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Philanthropy Expert Says Conservatives Are More Generous [while godless Libs moan]
Newhouse News ^ | 11/14/2006 | Frank Brieaddy

Posted on 11/16/2006 11:17:28 AM PST by Incorrigible


Philanthropy Expert Says Conservatives Are More Generous


SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Syracuse University professor Arthur C. Brooks is about to become the darling of the religious right wing 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, to be released later this month, 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."

Months before those words came off the press, news of his research reached the producers of ABC's "20/20." They filmed extensive interviews with Brooks to be aired next month in a one-hour special dealing with charity and philanthropy.

The fact that ABC will focus on the political, rather than cultural, aspects of his book frightens him less than the potential for a call from Bill O'Reilly, Fox News' hard-hitting conservative commentator.

"I can say no if I want to," he said.

The truth, Brooks says, is that if an interview with O'Reilly means furthering his message that America needs more charity -- especially from those who call themselves liberal -- he'd probably do it.

For the record, Brooks, 42, has been registered in the past as a Democrat, then a Republican, but now lists himself as independent, explaining, "I have no comfortable political home."

Since 2003 he has been director of nonprofit studies for Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.

He has lectured in Spain and Russia and makes about 50 appearances a year at professional conferences around the world.

Outside professional circles, he's best known for his regular op-ed columns in The Wall Street Journal (13 over the past 18 months) on topics that stray a bit from his philanthropy expertise.

One noted that people who drink alcohol moderately are more successful and charitable than those who don't (like him). Another observed that liberals are having fewer babies than conservatives, which will reduce liberals' impact on politics over time because children generally mimic their parents.

Brooks is a behavioral economist by training who researches the relationship between what people do -- aside from their paid work -- why they do it, and its economic impact.

He's a number cruncher who relied primarily on 10 databases assembled over the past decade, mostly from scientific surveys. The data are adjusted for variables such as age, gender, race and income to draw fine-point conclusions.

His Wall Street Journal pieces are researched, but a little light. His book, he says, is carefully documented to withstand the scrutiny of other academics, which he said he encourages.

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.

"These are not the sort of conclusions I ever thought I would reach when I started looking at charitable giving in graduate school, 10 years ago," he writes in the introduction. "I have to admit I probably would have hated what I have to say in this book."

Still, he says it forcefully, pointing out that liberals give less than conservatives in every way imaginable, including volunteer hours and donated blood.

In an interview, Brooks says he recognizes the need for government entitlement programs, such as welfare. But in the book he finds fault with all sorts of government social spending, including entitlements.

Repeatedly he cites and disputes a line from a Ralph Nader speech to the NAACP in 2000: "A society that has more justice is a society that needs less charity."

Leslie Lenkowsky, professor of public affairs and philanthropic studies at Indiana University's Center on Philanthropy, has not read Brooks' book but is familiar with his research and findings. He says Brooks' impact could be as great as that of Harvard professor Robert D. Putnam, who wrote the 2000 best-seller "Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community," setting off a national discussion about the decline of participation in group activities and its effect on society.

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," he said. "But beyond this finding I thought his analysis was extremely good, especially for an economist. He thinks very well about the reason for this and reflects about politics and morals in a way most economists do their best to avoid."

Brooks says he started the book as an academic treatise, then tightened the documentation and punched up the prose when his colleagues and editor convinced him it would sell better and generate more discussion if he did.

To make his point forcefully, Brooks admits he cut out a lot of qualifying information.

"I know I'm going to get yelled at a lot with this book," he said. "But when you say something big and new, you're going to get yelled at."


Nov. 14, 2006

 (Frank Brieaddy is a staff writer for The Post-Standard of Syracuse, N.Y. He can be contacted at

Not for commercial use.  For educational and discussion purposes only.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; US: New York
KEYWORDS: brooks; charitabledonations; charity; compassionate; conservatism; philanthropy; socialjustice
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To: napscoordinator
When I talk to others about this, I never bring up my own charitable giving at all. I defend my conservative brothers and sisters against false charges. I never laugh at the lack of charitable giving by the opposition, just point out the difference. I try to do it in an edifying way, but I have to confess, I do enjoy it. I understand your concerns,which seems to be 'don't throw stones at those that who do not give', but we can point out that they are throwing around false accusations / bad information.

Hope I did not offend you...
41 posted on 11/16/2006 12:20:51 PM PST by fatez
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To: napscoordinator
Yet we must consider the implications of the progressive experiment: While it is true that causing the government to seize assets from one to give them to another can be derided as a legalized form of theft––just as lottos can be derided as promoting the get rich quick mentality––the true effects of a pursuit of "social justice" are far more perverse.

Most tellingly, it explicitly promotes a mentality of entitlement that robs the "poor" of even their capacity to be thankful. If you are getting your "due" then why should you be thankful? And when is "getting you due" ever enough is someone has more? In truth, the Progressive experiment rises and falls politically on its ability to inspire envy.

Or put another way: Marx was a liar who knew perfectly well that social theory would be the most suitable opiate of the masses ... for by means of it their passions could be mobilized without limitations raised by morality or theology.

What does faith really have to compare to the allure of social theory? The truth? People hate the truth because the truth does more than set them free: it exposes them to their naked sin and wickedness if they are not deluded. People want to feel good about themselves so they believe anything that keeps them from having to face truth, either about God or themselves.

