11/29/2006

20/20 on charitable giving

I promise this is the last post on poor people and what to do for at least a while but tonight there was a 20/20 entitled "Cheap in America" It explored charitible giving in America. Here are some of the statistics: Conservatives are 18% more likely to give blood than liberals, Conservatives give 30% more of their income to charity than liberals, 24 of the top 25 states that give the greatest percentage of their income to charity voted bush in the last election, the working poor give a greater percentage of their income to charity than any other group, Sioux Falls outgives San Francisco, the number one indicator of whether a person gives to charity is whether they attend church (they are more likely to give to charities other than their church, they are more likely to donate blood, they are more likely to give money to a homeless person on the street). The middle class gives the smallest percentage of their income to charity.

One thing that stood out to me: working poor (those who make in their work what they would get if they just collected welfare) give the highest percentage of their income. Nonworking poor (those who just collect welfare) dont give. I am not a big fan of FDR, but I will say this for him. He made people work for the money the government gave them.

What this tells me is that the phenomenon I described two posts ago, liberals saying they want to give more and then not giving, is widespread. I think it is demonstrative of the hidden and deeply disturbing hypocrisy that exists among liberals today.

2 comments:

Matt said...

Few things.

1-There's no hypocrisy in arguing that there should be a social safety net provided by the government and not giving charitably. There just isn't.

It looks like there's a contradiction, but belief in the former doesn't compel the latter action. If I had control over the government and I had it not create robust welfare programs, that would be hypocrisy.

2-The fact that the working poor give such a large percentage of their income indicates that these are people who are not morally repugnant, and are not deserving of the suffering that unequal distribution of wealth can inflict.

The working poor's sense of charitable obligation reflects a strength of character and a noble sense of social responsibility. The society that profits from a system that leaves them impoverished has an obligation to reduce their suffering.

3-You don't know what the breakdown is on opinions of welfare among givers and non-givers. "liberal" and "conservative" are broad categories that include a variety of views. Giving a broad label lets you lump a lot of disparate views together and find easy insults that gloss over finer distinctions.

Liberals think just as hard as conservatives about their positions and about what constitutes correct, moral action. Liberals and conservatives both want the country to succeed and prosper, want less suffering and more happiness.

We differ in our perspective, not in consistency of our views or our moral authority.

Arfanser said...

I guess where we greatly disagree is the hypocrisy comment.

I see great hypocrisy in both the liberal and conservative camps. That does not mean that all liberals or all conservatives are hypocritical. There are members of both camps that do have well thought out and reasoned positions. I just think the majority of america is hypocritical.

As for the working poor, my including that was simply to show the disparity between the people who work for what they get and the people who just have it given to them. I think it admirable that they give such a high percentage. I do not see the suffering however. they dont drive a BMW, but that doesnt mean they are suffering.