Monday, November 27, 2006

MUST READ: What I Highly Suspected Is True

Who Really Cares?

More frightening than any particular beliefs or policies is an utter lack of any sense of a need to test those beliefs and policies against hard evidence. Mistakes can be corrected by those who pay attention to facts but dogmatism will not be corrected by those who are wedded to a vision.

One of the most pervasive political visions of our time is the vision of liberals as compassionate and conservatives as less caring. It is liberals who advocate "forgiveness" of loans to Third World countries, a "living wage" for the poor and a "safety net" for all.

But these are all government policies -- not individual acts of compassion -- and the actual empirical consequences of such policies are of remarkably little interest to those who advocate them. Depending on what those consequences are, there may be good reasons to oppose them, so being for or against these policies may tell us nothing about who is compassionate or caring and who is not.

A new book, titled "Who Really Cares" by Arthur C. Brooks examines the actual behavior of liberals and conservatives when it comes to donating their own time, money, or blood for the benefit of others. It is remarkable that beliefs on this subject should have become conventional, if not set in concrete, for decades before anyone bothered to check these beliefs against facts.
What are those facts?

People who identify themselves as conservatives donate money to charity more often than people who identify themselves as liberals. They donate more money and a higher percentage of their incomes.

It is not that conservatives have more money. Liberal families average 6 percent higher incomes than conservative families.

You may recall a flap during the 2000 election campaign when the fact came out that Al Gore donated a smaller percentage of his income to charity than the national average. That was perfectly consistent with his liberalism.

So is the fact that most of the states that voted for John Kerry during the 2004 election donated a lower percentage of their incomes to charity than the states that voted for George W. Bush.

Conservatives not only donate more money to charity than liberals do, conservatives volunteer more time as well. More conservatives than liberals also donate blood.

According to Professor Brooks: "If liberals and moderates gave blood at the same rate as conservatives, the blood supply of the United States would jump about 45 percent."

Professor Brooks admits that the facts he uncovered were the opposite of what he expected to find -- so much so that he went back and checked these facts again, to make sure there was no mistake.

What is the reason why some people are liberals and others are conservatives, if it is not that liberals are more compassionate?

Fundamental differences in ideology go back to fundamental assumptions about human nature. Based on one set of assumptions, it makes perfect sense to be a liberal. Based on a different set of assumptions, it makes perfect sense to be a conservative.

The two visions are not completely symmetrical, however. For at least two centuries, the vision of the left has included a belief that those with that vision are morally superior, more caring and more compassionate.

While both sides argue that their opponents are mistaken, those on the left have declared their opponents to be not merely in error but morally flawed as well. So the idea that liberals are more caring and compassionate goes with the territory, whether or not it fits the facts.

Those on the left proclaimed their moral superiority in the 18th century and they continue to proclaim it in the 21st century. What is remarkable is how long it took for anyone to put that belief to the test -- and how completely it failed that test.

The two visions are different in another way. The vision of the left exalts the young especially as idealists while the more conservative vision warns against the narrowness and shallowness of the inexperienced. This study found young liberals to make the least charitable contributions of all, whether in money, time or blood. Idealism in words is not idealism in deeds.


Blogger The Merry Widow said...

Liberals are basing their vision on "utopia" and "man perfected", this gives rise to all sortsof dysfunctions, because we are not perfected. Conservatives believe that a "Higher Power" outside of themselves exists and will bring paradise. Moreover this G*D made humans and therefore we have a purpose and value. No matter how helpless that "life" may appear. Therefore, life is precious in and of itself! It needs to be protected, taught, cared for and cherished, AS IS! But it also implies a certain accountability also. Which is lacking amongst leftistas! Leftistas look at what they want to see, conservatives look at what is. Huge, almost insurmountable diffeence.
Good morning, G*D bless and Maranatha!


3:26 AM  
Blogger The Merry Widow said...

P.S. I greatly respect Dr. Sowell, he is a clear thinker and very articulate!


3:27 AM  
Blogger VerityINK said...

Yes, I love Dr. S. And you're absolutely right--and I'm so glad TS and you both pointed out the difference between the talk and the walk.

8:57 AM  
Blogger The Merry Widow said...

Talks cheap, politicians, scam artists and used car salesmen use lots of them. But when the rubber hits the road...give me real people who work for a living!
Thanks, Schweetie!


11:47 AM  
Blogger JINGOIST said...

TMW your post from 3:26 is VERY impressive! Well done.


4:48 PM  
Blogger The Merry Widow said...

Thanks Morgan, high praise indeed!
But it's the Truth, we see the larger picture(as much as humans can), leftistas see only their imaginary picture!


5:00 PM  
Blogger JINGOIST said...

What I don't understand is why they don't see the incredibly destructive nature of their chosen religion. When I see someone spouting leftist crap and claiming to be a reform Jew, liberal Catholic, Presbyterian or G-d forbid someone into Liberation Theology, I know immediately that their true religion is some form of the leftist religion. We KNOW what that is.


5:52 PM  
Blogger JINGOIST said...

TMW my cousin David Freedman is one of the world's foremost brain researchers. Don't EVEN ask what happened to me. Buy the 7Sep2006 issue of Nature Mag. and turn to pg. 85, that's one of his papers.

I might give him a ring and ask him what part of the brain is responsible for silly-ass leftist nonsense!

Do you ever wonder if G-d reserved a part of the brain for His use and leftists have misused it?


6:00 PM  
Blogger The Merry Widow said...

YES! Augustine, though I don't always agree with him, said that everyone has a G*D shaped void in their hearts. We can try to fill it up with people, or things, or vices, but it will never be filled until we ask G*D to do it! Have you noticed the open vice and addictions of leftistas? I know everyone has a weakness, but I'm talking about unashamed addictions and behaviors. Drugs, sex, pornography, alcohol, leftistas have little or no shame about them, conservatives if caught in something like that tend to be ashamed. That's the difference between acknowledging the possibility of G*D and making a god in our own image! If they believe in god, it is a very distorted, sick, weak, useless, petty being. Those who believe in G*D have to be accountable and they know HE has certain standards!
So, yes, I believe they try very hard not to face, G*D!
It has been discovered by the use of MRI's that when a person speaks in what is called "tongues" the language section of the brain is bypassed, hmmmmm, sounds like G*D can override the circuits!
Good morning, G*D bless and Maranatha!

Are you doing what you enjoy? Then nothing happened to you, your just gifted differently!

2:45 AM  
Blogger JINGOIST said...

Thanks for the info. I've never read St. Augustine, and he was nice enough to write a book. That's a new project. I have no quibble with what you wrote but I do have a question.
Can I hire you to write MY comments? :-)


3:57 AM  
Blogger The Merry Widow said...

NO! Because then they wouldn't be yours, and if they're not yours, they are useless!
You write and rant well, be yourself! I wouldn't want it anyother way! PS, Neither would G*D!


4:43 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home