Sunday, March 30, 2008

Some of Them Don't Even Seem to Have any Blood to Give

The usual slander about what it means to be a conservative have little changed. Caricatured as tightwads, uncaring, wealthy, and venal, George Will recently reminded us how the data show the opposite to be the case. It’s also worth noting that the non-Washington Post reading public read all about this 16 months earlier.

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.
On the surface of these facts there is also a sort of forboding to be found when it comes to our sophisticated continental friends as well. If no-one else in this world believes that government must attend to the management of human life, it is the Europeans, the very people who conceived of every variant of socialism, communism, fascism, and today’s Gramscian Brave New World-like statist neediness.

I can’t also think of any place which is so developed, yet has so much helplessness, nihilism, and social anxiety. If anything dooms a people, it is just that.

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