives look good only because they shower dollars on churches — that a fair amount of that money isn’t helping the poor, but simply constructing lavish spires.

    It’s true that religion is the essential reason conservatives give more, and religious liberals are as generous as religious conservatives. Among the stingiest of the stingy are secular conservatives.

    According to Google’s figures, if donations to all religious organizations are excluded, liberals give slightly more to charity than conservatives do. But Mr. Brooks says that if measuring by the percentage of income given, conservatives are more generous than liberals even to secular causes.

    In any case, if conservative donations often end up building extravagant churches, liberal donations frequently sustain art museums, symphonies, schools and universities that cater to the well-off. (It’s great to support the arts and education, but they’re not the same as charity for the needy. And some research suggests that donations to education actually increase inequality because they go mostly to elite institutions attended by the wealthy.)

    Conservatives also appear to be more generous than liberals in nonfinancial ways. People in red states are considerably more likely to volunteer for good causes, and conservatives give blood more often. If liberals and moderates gave blood as often as conservatives, Mr. Brooks said, the American blood supply would increase by 45 percent.

    So, you’ve guessed it! This column is a transparent attempt this holiday season to shame liberals into being more charitable. Since I often scold Republicans for being callous in their policies toward the needy, it seems only fair to reproach Democrats for being cheap in their private donations. What I want for Christmas is a healthy competition between left and right to see who actually does more for the neediest.

    Of course, given the economic pinch these days, charity isn’t on the top of anyone’s agenda. Yet the financial ability to contribute to charity, and the willingness to do so, are strikingly unrelated. Amazingly, the working poor, who have the least resources, somehow manage to be more generous as a percentage of income than the middle class.

    So, even in tough times, there are ways to help. Come on liberals, redeem yourselves, and put your wallets where your hearts are.



    [url]http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/21/opinion/21kristof.html?em[/url]

  2. #2
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    lol at "Bleeding Heart Tightwads"

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    Conservatives give blood more often? I've given blood several times, I don't ever remember checking off the political ideology box on the info sheet.

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    Part of the definition of being "Liberal" includes a deep love and respect for charity and social welfare......as long as it's with everyone else's money but not their own.

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    [QUOTE=Warfish;2926387]Part of the definition of being "Liberal" includes a deep love and respect for charity and social welfare......as long as it's with everyone else's money but not their own.[/QUOTE]

    The numbers are skewed because Conservatives like to brag about their charity more than Liberals do because Conservatives need to feel good about themselves after voting for every single thing they can to f*** over the less fortunate.

    Kinda like an abusive husband buying his wife flowers after kicking the sh*t out of her...:P

    BTW, none of this makes any sense.

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    [QUOTE=PlumberKhan;2926414]The numbers are skewed because Conservatives like to brag about their charity more than Liberals do because Conservatives need to feel good about themselves after voting for every single thing they can to f*** over the less fortunate.

    Kinda like an abusive husband buying his wife flowers after kicking the sh*t out of her...:P

    BTW, none of this makes any sense.[/QUOTE]

    haha so true

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    [QUOTE=whatthe;2926447]haha so true[/QUOTE]

    Actually, it isn't true. You can make statistics mean anything you want them to.

    I give blood every 56 days. So thus, I must be a conservative right...even by my standards because I just bragged about it and also by the writers standards because I have 2 gallon pins. See, I just bragged again...I'm the next Ronald Reagan!

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    [QUOTE=PlumberKhan;2926414]The numbers are skewed because Conservatives like to brag about their charity more than Liberals do because Conservatives need to feel good about themselves after voting for every single thing they can to f*** over the less fortunate.

    Kinda like an abusive husband buying his wife flowers after kicking the sh*t out of her...:P

    BTW, none of this makes any sense.[/QUOTE]

    I think it is an extension of their respective world views and makes a lot of sense. And that statement is not necessarily an attack.

    A conservative, at least the kind I go to church with, believes that it is our responsibility - not the government's - to address need. We also have faith that the church can have a dramatic impact in real "change", so we give money (often as much as 10% or more) that, right off the bat, would not be spent by someone who does not attend an evangelical church for a church cause (we all know that most liberals are not evangelicals.) Furthermore, we believe that it is all of our responsibilities, as children of God, to ante up and give regardless of what our incomes might or might not be.

    Juxtapose that with the liberal philosophy. The liberals want social causes addressed through the government. So when Joe Biden stands up and says that it is our patriotic duty for those with more money to pay a higher tax rate (which he did during the campaign) and for we Americans as a whole to give more taxes, it is (in part) with his intent that at least some of that money go to social causes (of course, such giving is not deductible as a "charitable contribution") In fact, Biden is a picture of this very point. When I would listen to Hannity (not all the time) last year, he would harp on two things that would really anger me. First, he would blast Obama for not making his brother in Africa's life better and that Biden made close to a million last year and deducted (it's been a while but I am petty sure this figure is right) $3,000 or so (I am real close to sure it was under $10,000.) (FWIW, I hated when he would do this and would often turn the radio off - I thought it was classless and desperate.) Part of me wants to pronounce judgment on Biden and say something like, "Give me a break, you make a million and give $3,000 to charity. That's a joke." But I have no idea how many charitable acts the man did that would never be reported, so I remind myself that I don't know enough to know and cut him some slack. I cut him slack, too, because I think in his heart he looks at having his tax rate increased as some kind of an act of charity. (of course, I think that is whacked, but so be it.)

