Home > Conservative, Opinion, Politics > Conservatives Are Really More Compassionate – George Will @ Townhall

Conservatives Are Really More Compassionate – George Will @ Townhall

Although I stopped taking a daily paper, I miss George Will column in the newspaper. But, I stopped taking the paper because they reduced the number of columns from the conservative perspective. So, I found Mr Will’s latest column, Conservatives Are Really More Compassionate, via Mary Katharine Ham’s blog.

Here is excerpt on how compassionate a conservative is versus a liberal:

Sixteen months ago, Arthur C. Brooks, a professor at Syracuse University, published “Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism.” The surprise is that liberals are markedly less charitable than conservatives.

If many conservatives are liberals who have been mugged by reality, Brooks, a registered independent, is, as a reviewer of his book said, a social scientist who has been mugged by data. They include these findings:

• Although liberal families’ incomes average 6 percent higher than those of conservative families, conservative-headed households give, on average, 30 percent more to charity than the average liberal-headed household ($1,600 per year vs. $1,227).

• Conservatives also donate more time and give more blood.

• Residents of the states that voted for John Kerry in 2004 gave smaller percentages of their incomes to charity than did residents of states that voted for George Bush.

• Bush carried 24 of the 25 states where charitable giving was above average.

• In the 10 reddest states, in which Bush got more than 60 percent majorities, the average percentage of personal income donated to charity was 3.5. Residents of the bluest states, which gave Bush less than 40 percent, donated just 1.9 percent.

• People who reject the idea that “government has a responsibility to reduce income inequality” give an average of four times more than people who accept that proposition.

Brooks demonstrates a correlation between charitable behavior and “the values that lie beneath” liberal and conservative labels. Two influences on charitable behavior are religion and attitudes about the proper role of government.

What was the major factor – religion. A lot of conservatives’ attitude is due to the fact it is an individual responsibility rather than government responsibility.  Government does a poor job at helping the poor.  Just look at all the entitlement programs and what they cost.  It is better that people help people.  A lot gets done that way. The liberal attitude can be reinforced by the closing paragraph:

In 2000, brows were furrowed in perplexity because Vice President Al Gore‘s charitable contributions, as a percentage of his income, were below the national average: He gave 0.2 percent of his family income, one-seventh of the average for donating households. But Gore “gave at the office.” By using public office to give other people’s money to government programs, he was being charitable, as liberals increasingly, and conveniently, understand that word.

Gives a new meaning on giving at the [government] office.

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