Saturday, October 14, 2006

Are conservatives more charitable?

Here is an interesting article about charity.
Apparently liberals don't give as often to
charity as conservatives, even if only
nonreligious causes are counted. As the
article says, this probably has something
to do with forming habits. One issue it
doesn't mention is whether liberals choose
nurturing-style careers (education, social
work, etc.) more than conservatives, which
might be where people display their charity
impusles.
http://www.policyreview.org/oct03/brooks.html

18 Comments:

Blogger sexyretard said...

I think the article is correct, but one must not over-generalize. My liberal parents and my liberal grandmother are among the most generous people I know, and compared to me, they are downright prodiguous in their generosity with friends and causes.

At the same time, I have encountered those who will not give to the poor because they feel that it is the "government's job to help such people." I also have encountered people working in social services (with me) who expressed surprise that I would give a dollar to a fellow selling Streetwise.

my thoughts are rambling as my day has been rough and long, but I want to reference campaign contributions and the failed Air America experiment. those folks giving thousands to Air America will not be able to give those same thousands to charitable causes. If Soros and moveon donations were given to the hungry, it would make the figures look better for the left.

Indeed, if the left were more interested in actually helping people eat and sleep in shelter than they were in calling Bush a modern day Hitler, I'd be far more likely to count myself among them.

3:42 PM  
Blogger sexyretard said...

If I may add a thought. I believe that conservatives are more likely to try to win in the competitive free market, while liberals are more likely to want to benefit from government largesse. Social work, social services, and teaching, all find quite a bit of funding from the public sector.

I work in both social work and in education, and I never was much for productivity, so I cannot claim this as anywhere near absolute.

1:53 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

"At the same time, I have encountered those who will not give to the poor because they feel that it is the "government's job to help such people.""

So, as many as 61% of liberals, who want government to solve ALL the world's problems (except evil foreigners, drugs and porn), give to charities, while only 71% of conservatives, who want government to solve NONE of the world's problems (except evil foreigners, drugs and porn), give to charity? I'd say the conservatives have a lot more giving to do before their outlays come into line with their expectations, while liberals should dramatically cut back on donations.

I'm going to lead by example and cut off that little good-for-nothing Guatemalan kid I sponsor.

9:54 AM  
Blogger mkchicago said...

Jeff,
While you're kicking Pedro out into the cold don't forget to volunteer an extra 30% of your income to the IRS on April 15 to support government problem solving.

Porn is a problem?

11:14 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

"While you're kicking Pedro out into the cold don't forget to volunteer an extra 30% of your income to the IRS on April 15 to support government problem solving."

Funny thing is, if I were to pay more in taxes, it would only worsen the government's fiscal position, because it would be booked as an overpayment and the feds would have to pay me interest on it. If YOU and fellow conservatives were to ramp up your charitable giving, the only thing that would happen is the world would become a better place.

Looks like the ball is in your court.

1:46 PM  
Blogger Germanicu$ said...

Retard: "if the left were more interested in actually helping people eat and sleep in shelter than they were in calling Bush a modern day Hitler, I'd be far more likely to count myself among them."

I'll be sure to mention that at the next meeting of the National Council of the Elders of Liberalism: "Hey, I've got a new recruit in the pipeline; all we need to do is tone down the Hitler stuff." Unfortunately, I don't think the measure will get out of committee unless we can get you to sign a Letter of Intent (blog postings don't carry much weight, you see).

2:09 PM  
Blogger sexyretard said...

I'm quite certain that the Elders of Liberalism don't care whether I am "on side." Of course they'd rather I be anti-Semitic, so as to stand up to the international Zionist Occupational Government (ZOG) that owns all the media and dominates American foreign policy. I'm joking, and that poorly.

Jeff, you can most certainly give to the general fund without overpaying, and people overpay their taxes all the time. I'm quite sure that H and R Block could get me lower taxes (without the government passing a different bill) just because I am too lazy to take itemized deductions. As I own no property, I may be wrong about this. An accountant friend tried to give me advice and I drifted off 10 seconds into it.

Now my Guatamala-phobia should be apparent; as such, I am happy to see that Pedro will soon return to his abject suffering. In reality, my mention of my parents as a notable exclusion to the "stingy liberal" trend is even stronger than I can do justice to; my parents adopted a very troubled 9 year old Mexican boy and spent tens of thousands of dollars and very sleepless nights getting him the help he needed and putting up with much drama. So I again mention that these are not absolutes. My parents are far more generous than I am.