    Everything I have said up till now, I think, was not a shot at liberals. I think it is fair. The following is fair, too, as the logic is solid. But it is a shot. My final point is one of mindset. A parallel concept in the liberal philosophy that those with more should be taxed more because of the very fact that they have more, is the idea that if you have less, you should receive. So, for discussion's sake, if there is someone who has been conditioned by the liberal mantra to receive and pay far less if at all, it is a foreign (or at least far lesser) thought to give. Remember, the Christian conservative philosophy would be to give no matter how much you make.

    Finally, I would like to mention that I am well aware that not all Christians practice what is preached .............. which shows we share at least one thing in common with our liberal brothers:)

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    Btw, Plumber, I do not know what kind od music you like. I am an old time Brice freak. I knid of lost track of him over the past 15 years or so. Recently, XM radio has added E Street Radio - 24 hours a day of Bruce. Now, I sens you might not like Bruce, but there are three songs that I have recently heard that I think you might like......... The Last to Die for a Mistake, Empty Sky and Paradise. If you ever get a chance to hear them, you might appreciate them - at least their lyrics.

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    [QUOTE=PlumberKhan;2926414]The numbers are skewed because Conservatives like to brag about their charity more than Liberals do because Conservatives need to feel good about themselves after voting for every single thing they can to f*** over the less fortunate.

    Kinda like an abusive husband buying his wife flowers after kicking the sh*t out of her...:P

    BTW, none of this makes any sense.[/QUOTE]

    Like that Kennedy kid? Maybe like Jackson Browne? Oh, sorry, their not a conservative. I am going to have to research the political philosophies of spousal abusers.............. I wonder if Denis Potvin was a liberal or conservative?

    Btw, Plumb, I am sure there exists at least a handful of conservatives who are like this. I can tell you there are far, far, far more who are not.

    But if it makes you feel better, you go right on and believe this.....
    Last edited by JCnflies; 12-22-2008 at 01:43 PM.

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    [QUOTE=PlumberKhan;2926482]Actually, it isn't true. You can make statistics mean anything you want them to.

    I give blood every 56 days. So thus, I must be a conservative right...even by my standards because I just bragged about it and also by the writers standards because I have 2 gallon pins. See, I just bragged again...I'm the next Ronald Reagan![/QUOTE]

    Oops, didn't see this. Me muy sorry!!!!!

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    [QUOTE=JCnflies;2926933]Btw, Plumber, I do not know what kind od music you like. I am an old time Brice freak. I knid of lost track of him over the past 15 years or so. Recently, XM radio has added E Street Radio - 24 hours a day of Bruce. Now, I sens you might not like Bruce, but there are three songs that I have recently heard that I think you might like......... The Last to Die for a Mistake, Empty Sky and Paradise. If you ever get a chance to hear them, you might appreciate them - at least their lyrics.[/QUOTE]

    E Street Radio is a beautiful thing.

    As for the article, if this is actually true --and it doesn't give any details about the polling-- I suspect its tied to church tithing. Conservatives are more likely to belong to a church, and of course the plate goes around every Sunday.

    I suspect that if you look at donations to organizations one does not belong to, there's substantively no difference. Just my guess, of course.

    Signed, a liberal who gives to the local food bank, a regional conservation group, the local public radio station, my wife's church and my synagogue.

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    [QUOTE=JCnflies;2926961]Oops, didn't see this. Me muy sorry!!!!![/QUOTE]

    No problem, JCn...

    [QUOTE]A conservative, at least the kind I go to church with, believes that it is our responsibility - not the government's - to address need.[/QUOTE]

    How about this. Have you ever thought that maybe a liberal views the government as a tool of the people? The people grant the government power to carry out what the people want done.

    Kinda like a homeowners association works. Sure...I can patrol my own yard with a shotgun and claymores...or I can be a part of the homeowners association and neighborhood watch program.

    Take giving blood for instance. Shouldn't it be everyone's own personal responsibility to stock up on their own blood and have their own supply? Why shouldn't people have a few mason jars with spare blood in their garage/basement? No...people want to depend on the nanny state Red Cross to ensure they have blood when they eventually spill it crashing their car.

    That would be stupid, right? Just because someone donates blood to the red cross doesn't make them any less personally responsible when they need some to save their life. I pay taxes and expect the democratically elected government to dole out help to people when they need it. The system is far far far far far far far far far far far far from perfect. But it doesn't make someone who has some level of expectation of their government to help people in need and less of a charitable person that someone who tithes to their church.

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    [QUOTE=PlumberKhan;2927002]No problem, JCn...



    How about this. Have you ever thought that maybe a liberal views the government as a tool of the people? The people grant the government power to carry out what the people want done.

    Kinda like a homeowners association works. Sure...I can patrol my own yard with a shotgun and claymores...or I can be a part of the homeowners association and neighborhood watch program.

