November 17, 2006

The Left Hand

Really doesn't know what the right hand is doing:

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.

When it comes to helping the needy, Brooks writes: "For too long, liberals have been claiming they are the most virtuous members of American society. Although they usually give less to charity, they have nevertheless lambasted conservatives for their callousness in the face of social injustice."

Yeah, you know how we routinely send the butler out with a scattergun to clear the front steps of begging children.

The book's basic findings are that conservatives who practice religion, live in traditional nuclear families and reject the notion that the government should engage in income redistribution are the most generous Americans, by any measure.

Conversely, secular liberals who believe fervently in government entitlement programs give far less to charity. They want everyone's tax dollars to support charitable causes and are reluctant to write checks to those causes, even when governments don't provide them with enough money.

Such an attitude, he writes, not only shortchanges the nonprofits but also diminishes the positive fallout of giving, including personal health, wealth and happiness for the donor and overall economic growth. All of this, he said, he backs up with statistical analysis.

Well, sure. Liberals see the guv'mint as the answer to all of society's ills. Conservatives, on the other hand, don't, instead often believing it causes or aggrivates many such ills. Libs, in lambasting conservatives as being calloused, simply can't or won't believe that such conservatives might be just as concerned, but might also think there's a better way to solve the problems at hand than turning them over to Uncle.

Posted by Robert at November 17, 2006 04:51 PM | TrackBack