Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Americans (Mostly CONSERVATIVE Americans) Are World-beaters When it Comes to Charity


First, John Stossel does a 20/20 piece on how Conservative areas are more charitable than more Liberal areas. In his report very Red Bismark, North Dakota proved to be far more charitable than extremely blue San Francisco, now Elizabeth Eaves of Forbes, looks over the global numbers coming out of the John Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies and finds that the U.S. leads the world in charitable giving (1.85% of GDP) compared to 1.34% of GDP for second place Israel and 1.17% of GDP for third place Canada!

By comparison such big government havens as Sweden ranks 18th, France 21st and Germany 32nd! Leading Ms. Eaves to assess that “Among developed nations, those with higher taxes and bigger social safety nets, tend to have lower rates of giving.”

But that’s not really true.

Few places anywhere have more extensive welfare, unemployment and SSI (Supplemental Security Income for the disabled) than the U.S. does.

Moreover, Red Staters DO indeed tend to be more charitable and those low-income employed Americans tend to give the most, in terms of a percentage of their incomes (4.5%), but even among the relatively wealthy, Conservatives tend to give far more.

Ms. Eaves found out that the Cheney’s gave away a whopping 78% of their income last year, while the likes of so-called “do-gooders” like the Bidens’ and Obamas’ gave far less.

Go figure.


heidianne jackson said...

"gave far less" in regards to obama and biden are puting it midly, jmk. and if you look back, until obama decided to run for national office, he and michelle gave nothing. as for more extensive welfare here in the u.s., define welfare. right now, we don't have the same education and health care welfare as in sweden, france, etc. and that's a bit more expense then what we do have. but wait a while - that's all about to change.

happy new year!

JMK said...

I don't really see the U.S. moving in the direction of France and Sweden Heidianne, especially not with both those nations moving back toward more market-based economies.

In fact, the incoming administration is talking more about infrastructure spending (roadways and bridges repair, etc.) than welfare or other such dependancy programs.

We'll see.

We've got to keep in mind that we've been heading down this very wrong Keynesian path for quite awhile, certainly over the past four years....and especially over the past two.

The Dodd-Frank-Waxman-Conyers Congress is going to be the incoming administration's biggest tormentor in short order.

Wether Obama winds up like Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton will depend on how he deals with that Congress.

Alpha Conservative Male said...

It doesn't come as a surprise JMK. Since conservatives don't look to government to help them, its only natural that they don't look to government to help others.So they use their own money to help others directly.

heidianne jackson said...

cb makes a great point and says it so eloquently, too.

however, jmk, i must disagree with you on infrastructure spending not being welfare. that is exactly his intent - it is not to hire private industry that will expand and contract as required by the jobs it has, but rather to hire these people directly - either at a state or federal level remains to be seen - and it's nearly impossible to shrink a government workforce even if there is no more work for them to do.

Seane-Anna said...

Happy New Year, JMK!

Of course Americans give more than the "compassionate" socialists in Canada and Europe. We're more conservative and, therefore, better people.

"'s nearly impossible to shrink a government workforce even if there is no more work for them to do." Soooooooo true, HJ!

JMK said...

"conservatives don't look to government to help them, its only natural that they don't look to government to help others.So they use their own money to help others directly." (Tyrone)
That's a huge part of it Tyrone. I also think that people who really appreciate individual freedom, tend to be MORE connected to others than those who aren't.

Look at the largely Liberal urban areas in America - many people don't know or even care who their neighbors are....there is little inter-personal connection and less charity.

In more rural Conservative areas, EVERYONE knows their neighbors and feels a deep community connection and there's more social connectivity and far more individualism and charity.

Individualists and Conservatives KNOW that charity is a virtue and to be a virtue, it must be VOLUNTARY. Liberals don't seem to believe in charity any more than they do individualism, so they tend to be "more generous with other people's money." They'd rather raise taxes on EVERYONE than be charitable themselves. That's because such people aren't really "caring" at all, they're merely "control freaks," with a deep desire to control other people's behaviors.

The irony is that many Liberals constantly delude themselves into thinking that they're actually "kinder and more community oriented," it's just that the facts that don't jibe with that.

