Saturday, November 18, 2006

Conservatives Outgive Liberals

When it comes to being compassionate, it appears liberals fail to put their money where their mouth is.

In a forthcoming book, "Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism. " Arthur Brooks comes to the conclusion that conservatives are more generous than their liberal counterparts.

"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."

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.

Even here on this blog when I use the phrase, forced benevolence, I get accused of lacking compassion for those who are less fortunate. All because I believe government welfare programs actually hinder the freedom and generosity of all Americans. Our giving must take place after the government has taken their share for their giving. According to Brooks, it appears that religious conservatives are the most willing to give their after tax dollars to help others, irrespective of income level.

Forced benevolence, often called government spending, is never charitable. It is we, not the state, who are told to love and serve our neighbor. Further, government charity is the most inefficient form of help. I pay my taxes, they spend some on administration, and give some to those they feel need the help. Basically, wealthy distribution according to the needs of the state, which may or may not help my neighbor. Isn't it much more efficient if I just help my neighbor and give him the money directly? But the state doesn't believe enough of us will, so they force us to do it through taxation and compulsion. Often invoking the phrase, "for the children" to bolster their claim to our money.

Could it be the guilty conscience of the compassionate liberal "do gooders" that causes them to think this way?
Harvey Mansfield, professor of government at Harvard University and 2004 recipient of the National Humanities Medal, does not know Brooks personally but has read the book. "His main finding is quite startling, that the people who talk the most about caring actually fork over the least,"
Davey Crockett, in a speech before Congress explained why government acts of charity are not charitable at all. Every American should read and understand exactly what Davey Crockett learned from a country farmer.
We have the right, as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right so to appropriate a dollar of the public money.
Wouldn't it be nice if members of Congress and the White House thought the same way today?

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