But let me tell you about a Christian liberal friend of mine. We are always going toe to toe over this or that; we are both against abortion but otherwise he is party-line Democrat. He is always telling us about the need for a more compassionate government, which is nice, but he is always going off to some nice wine and cheese gala in his Miata. Understand how odd it feels to be a car-sharing quasi-Republican being lectured on governmental charity from someone driving a Miata to a wine and cheese event. I also regularly ride my bicycle past a neighborhood Volvo demanding that I live more simply, so that others may simply live.

2:21 PM  
Blogger Germanicu$ said...

"He is always telling us about the need for a more compassionate government, which is nice, but he is always going off to some nice wine and cheese gala in his Miata. Understand how odd it feels to be a car-sharing quasi-Republican being lectured on governmental charity from someone driving a Miata to a wine and cheese event. I also regularly ride my bicycle past a neighborhood Volvo demanding that I live more simply, so that others may simply live."

- Sexy Retard, recounting the duplicitous lives of his hypocritical liberal friends/neighbors

This sentiment, widely held by conservatives in general and those in our reading group in particular, is exactly why I chose "In Defense of Hypocrisy" a few months back. Unfortunately the book was pretty weak, and didn't really give any definitive philosophical insights that couldn't be culled from performing the same internet searches that the author did.

But the consternation that you feel is so real, so tangible, that it's worth digging into deeper. What exactly is the problem you have with the Volvo-driving liberal? It's not that he demands, vis-a-vis his bumper, that others live simply, but that he is not living as simply as he ought, given that a Volvo is less simple than a bicycle. In other words, his hypocrisy rubs you the wrong way.

Likewise, mkchicago disses Jeff - who he (correctly?) presumes is a liberal who believes that governments can devise and implement workable solutions to societal ills - for not donating more to the government he so believes in.

Both of these seem like pretty puerile and easily-dismissed sentiments, that for some reason continue to have legs in our small debate. It has yet to be demonstrated why owning a Volvo or not "donating" excess taxes is ethically and philosophically inconsistent with advocating living simply, or believing in the power of government to solve problems.

But even if it could be demonstrated - I assume it would take some circuitous law-school logic to pull that off - I don't see what possible good it would yield. Say you got the Volvo-driver to agree with your implicit contention that it is morally inconsistent to own a Volvo and profess to live simply. Either he'd get rid of his Volvo, or he'd get rid of the bumper sticker. The only objective you would possibly achieve would be A.) feeling better about yourself; B.) emasculating a liberal; or C.) neither. I'm guessing in the unlikely event you succeeded, it's nearly a lock you'd not even notice, and thus C would be the outcome.

If the purpose of your bringing up these alleged incidents of liberal duplicity is A or B, and that is the fundamental thrust behind conservative ideology, then I'll kindly ask for directions to the nearest Volvo dealership.

4:11 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

I understand S-Tard's ridiculing the silly bumper sticker on the Volvo because, let's face it, it's pretty silly to put that bumper sticker on such an expensive car.

However, the bumper sticker would be just as silly on a rickshaw or a water buffalo because the economy--particularly the global economy--isn't a zero sum game in which my deciding to ride a bike instead of a Volvo would allow an Indonesian peasant to increase his food and housing consumption per year by the value of the difference between the two vehicles. You can come up with sophomoric little scenarios for argument's sake in which you take the money you get from selling the Volvo and send it directly to the peasant (or, less sophomorically, to an organization working on his behalf), but once you apply that logic across the board, and everyone stops buying Volvos altogether, as well as all other fancy western stuff, the global economy collapses, and then nobody wins--except for the terrorists.

Progressives don't view government action as charity. I don't even think the government would necessarily need to tax people more to get done what I think it should get done, and could probably tax us less if we got rid of all the pork and the unnecessary military/social/research programs that are out there.