To best understand the collapse of western civilization and why liberality is not a strong trait among those we incorrectly deem to be liberals one need only see how this bait-and-switch––whereby social justice to groups and entities has displaced justice to Persons––has replaced a core set of values that promotes literal self government (i.e. control of your self and your appetites in accordance to informed conscience) with a core set of values that elevates self and self expression.

We have replaced self governance (of which true charity is an expression) with relying on elected and appointed officials to manage our affairs FOR us. Any wonder why our "poor" are just as surly and greedy as our rich ever were?
42 posted on 11/16/2006 12:24:56 PM PST by Rurudyne (Standup Philosopher)
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To: ModelBreaker
Does this mean the only good secularist is a drunk secularist?

I think it means you write bigger checks when your hammered.

43 posted on 11/16/2006 12:31:04 PM PST by Doomonyou (I voted and all I got was a FUBAR Congress.)
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To: Ouderkirk
Yeah ....but they were USED underwear. More than likely they had lipstick on them.

Yeah, on Hillary's.

44 posted on 11/16/2006 12:32:54 PM PST by Doomonyou (I voted and all I got was a FUBAR Congress.)
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To: ModelBreaker

If you happen to be in charge of fundraising for some charitable .org, your best bet would be to hit up religious tipplers, and steer clear of secularist teetotalers.

45 posted on 11/16/2006 12:36:43 PM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is aborting, buggering, and contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: Incorrigible

.."People who drink alcohol moderately are more charitable than those who don't drink".

The next time the head of the finance committee stands in front of the congregation and says..."Buy one less bottle of wine and give the money to church" I will quote the above statement. The bottle of wine does not cause me to give less!

She doesn't get it.

46 posted on 11/16/2006 12:38:40 PM PST by gathersnomoss
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To: Incorrigible

The gob'ment will handle the chulrun craddle to grave. Oh, Dog bless them.

47 posted on 11/16/2006 12:40:27 PM PST by gathersnomoss
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To: Onelifetogive

This is where the great dividing lines were drawn. However, the last bunch of Pubes blew the old Conservative ways clean out of the water. Kiss their ass goodbye!

48 posted on 11/16/2006 12:42:57 PM PST by gathersnomoss
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To: VRWCmember

Give that poster a prize.

49 posted on 11/16/2006 12:44:10 PM PST by gathersnomoss
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To: Incorrigible

Bookmark for later ordering. Good backup to have on hand for liberal whining.

50 posted on 11/16/2006 2:15:57 PM PST by momfirst
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To: Incorrigible


51 posted on 11/16/2006 2:37:39 PM PST by Cacique (quos Deus vult perdere, prius dementat ( Islamia Delenda Est ))
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To: keepitreal

Oh please tell me you're joking. And mind....I've just finished my dinner and want it to stay right where it is.

52 posted on 11/16/2006 3:22:21 PM PST by Sisku Hanne (Taxsylvania's nice place to visit, but you wouldn't want to live here.)
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To: fatez
Re your posts especially #27: "That is actually what I say in class, 'it's easy to be charitable with others money, how about using your own'.

The silence is deafening."

You do pack, don't you?

53 posted on 11/16/2006 4:36:46 PM PST by OldPossum
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To: Incorrigible
"I have no comfortable political home."

Boy, I hear you. This year the Dems' message was, "we are not the Republicans in power now," and the Reps' was, "we might be scoundrels but they are worse."

Since the election, both of them have been sinking deeper in the ethical morass.

I just added this book to my next shopping list for, though. Prof Brooks seems to be an honest man... and his book reminds me of the many years when John Kerry and Teresa Heinz (since 2004, T. Kerry) gave bupkus to anybody.

My theory is that liberals don't believe in charity because they believe that it should be replaced by governmental largess. They are deeply uncomfortable with free choice, in giving as in everything else.


Criminal Number 18F

54 posted on 11/16/2006 6:07:08 PM PST by Criminal Number 18F (Build more lampposts... we've got plenty of traitors.)
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To: Temple Owl


55 posted on 11/16/2006 6:09:14 PM PST by Tribune7
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To: fatez

have you compared the time you have given to charity compared to your classmates.

This doesn't include time to political organizations.

56 posted on 11/16/2006 8:33:53 PM PST by art_rocks
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To: art_rocks

No, because I am really selfish with time. I do sometype of stuff, some mentoring, small group type of stuff. But Mrs. Ez, the woman is never home because she always volunteering for something. I really do not bring my own situation into it, just my fellow conservatives.

57 posted on 11/16/2006 9:21:19 PM PST by fatez
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To: Incorrigible

I need a drink...

58 posted on 11/17/2006 12:07:35 AM PST by DB
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To: Incorrigible

I am absolutely NOT surprised by this......I know from my volunteer work that the real contributors are down to earth conservative people that believe in God and in practicing good values.....

59 posted on 11/17/2006 12:12:56 AM PST by cherry
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To: Teflonic

Instead of boasting to the libs about how generous conservatives are, why not shut up and secretly donate some $$ to charity?

60 posted on 11/17/2006 12:18:20 AM PST by slaymakerpowertape
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