Who;s more generous? liberals or sconservatives?

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by MohdSalleh, Oct 30, 2009.

  1. Surprising proof that conservatives really are more compassionate--and more generous--than liberals.

    We all know we should give to charity, but who really does? Approximately three-quarters of Americans give their time and money to various charities, churches, and causes; the other quarter of the population does not. Why has America split into two nations: givers and non-givers?

    Arthur Brooks, a top scholar of economics and public policy, has spent years researching this trend, and even he was surprised by what he found. In Who Really Cares, he demonstrates conclusively that conservatives really are compassionate-far more compassionate than their liberal foes. Strong families, church attendance, earned income (as opposed to state-subsidized income), and the belief that individuals, not government, offer the best solution to social ills-all of these factors determine how likely one is to give.
     
  2. By Jefferson Opal (Louisiana USA) - See all my reviews
    (REAL NAME)
    After reading all of the 34 other customer reviews of this book, I ordered a copy of this book from a local bookstore, so that I could check the accuracy of the claims I had read about the book, and to see if I could find any obvious flaws. I was really disgusted with what I found when I spent around three hours searching through the book.
    I then phoned the author and told him about my many complaints (in a nice and friendly manner I'd like to add). His responses also disgusted me.
    My complaints were,
    --the jacket blurb describes him as a "professor", yet I found so many errors of basic reasoning that couldn't possibly pass a peer review of social scientists, that I found it difficult to believe he
    really has a "PhD"
    --no PhD has his name attached to it in the
    Dissertation abstracts database. I told him this, and he said he got his PhD from the "RAND graduate school" in Los Angeles. He expressed no curosity about that database or the absence of any mention of his in it. (NOTE: a library worker at the university library I use told me that that database probably has omissions. The absence of a Ph.D record for someone in it does not necessarily mean they don't have a Ph.D she said).
    --he cites data about liberal vs conservative blood donating but neglects to consider whether the data was collected during a war or not. Conservatives are disproportunately represented in the military, and
    surely donate much more during a war than otherwise, when relatives are fighting. (note: the book's index bizarrely omits the word "blood" or anything else that would allow the reader to find his claims about different rates of blood donating in the book.)
    --his wording counts EVERY PENNY of taxed money that
    liberals want spent on needy persons as "other
    peoples' money" that liberals egregiously want to
    spend rather than their own. When I asserted to him
    that 30 percent or more of tax money is OUR money, he got embarrassed and
    conceded the error of symantics.
    --he counts every single penny given to churches as
    "charity". I find this especially outrageous. As if all the money spent on church buildings, religious pamplets and books, religious instruction in schools, commercials for the church etc... are all "charity"! Also: charity is supposed to be voluntary is it not? I know lots of people who claim that a large measure of their free will was taken from them by the force of their church's religious indoctrination. E.g., another man in Baton Rouge (Phil Beaver) says the indoctrination was so effective that it was psychologically impossible for him to stop being a Christian (which he has) until his parents died. Phil thinks Christianity should be entirely abolished.
    I complained to Brooks about this EVERY PENNY assumption of his, citing building construction of a local Catholic Church, asking him to imagine the reaction of atheists who give to beggars.
    --there also is the obvious objection that since churches provide benefits to their members, financial contributions from their members is partly self-interested repayment.
    --When I told Brooks about the amazon reviews that complained about his
    measuring caring by monetary giving of total income,
    rather than of disposable income, I was really disappointed by his response. I explained to him that this definition creates a bias favoring rural conservatives with low rent, growing their own food
    etc, and against liberals concentrated around
    universities and urban areas. His response was to prattle on and on about his not paying attention to such reviews and to other things in the "popular press", without ever addressing the content of the complaint.
    --I complained about his not giving a definition of
    "liberal". He protested, saying that he DID. I said that the words "liberal" and "...definition of" were in the index, but the cited page gives no definition (this is true!). It merely says that he used self-labels given by persons surveyed.
    I explained to him that many people I've met who call themselves "liberal" IMO aren't much liberal, citing my ex-friend Larry, who is "anti-conservative" but likes racist jokes (that disgust me), fails to empathize with rich capitalists caught in free-market binds, etc etc...
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    4 of 23 people found the following review helpful:
    1.0 out of 5 stars Poorly Documented-Clearly Biased, March 26, 2009
    By Anastasia (SLC) - See all my reviews
    This book is completely lacking in valid research. Simply put, if you love Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh, you'll love this book for its praise of conservatism and bashing of the left. If you are seeking factual information regarding giving in America, this is not the place to find it.
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    31 of 108 people found the following review helpful:
    1.0 out of 5 stars What is all the fuss about?, November 30, 2006
    By Minni the Moderate (Newark, NJ) - See all my reviews
    This is a quote from the book:
    "So how do liberals and conservatives compare in their charity? When it comes to giving or not giving, conservatives and liberals look a lot alike. Conservative people are a percentage point or two more likely to give money each year than liberal people, but a percentage point or so less likely to volunteer."

