Today's tome: Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth about Compassionate Conservatism by Arthur C. Brooks:
And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
1 Corinthians 13:13
Foreword by James Q. Wilson, page viii
…Brooks suggests a different and more fascinating possibility: it may be that charitable giving helps improve the economy.
"Regime Change Starts at Home," read one sign, overtly comparing President George W. Bush to the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, who had recently been ousted by American forces under a policy dubbed "regime change."
These are, perhaps, the most common stereotypes in our modern American political discourse: The political left is compassionate and charitable toward the less fortunate, while the political right is oblivious to suffering.
"The blue state citizens make the Rousseauvian mistake of thinking humans are essentially good, and so they never realize when they are about to be slugged from behind."
If we look at party affiliation instead of ideology, the story remains largely the same—if anything, it makes the political left look less charitable, not more so.
Conservatives think that donations to the Heritage Foundation are better than those to the American Civil Liberties Union; atheists believe donations to churches are a waste of money (or worse), and so on.
But is it true that the religious right is an unparalleled force in American politics?
The unexpected part of Mr. Dawson's story is this: He gave nearly all his money away.
We have already discussed the effects of the European "baby bust" on the financing of pension systems, but the economic maladies go deeper than just this.
Last page (180):
There should not be "two Americas" when it comes to charity.
Percentage who believe that we have become a society of haves and have-nots:
Liberals 92% | Conservatives 51%