Friday, December 26, 2008

Are we really tightwads?

I read a commentary from the NY Times over the weekend that's been bothering me. Nick Kristof does a pretty good analysis of Arthur Brook's book "Who Really Cares," which says, basically that conservatives in general give more to charity than liberals.

"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."

Is that true? Do we only show compassion towards the less fortunate when it is in the form of generous government spending, and not from individual contributions? In essence, are we the cheapskates??

I hate to be one-uped by Republicans, and I know that they give alot of money to churches, and he did find that religious liberals are as generous as religious conservatives, but Brooks apparently also found that "if measuring by the percentage of income given, conservatives are more generous than liberals even to secular causes."

What? Do conservatives, in general have more to give? Do we really just talk the talk, instead of putting our money where our mouth is?

Any thoughts?


I'm Not Ned said...

Perhaps the issue is that liberals care and act in physical ways (drive hybrids, work at a soup kitchen, volunteer with literacy programs) where the conservatives write a check to take care of their conscience?

I've never met a Bush supporter serving Christmas meals at a shelter.

Peter said...

I would be interested to see their breakdown and the definitions of "charity." Are these the "Lookk at me give" charitable "balls" you see in the puff pages of the paper? Or to politically active conservative churches?

AQnd like I'm Not Ned, I know we do a lot of "in kind" charity, working with the hungry and homeless.

Carlos said...

I don't buy the entire premise.

Would I give money to a charity sponsored by a church that is involved in political activities to raise funds to defeat Prop 8, or oppose abortion? The answer is NO.

And where exactly do billionaire LIBERALS Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey rank in this study? I can guarantee they put the ultra-rich wingers to shame when it comes to doing good things for needy people with their money.

On the other hand, they don't need to participate on pawn-your-luxury-items-cars-jewelry drives at the local country club.

Call it karma.

Lula O said...

He did also find that conservative red states spend more time volunteering and of all things - giving blood. I tend to loop those two areas again with churches, as they are the ones that pass out the sign-up sheets.

I don't have anything to back this up scientifically, but based on my street alone and the green recycle buckets I see, I would gather that more liberals recycle than conservatives, and contribute in other ways that take a longer view. So as everyone concurs, we care in more physical ways that aren't always for show.

Now I'm ready to delve into this subject on my site. The Republican's that visit will have a heyday. If it gets ugly, I might need help.