Look Who’s a Skinflint
Liberals are incredibly generous — with other people’s money. With their own? Not so much.
Mitt Romney, by contrast, is far more generous than some of his Democratic adversaries.
Amid all the hyperventilating about Romney’s tax rate, it’s worth noting that Romney gives 13-20 percent of his income away in charitable contributions.
Nothing so clearly demonstrates the truth of a trenchant observation by GMU economist Bryan Caplan: “The wealthy but uncharitable socialist ceases to be a mystery once you understand relative prices. Voluntary charity is costly to the giver, but voting for charity … is virtually free.”
It also offers further evidence in support of Arthur Brooks’ thesis in Who Really Cares? As one summary put it:
Brooks shows that those who say they strongly oppose redistribution by government to remedy income inequality give over 10 times more to charity than those who strongly support government intervention, with a difference of $1,627 annually versus $140 to all causes. The average donation to educational causes among redistributionists was eight dollars per year, compared with $140 from their ideological opposites, and $96 annually to health care causes from free marketeers versus $11 from egalitarians.
A 2002 poll found that those who thought government “was spending too much money on welfare” were significantly more likely than those who wanted increased spending on welfare to give directions to someone on the street, return extra change to a cashier, or give food and/or money to a homeless person.
Brooks finds that households with a conservative at the helm gave an average of 30 percent more money to charity in 2000 than liberal households (a difference of $1,600 to $1,227). The difference isn’t explained by income differential—in fact, liberal households make about 6 percent more per year. Poor, rich, and middle class conservatives all gave more than their liberal counterparts. And while religion is a major factor, the figures don’t just show tithing to churches. Religious donors give significantly more to non-religious causes than do their secular counterparts.
- barticles posted this