    So what is all the fuss about?
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    16 of 68 people found the following review helpful:
    1.0 out of 5 stars Did this guy say he was a sociologist, that's a social science right?, July 19, 2007
    By S. Hutchison "chachee2000" (minneapolis) - See all my reviews
    (REAL NAME)
    Although Brooks' facts may be true, that south dakota gives 78 percent more to charity than san francisco, what does that really tell us about his central premise, that conservatives are more charitable than liberals? In my opinion, it says very little. In this assertian, whats brooks does is to assume there is only one kind of liberal and one kind of conservative. That the attitude of a conservative in south dakota is the same as a conservative in san francisco or new york. Of course, on average, christians are going to donate more money to charity than non-christian. It is a part of their religion. But what about secular conservatives and christian liberals? Certainly both of those categories exist to a substantial degree. Wouldn't a comparason of christian conservatives and christian liberals, and non-christian conservatives and non-christian liberals be more... i dont know...scientific?

    And although as another reviewer notes, "He takes pains to indicate that factors OTHER than political affiliation -- religious belief above all -- are of primary importance in predicting how much and how often one gives." what is the point of citing poltical values as a cause to charity other than to sell books? It would be interesting to see what the stats were before the right decided to bend over for christianity.
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  3. 48 of 196 people found the following review helpful:
    1.0 out of 5 stars "Who Really Cares" is a Fitting Title, November 20, 2006
    By J. Straka - See all my reviews
    (REAL NAME)
    In the national press release for this book, the big "news" is that "religious conservatives donate far more money than secular liberals...". What an interesting spin! What makes it especially interesting is that in an October 2003 article by Arthur Brooks in the Policy Review, he states that religious liberals give and volunteer at rates comparable to religious conservatives. Now that is an apples to apples comparison, but not very interesting "spin material". I wonder why the press release didn't contain the findings found on Mr. Brooks' own web page showing that the "working poor" give more to charity than both the middle and upper class. That statistic wouldn't sell books to his conservative audience, I guess. And while Mr. Brooks tries to come off as a neutral observer "shocked" by the results of his studies, all the other articles he has written on the internet shows he has no love for the liberals (one article entitled "The Fertility Gap" predicts the demise of the liberal party because they were having 41% fewer babies than the conservatives!).

    I question the need for this book: if you are giving your money and time to those in need out of true compassion, why do you need to compare yourself to others? If you have a need to compare and judge and belittle others, I really question that you are that compassionate. Though I'm sure many conservatives will buy this biased book because it will make them feel good about themselves, they would be much further ahead to donate the money to a charity.
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    7 of 91 people found the following review helpful:
    1.0 out of 5 stars WEAK! , March 16, 2008
    By N8 "the Hammer" (San Jose, CA USA) - See all my reviews
    This review is from: Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth about Compassionate Conservatism (Hardcover)
    First of all I like how you can buy this book for $1.95. But instead of wasting that money you should do what I did and support your local library and get it there. (that is if you want to read a really crappy book).

    Maybe the author is right about how conservatives give more. But maybe they also feel so guilty about their president running this country into the ground that they HAVE to give.

    Or maybe they cheat on their taxes! :wtf:

    I feel he stated "facts" over and over again (religious people give more, conservatives give more), that in the end when he restates these "facts" you are supposed to believe them.

    I feel if he is trying to cause a movement to give, he blew it. He is just going to piss off us non-giving, greedy, tree hugging, common sense thinking, hippie liberals, while patting the backs of the generous, caring, terrorist fearing, quick to fight, blind conservatives.

