Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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The Generosity Index

Instapundit calls our attention to a study at the Catalogue for Philanthropy. It derives a state-by-state ranking by comparing the average wealth of each state to the amount of charitable giving that goes on there. The state at the top of the list is Mississippi which, although the poorest state in the union, ranks fifth in terms of overall philanthropy.

But here’s the really interesting part. Every state in the top half of the list went for George W. Bush in last week’s election. And among the ten states at the bottom of the list, all but one went for John Kerry. Hmm, maybe there’s something to this "compassionate conservatism" stuff after all....

Discussions - 7 Comments

NPR did a story on this this morning and tried to blame the "poor economy" for the decline in giving among wealthy states like Connecticut. What they ignorantly missed is that it is a well-established fact that although wealthy people may give a lot of dollars to charity out of philanthropy, poor people routinely give a much higher percentage of their income to charity. Call it Christian duty or compassionate conservatism, it’s a fact.

I haven’t snooped around for historical data--and don’t have time to do so right now--but I wonder to what degree this pattern is in part a product of the difficulties that the Roman Catholic Church has had in recent years. Many of my Catholic friends have ceased giving to the Church because they’re not interested in helping it resolve its legal liabilities.

Anyone have any ideas on this?

My take is liberals tend to rely on government solutions as the defacto solution on most things. In this situation I think these blue states and their residents see government as the answer, not charities. And certainly Democrats are quite content to donate from someone else’s wallet thru manipulation of the tax code. "I am going to increase taxes on the wealthiest Americans." Which candidate said that?

This reminds me of what my gram always said...if you give to God and others, you will be rewarded. Alot of conservative Christians still hold to that belief. We have had people in our church struggling to pay bills, yet they always tithe. Just look at Kerry, he didn’t even start contributing to charitable causes until he ran for election.

In response to Joe’s question, I can understand your friends’ anger, but it is misguided. The Church certainly gives millions to the poor and countless worthwhile causes as well as supporting the hierarchy, beautiful buildings, etc., not just lawsuits for errant priests. Is it a good analogy to think of not supporting the war in Iraq because of the few instances of American abuse?

Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not necessarily defending my friends, some of whom claim to be giving to St. Vincent de Paul rather than to the Church. Nor am I suggesting that many aren’t inspired by their faith to give generously to the least of us. Indeed, the findings reported above tend to support my own inclinations and prejudices. I’m only saying that the picture painted by the data would be even more compelling if the pattern antedated the scandals in the Roman Catholic Church.

Err, all good points, but given that it’s Veteran’s day, why is no one pointing out with most of our soldiers come from, as a percentage of the population?

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