Who Really Cares?
A new book out compares liberals to conservatives in the area of charitable giving. His conclusions, surpising to some apparently (including the author himself) is that conservatives far out give in time, money and even blood than liberals. Personally, I find his conclusion as startling as "sex leads to pregnancy," "smart people have higher IQs than idiots" and "having a baby leads to sleepless nights," but some people (those who like spending YOUR money instead of their own on other people) will apparently be surprised.
One news story on the book begins as follows:
Philanthropy Expert: Conservatives Are More Generous
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- 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…….
Thomas Sowell discusses the book in his recent column.
Professor Brooks admits that the facts he uncovered were the opposite of what he expected to find -- so much so that he went back and checked these facts again, to make sure there was no mistake.
What is the reason why some people are liberals and others are conservatives, if it is not that liberals are more compassionate? Fundamental differences in ideology go back to fundamental assumptions about human nature. Based on one set of assumptions, it makes perfect sense to be a liberal. Based on a different set of assumptions, it makes perfect sense to be a conservative.
The two visions are not completely symmetrical, however. For at least two centuries, the vision of the left has included a belief that those with that vision are morally superior, more caring and more compassionate. While both sides argue that their opponents are mistaken, those on the left have declared their opponents to be not merely in error but morally flawed as well. So the idea that liberals are more caring and compassionate goes with the territory, whether or not it fits the facts.
Those on the left proclaimed their moral superiority in the 18th century and they continue to proclaim it in the 21st century. What is remarkable is how long it took for anyone to put that belief to the test -- and how completely it failed that test.
In reading the amazon discription, he also correlates religious belief. This seems obvious to me. Liberals on average (Yes, I'm generalizing here - I know not all liberals ...) are more secularist and less religious. Conservatives, more religious and less secularist. Serious Christians, be they protestant, Catholic or LDS, are called upon to be charitable by their faith. If they sincerely believe in that calling, it should not be surprising if they were more charitable. If such Christians are more conservative on average, which I think would be the case, then that would support the conclusions of the book.
You can buy the book here.