But what's really silly is the suggestion that liberals should voluntarily pay more in taxes if they think the government should do everything for us (which most of them don't, as we all know). Charity is a voluntary contribution, made in order to advance some social goal, or assuage one's conscience, or get a tax break, or whatever. Taxes are a mandatory payment used to fund government programs, be they missile defense shields, subsidies to agribusiness, Head Start, or Highway Repair. Most liberals would like to see a serious re-allocation of money, and most would be OK with paying more taxes if the services provided commensurate value (which is where most of them differ from conservatives).

A suggestion that is equally asinine--and equally logical--as the bumper sticker's would be for liberals to just voluntarily pay more for everything: pay the guy at the Kwik-E-Mart $10 for that gallon of milk instead of $3.50 if you love humanity so much and think the government can solve problems, because his kids could probably use it to go to college, he'll be taxed that much more on it.

4:52 PM  
Blogger sexyretard said...

I want to hasten to say that if taxes were used in a better fashion (as they apparently were in the Los Angeles transportation system, they sure the hell weren't in the Rehabilitation Services Administration) I would not be in the least opposed to progressive taxation.

Now I am harsh with my Miata-driving friend Phil's actions, but our sympathies are quite similar. However, I trust Compassion International, the Night Ministry (NOT a conservative organization), Habitat for Humanity, the Pacific Garden Mission, etc. much more with my money than I do the government. Nevertheless, I am not against higher taxes if that money actually goes to the poor. From above, I have great experience in witnessing money devoted to a group of people (in my case, people with disabilities) going to something very, very different.

My problem with the latte liberals and the simplicity Swedes is that I don't think they appreciate someone in my position, and I really don't think they believe I exist. Asking me to pay more into the government will cause my lifestyle to be hampered. I'm again saying that this is fine. However, if you are going to insist that my lifestyle be hampered, then it's only fair for you to CHOOSE to hamper your own.

Telling me to live simply from a Volvo feels like when a morbidly obese football coach used to tell me to run faster.

8:28 AM  
Blogger sexyretard said...

Incidentally, when the Republicans allocate millions for "bridges to nowhere," (the end of that saga was truly comedic) they do no better. Maybe they will later use that as an example of wasted taxpayer dollars?

8:30 AM  
Blogger sexyretard said...

"It has yet to be demonstrated why owning a Volvo or not "donating" excess taxes is ethically and philosophically inconsistent with advocating living simply, or believing in the power of government to solve problems."

Taxation is effectively saying to taxpayers "you don't need this money." Before someone should be able to advocate taking people's money by force, they really should be more willing to give theirs willingly, in a similarly "marginally-utilized" sense that taxes are based on. That is, if someone is going to tell me that I have to do without my twice weekly meal out with my wife then I really think they need to choose not to drive Volvos. The Bush tax cuts, even on my wife and my salary, really make a difference in our lives.

8:39 AM  
Blogger Germanicu$ said...

~Taxation is effectively saying to taxpayers "you don't need this money."~

I think that's ineffectively describing taxation. Taxation, at its best, is charging the citizenry a fee for publicly provided services, and the attendant costs of administering those services. What those services end up being - roads, schools, the violent destruction of foreign enemies real or imagined - is the province of those who hold political power. The determination, collection and application of those taxes is always up for debate - but you can't hold any of that shit against the taxes themselves.

~Before someone should be able to advocate taking people's money by force,~

Ah, now we come to your TRUE definition of taxation.

~they really should be more willing to give theirs willingly, in a similarly "marginally-utilized" sense that taxes are based on. That is, if someone is going to tell me that I have to do without my twice weekly meal out with my wife then I really think they need to choose not to drive Volvos.~

Well, different strokes. Maybe he keeps it "simple" by offsetting his Volvo-driving with never wastefully eating out like the SexyRetard family, instead subsisting on a diet of grasshoppers and lattes. If you really think about it, a true devotee of simplicity would probably religiously eschew stickers in all their forms, bumper or otherwise. Clearly the problem here is that this guy just buffaloed all of us, and should have just kept the "Gore/Lieberman 2000" sticker.

Though I'm guessing it's a newer Volvo than that.

~The Bush tax cuts, even on my wife and my salary, really make a difference in our lives.~

You have to think of the bigger picture here, man. Long-term, you know? Sure, you might be able to afford more limousine rides out with the wife, rubbing elbows with Evanston's beautiful people at the dessert table. But the class warfare unleashed by the rigged tax code that Bush, Inc has implemented - not to mention the deficits - is certainly going to make a far more significant and negative difference in all our lives. OK, maybe not in your lifetime; the effects of a society based on massively unequal wealth distribution take a while to become us vs them, especially in the first world. But think of your kids. If they're lucky enough to survive the catastrophic effects of global warming, do you want them living in a society that's $80,000,000,000,000 in hock to the Chinese?