    Take giving blood for instance. Shouldn't it be everyone's own personal responsibility to stock up on their own blood and have their own supply? Why shouldn't people have a few mason jars with spare blood in their garage/basement? No...people want to depend on the nanny state Red Cross to ensure they have blood when they eventually spill it crashing their car.

    That would be stupid, right? Just because someone donates blood to the red cross doesn't make them any less personally responsible when they need some to save their life. I pay taxes and expect the democratically elected government to dole out help to people when they need it. The system is far far far far far far far far far far far far from perfect. But it doesn't make someone who has some level of expectation of their government to help people in need and less of a charitable person that someone who tithes to their church.[/QUOTE]

    We pretty much agree. My points were two:

    1) Your point is akin to mine. We get to take our charity off the taxes and the type of deductions you are espousing are not tax deductible. I remember doing a ton of work and donating much to a local trout stream and I could not take a penny off:)

    2) I should refine my point about personal responsibility...... I have many liberal friends who talk the talk and walk the walk. They take personal responsibility to help and do not believe it begins and ends with the gov't. It's just that some liberals can follow that philosophy in a manner consistent with their world view. Conservatives can not.

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    [QUOTE=PlumberKhan;2927002]No problem, JCn...

    How about this. Have you ever thought that maybe a liberal views the government as a tool of the people? The people grant the government power to carry out what the people want done.

    [B][U]Kinda like a homeowners association works[/U][/B]. Sure...I can patrol my own yard with a shotgun and claymores...or I can be a part of the homeowners association and neighborhood watch program.
    [/QUOTE]

    An EXCELLENT comparison. Homeowners Assoc. often step right over the line too, and mandate what you (a free land-owning American) can or cannto do with your property, in the interests of "everyone".

    If ever there was a sign of where this nation was headed, it was when Homeowners Assoc.'s were somehow granted legal rights and force of law over the property they didn't own.

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    [QUOTE=nuu faaola;2926977]

    Signed, a liberal who gives to the local food bank, a regional conservation group, the local public radio station, my wife's church and my synagogue.[/QUOTE]

    Showoff.






    ;)

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    [QUOTE=Warfish;2927399]An EXCELLENT comparison. Homeowners Assoc. often step right over the line too, and mandate what you (a free land-owning American) can or cannto do with your property, in the interests of "everyone".

    If ever there was a sign of where this nation was headed, it was when Homeowners Assoc.'s were somehow granted legal rights and force of law over the property they didn't own.[/QUOTE]

    Um, bro...I don;t know if you realize it or not...but generally "laws" and "police" and "government" can also mandate what you can/cannot do on your own property. I mean, Jesus...I was growing that pot for myself.

    I don't belong to a H.A. and still got arrested for doing my wife in the front yard. This country is going downhill....

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    Amazing you mean conservatives claim all of their charitable contributions? I thought they did it out of the kindness of their hears. :eek:

    [QUOTE=nuu faaola;2926977]E Street Radio is a beautiful thing.

    As for the article, if this is actually true --and it doesn't give any details about the polling-- I suspect its tied to church tithing. Conservatives are more likely to belong to a church, and of course the plate goes around every Sunday.

    I suspect that if you look at donations to organizations one does not belong to, there's substantively no difference. Just my guess, of course.

    Signed, a liberal who gives to the local food bank, a regional conservation group, the local public radio station, my wife's church and my synagogue.[/QUOTE]

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    [QUOTE=PlumberKhan;2927507]Um, bro...I don;t know if you realize it or not...but generally "laws" and "police" and "government" can also mandate what you can/cannot do on your own property. I mean, Jesus...I was growing that pot for myself.

    I don't belong to a H.A. and still got arrested for doing my wife in the front yard. This country is going downhill....[/QUOTE]

    Sarcasm aside, perhaps you'll appreciate it more when (if) you ever live in the Facist Camp that is the modern Homeowners Assoc.

    Or not.

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    [QUOTE=PlumberKhan;2927002]No problem, JCn...



    How about this. Have you ever thought that maybe a liberal views the government as a tool of the people? The people grant the government power to carry out what the people want done.

    Kinda like a homeowners association works. Sure...I can patrol my own yard with a shotgun and claymores...or I can be a part of the homeowners association and neighborhood watch program.

    Take giving blood for instance. Shouldn't it be everyone's own personal responsibility to stock up on their own blood and have their own supply? Why shouldn't people have a few mason jars with spare blood in their garage/basement? No...people want to depend on the nanny state Red Cross to ensure they have blood when they eventually spill it crashing their car.

    That would be stupid, right? Just because someone donates blood to the red cross doesn't make them any less personally responsible when they need some to save their life. I pay taxes and expect the democratically elected government to dole out help to people when they need it. The system is far far far far far far far far far far far far from perfect. But it doesn't make someone who has some level of expectation of their government to help people in need and less of a charitable person that someone who tithes to their church.[/QUOTE]

    Except a HA is optional - and thank god, I would never want to be subjected to so many rules that can change on a whim. Not to mention fees that go up with inflation (or more).

    But yeah - it's optional.

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