JMK said...

"...i must disagree with you on infrastructure spending not being welfare. that is exactly his intent - it is not to hire private industry that will expand and contract as required by the jobs it has, but rather to hire these people directly - either at a state or federal level remains to be seen..." (Heidianne)
To date, the vast majority of infrastructure work (road and bridge repair, etc.) is contracted out to private contractors.

When that's done, it's as good for the economy as wars often are. For a long time one of the major components of the American economy has been the defense industry - private contractors filling a government demand.

While I've voted heavilly Republican (in national elections) I am NOT a Republican and don't anticipate ever being one, I'll remain a Conservative "Zell Miller Democrat."

The GOP was the FIRST home to American "Progressivism" - the inane idea that "every problem has a scientific solution best enacted by an enlightened government." Teddy Roosevelt first championed that and Herbert Hoover governed with that viewpoint.

While there have been numerous political shifts since that time, the fact remains, in my view, that the GOP is a poor vehicle for Conservatism, while the Democratic Party is a much more natural vehicle for that.

At this point the Democratic Party has been ceded to radical interests, BUT the GOP remains a primarily "Progressive Party," with its "Rockefeller-wing" always doing its very best to sell out Conservative principles at every turn.

Look at the last four Republican Presidents - THREE of them have been Liberal Keynesians, opposed to the Reagan/Goldwater view. From Nixon ("We're ALL Keynesians now"), to Bush Sr.'s calling Reagan's Supply Side policies "Voodoo Economics," to Bush Jr. who's spent more on reckless social spending (adjusted for inflation) than LBJ did!

While Reagan and Newt Gingrich and other GOP Conservatives have been beacons of light and hope, the Dennis Hastert's and McCain's have been less fact, on the whole, they've been even less Conservative than the likes of Rahm Emanuel has been.

JMK said...

Happy New Year to you Seane-Anna!

America certainly has a unique culture, forged in a rugged individualism that values volunteerism and deliberate virtue - striving to do more good and less har each day.

This has been a unique human experiment that's deviated away from the human norm that's always been centered around a top-down, feudal-styled system wherein a group of proclaimed elites control everyone else.

The charge for Conservatives is to fight off the entropy - the natural momentum that leads objects and institutions to fall. Our charge is to maintain the individualist experiment that's been America.

Liberals tend to support falling back and embracing that rule by the elites (in the form of a large, more active centralized state).

Z said...

Cb..great point.

Workingclass, great blog! I saw your comment at Heidianne's and am glad to have found you.

By the way, obama's infrastructure work's going to be all about government; not really creating new money at all.

I made the mistake of watching Harry Reid this AM on Meet the Press (by the way, what did he keep SMILING for all of a sudden?)..He actually said "...and we will let the Republicans get involved in the stimulus package".
Oh, ya...the Dems are locked and loaded for bulls eyes every time...we're out of power and they are going to "let us be involved"...grrr

This will be the most dangerous year America's known, in my humble opinion. I hope I'm REAL WRONG!

JMK said...

You may be right Z, that remains to be seen.

A HUGE public works project WOULD certainly be disastrous. States like California, Illinois and New York are teetering on bankruptcy and could wind up laying off massive amounts of Municipal workers if things get much worse.

The Obama administration is NOT looking much like the Carter least NOT at this juncture. Rahm Emanuel is a devout Clinton-Centrist. Clinton was one of two Supply Side Presidents of the last four...ONLY Reagan and Clinton were ardent Free Traders and Supply Siders. Both Bush's, while globalists and Free Traders were NOT really Supply Siders at all.

A faltering economy will make a lot of the Obama's decisions for them.

Right now, the Pelosi-Reid Congress is faaaar more dangerous than the Obama my humble opinion.

JMK said...

P.S. I like your blog Z!

Z said...

Thanks, great to meet you!
Thanks for your response at Heidianne's again..super thinking.

I LOVE meeting bloggers this smart and who I can learn from and play off of...SO many great bloggers in our corner of the blogosphere, and you sure seem to be one of them! (except for the football junk..oops!)