8:14 PM  
Blogger sexyretard said...

Hey there German,

I do not want my children having anything to do with the Chinese. Having MFN trade status with them is ludicrous, and I'm not a free trader anyway. Given how they are reacting to this nuclear thing going on next door, we should not buy as much as a matchstick from them until they put the beat down on the North Koreans

I'm also not in favor of deficits, and I am not against higher taxation (it is, however, taking money by force). I gladly supported Glenn Poshard when he ran for governor in Illinois, even more so after he said that he would raise taxes to fund education.

My frustration with the Volvo driver is similar to my frustration with the hawks driving SUVs. If we are in a war, then we should be expected to act like it (conserve resources, make purchasing decisions based on being at war, use less gas from Saudi Arabia, etc.) Anyone who is afraid of Islamofascism and drives an SUV has nothing to talk about, either.

It's not so much the hypocrisy (see the Tard family meals out--never in limousines, however) as I am a purveyor of it. It's more that we have an increasing tendency to seperate our convictions from our behavior. I fear what THAT does to society much more than I fear what global warming or trade deficits do.

But getting back to taxation, I am all for progressive taxation, and it is a national disgrace that we have opulence along side hunger. At the same time, we should make better choices ourselves before making them for others, and that is my criticism of the trend that was originally cited in this string.

11:21 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

"My frustration with the Volvo driver is similar to my frustration with the hawks driving SUVs. If we are in a war, then we should be expected to act like it (conserve resources, make purchasing decisions based on being at war, use less gas from Saudi Arabia, etc.) Anyone who is afraid of Islamofascism and drives an SUV has nothing to talk about, either."

I'd like to suggest that if there is a vociferous national debate about whether or not we're at war, we're probably not at war. To claim otherwise is just torturing the English language, similar to the way in which the definition of racism was tortured, expanded, and rendered meaningless in order to accommodate the political agenda of the radical multiculturalists.

If I'm not mistaken, there's even a technical definition of war that requires a congressional declaration. I'm sure the founders had a pretty good reason for setting the bar so high in such serious situations, but I can't think of what it might be at the moment.

9:00 AM  
Blogger sexyretard said...

Sure there is the "Congressional Declaration of War" (an enumerated power in Article One), but that hasn't really meant anything since the Korean War, er, I mean police action with a draft. The War Powers Act, meant to curtail such Presidential shenanigans, has been ignored to some degree by every president since Nixon, including "history's greatest monster" himself (MK, enjoy your trip!)

I actually think that a discussion about whether or not we are at war would go a long way into getting us the hell out of there. If we are at war, then we need to alter our behavior at home; if we are not, then why are so many Americans dying again?

I was happy to hear that Bush was considering changing his tactics. Lovely, cordon off the bad areas, get our troops out of there, and reduce certain places to rubble, while uplifting other places with ample food. Isn't trying to fight a land war in Asia, and in the desert for that matter, one of the classical military no-nos?

Just as we should be clear what racism is and isn't (and that being unclear causes problems for those falsely accused, and helps those actually guilty fly under the radar), we should be clear what is war and isn't war. The Lyons situation strikes me as atrocious, but a little bit analagous. The whole argument that Lyons should not have been fired (and I make it) is that what he said does not amount to racism. Similarly, if indeed what is in Iraq does not amount to "war," then any kind of drastic decision (such as sending over troops to get shot) becomes disproportionate (like firing Lyons).

9:09 AM  
Blogger Germanicu$ said...

"Isn't trying to fight a land war in Asia, and in the desert for that matter, one of the classical military no-nos?"

That, and matching wits with a Sicilian when DEATH is on the line!

12:08 PM  
Blogger sexyretard said...

Unlike you, foolish mortal, I have spent a lifetime developing an immunity to iocaine powder.

But really, does the invasion of wastelands like the frozen tundra of Russia (Napoleon) set a sort of precedent that suggests that invading a desert in Asia is a bad idea.

5:59 PM  

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