    I have to finish planting my trees now. (GIVING back to the planet)
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    4 of 84 people found the following review helpful:
    1.0 out of 5 stars Then please explain this if author is correct..., February 24, 2007
    By care4all "care4all" (Allentown, PA) - See all my reviews
    If conservatives who attend church regularly TRULY donate MORE, why is it that when my Democratic group was collecting FOR THE TROOPS, (women wanted scrapbooking materials) I called a girl I know who has done scrapbooking parties for years, a Republican, attends church on Sundays, and asked if she had any loose items she could donate, she NEVER SENT A THING! Not one sticker! Nothing! FOR THE TROOPS!!! As I do much in the area of crafts myself, I know all the excess materials left over from projects, yet this woman gave NOTHING to be sent to our female troops serving in Iraq!!! Please, someone explain where this authors' theory even comes close to being explained here! So is it that Republicans will DENY a moral and decent donation going DIRECTLY to the BENEFICIARIES if they simply don't care for the group behind the donating??? Then it's heck on the troops!!! NICE!
    Or explain the woman who answered phone at local Catholic church and during discussion said, "Why should rich pay for the poor?" I am to believe this woman donates to the needy???
    How about doing some research on the author before believing all you read when he himself contradicts his OWN WORDS and CLAIMS!
    http[...]

    Question from Marilyn, small Midwestern college:
    Are these two possibilities: Republicans have more money and need the tax write-offs and are more often sought out by charities; some people who describe themselves liberals (like me) share money in ways that are not recognized as charity (such as helping friends put their children through college or helping a physically handicapped co-worker pay for appropriate housing)? My husband and I also served for two years in a Christian volunteer service project, which has, as we knew it would, affected our long-term earnings and hence our retirement income.

    Arthur C. Brooks:
    Thanks, Marilyn. There's no evidence that conservatives look for (or receive) tax write-offs more than liberals do. But to your other point, it is always possible that folks like you tend to give in different ways from conservatives - ways that are not picked up in the data. The evidence is pretty incomplete on this point, although it suggests that conservatives actually give informally in some ways more than liberals (e.g. giving blood). But it is always possible that, in other ways, they give less. I am open to this possibility and believe it needs more study.
     
  4. Conservatives: Listen (read) to this very carefully.

    Yes; it is true: religious people do contribute more to charitable organizations than non-religious people. When measured by 'tax-deductible' contributions the measurement gets even more drastic. The following explains why this is so.

    Number 1: Religious people contribute more to 'charitable' organiztions.

    This is a fact. However, a major reason that liberals (Humanists) do not contribute is due to two major reasons:

    (a) Most 'charitable' organizations (espeically RELIGIOUS), have 'Administration' expenses that exceed 80%. You give a Dollar and the 'recipients' get 20 cents.

    Give to organizations that are endorsed by the United Way and this ratio is completely reversed.

    If the organization that you contribute money does not provide CPA AUDITED financial statements: you are being fleeced.

    (b) Contributions to the CHURCH is deducted on your 1040. These contributions are tax-deductible and are counted as 'Charitible' contributions. The problem is, 90% of church offerings go toward the MAINTENANCE of the church !!! Tithing and other church offerings are no more 'charitable' than my payment of dues to the local country club.

    Number 2: Liberals, (Humanists), do not make donations because it releives the government of doing the job that it is suppose to do !!!

    It is very important for 'religious' people to understand this. We (Humanists) are very concerned about the plight of the poor, ignorant and disadvantaged. So are religious people.

    The position of the Humanist is this: WHY should Liberals and Religious people be the only ones responsible for the care of the weak, poor & disadvantaged ???

    These are issues that should be shouldered by ALL OF US! WE ABSTAIN FROM 'CHARITY' BECAUSE IT ABSOLVES (reduces the tension) OF THE GOVERNMENT TO DO WHAT IT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR.

    The fact of the matter is, religious (spiritual) people and atheist Humanists support the very same RESULTS. Stop bitching about TAX RATES; the current PROGRESSIVE tax rate structure forces ALL to contibute to the care of everybody.
     
  5. amen
     
  6. I don't think there is really any debate about it, liberals are more generous with MY MONEY than conservatives.
     
  7. amen.
     
  8. Just so I understand...you're a 'humanist' because you DON'T donate money?

    Everyday on this forum the liberal logic never fails to disappoint.
     
  9. You've got that backwards: I don't contribute to charity because I am a humanist.

    As I stated in my post, I support the aims of charitible organizations I just feel that ALL citizens should participate in the funding. This is accomplished by a progressive tax system.
     
  10. I consider this the epitome of selfishness.

    You obviously don't think people who explicitly advocate a certain charity by CHOICE are willing to support your causes enough, so you are content to extort it from others through the threat of force.

    I consider that immoral even if all the money were to be spent on the charities of my choice let alone big brother .
     
    #10     Oct 31, 2009