WomanHonorThyself said...

this warms my heart JMK..just reinforces what we knew all along..and at a time like this..We could use all the endorsements we can get.God speed my friend!

JMK said...

Much appreciated Z (I actually don't do much sports around here, unless the lessons learned relate to other issues), so those entries will probably be mercifully few, for you.
I agree Angel that it does reinforce what we already know.

As you know, I'm not a gloom and doomer, so, as I've said, I don't see Obama as "the AntiChrist" or the incoming administration as "evil" by any means.

We DON'T have a free market here in America, we haven't had one since around 1912...almost 100 years now.

That's something that both Right and Left either refuse to acknowledge OR are just plain unaware of.

In FACT, we have the SAME economic model as all of Western Europe and Japan has - a "Corporatist" (for lack of a better word) economy, one that is market-based but heavilly government regulated.

Within that Corporatist framework there is a sliding scale, with Supply-Side market-emphasis on the one side and Keynesianism government-emphasis on the other. Some people erroneously call Keynesian Corporatism (like France, Germany and Sweden) "socialism," and America's, Australia's and Hong Kong's as "free market"...when NEITHER is the correct.

Europe appears more Keynesian lately, but we were just as Keynesian up UNTIL it imploded under Jimmy Carter.

A lot of Congressional Democrats (Frank, Dodd, Pelosi, Waxman, Reid, Frank and Rangel, among others) want to move us back to a decidedly Keynesian path (more like France and Sweden and less like America) and a lot of Moderate/"Rockefeller-wing" Republicans want the same.

For now, a majority of the American electorate has bought into "change" and will probably go along with some of that leftward, Keynesian tilt, UNTIL or UNLESS it results in even worse economic dislocation.

I accept that as inevitable.

What ISN'T inevitable is how we Conservatives react. If we react as petulent juveniles and try to do what the far-Left appears to have done successfully with G W Bush, we will fail.

We're just not as good at that and the people (the vast middle) won't accept that from those who claim the "moral high ground."

We can only offer insights and help people see the light....railing against "evil Democrats" and calling opponents "Stalinists" and "socialists" will ultimately marginalize us as much as the fringe Left marginalized itself by deriding those they disagreed with as "nazis."

We HAVE to be better....because ultimately, we have far less room for error.

Anonymous said...

Right now, the Pelosi-Reid Congress is faaaar more dangerous than the Obama my humble opinion.

I'm beginning to agree with you, JMK. Oh, and Happy New Year.

JMK said...

"I'm beginning to agree with you, JMK. Oh, and Happy New Year." (Rachel)
I'm glad to hear that Rachel!

That Congress has been horrific (single-digit apporval rating horrific) for going on two years now.

The current administration has cooperated with that Congress as eagerly and as fully as Bill Clinton did with the Gingrich Congress, sadly with virtually opposite results.

I'm sure the Obama administration will do any number of things that will outrage Conservatives and I'll oppose those things when they occur, BUT I don't see a radical administration here, NOT with Robert Gates, Janet Napolitano, Dennis Blair as DNI, with a very market-oriented economics team and with Rahm Emanuel as Chief-of-Staff.

Politically partisan and astute? YES.


I don't see that, at least not at this point.

In fact, we've just had the FIRST Keynesian administration (Bush Jr's Second term was entirely Keynesian) since Bush Sr presided over four straight years of double digit Misery Indexes from 1989 - 1993.

JMK said...

Oh yeah! And I hope (and trust) you had a Great New Years as well.

I stayed usual.

I've always hated New Years and St Patrick's Day as "drinking days."

Not much good comes from any of that.

Anonymous said...

I stayed usual.

I slept through it, which I prefer.

JMK said...

"I slept through it, which I prefer." (Rachel)
Ahh, so you missed the Kathy Griffin debacle on CNN. Man, that Anderson Cooper guy is a very gifted straight-man....hell, he even made Kathy Griffin appear almost funny.

I guess there really is a first time for, if we can only ge him to make Al Franken seem funny.....oh wait, Franken trying to act Senatorial will do that trick.

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