Friday, April 15, 2011

The Liberal Agenda, or The Idiot's Guide to Hell on Earth

Upon us may Thy Kingdom's peace descend, for if it does not come, then though we summon all our force, we cannot reach it our selves. --Purgatory, Canto XI

That is to say, while (↑) may be a necessary force, it is never a sufficient one; conversely, (↓) is both necessary and sufficient, if only because (↑) is already a mannafestation of (↓).

In reality, the two movements form the ascending spiral of the interior cosmos. When they are in harmony, then God's will is being done, and we are in Heaven. As Pope Benedict writes, "The essence of heaven is God's will," or "the oneness of will and truth." Virtue flows from this alignment; or, one might say that virtue is the truth -- and beauty -- of will.

Likewise, truth is both the beauty and virtue of intelligence, and beauty is the truth and virtue of creativity. A beautiful place to live, containing beautiful souls, would be heaven on earth.

The Pope agrees that "Earth becomes 'heaven' when and insofar as God's will is done there; and it is merely 'earth,' the opposite of heaven, when and insofar as it withdraws from the will of God."

While we cannot create heaven on earth, we should at least try to do so in our selves, our families, our communities, and on out from there. It cannot start in Washington DC and trickle up, for Wise politics is the art of invigorating society and weakening the State (Don Colacho's Aphorisms).

Indeed, the very idea that the state can create heaven on earth -- can cure man's Condition -- is at the root of the left's fantasies of omnipotence. Is there not a leftist who appreciates the irony that we are already living in the very country the left has bent all its efforts to forge over the past eighty years? And that more of the same can only make it worse?

The sophisticated leftist who would ridicule Genesis 3 is most desperately in need of its timeless wisdom, which is true, always has been true, and always will be true: you cannot prevent man's epic FAIL by pretending it didn't, doesn't, and won't happen. Every time.

Democrats can be divided into those who believe wickedness is curable and those who deny it exists (DC).

Only a leader who is systematically ignorant of the perennial truth of man -- perhaps one steeped in crapto-Marxist "liberation theology" -- could talk about "winning the future" with such fundamentally flawed troops. Mankind does not need Christianity so it can construct the future, but so it can confront it (ibid).

Besides, someone else has not only won the future already, but passed the savings on to you!

For how can one "win the future" without first winning the present? And to win the present requires mastery of the self. But to lavish the fruits of self-discipline upon undisciplined and disordered souls is a recipe for disaster -- for hell on earth, if you will.

Man is everywhen subject to Reynold's Law: "Subsidizing the markers of status doesn’t produce the character traits that result in that status; it undermines them."

But Unlike the Biblical archangel, Marxist archangels prevent man from escaping their paradises (ibid). Or, as Obama says, "legislate in haste, tax at leisure." The left passes the bills, and we pay them. This is their idea of "unity" -- of everyone being equally forced to subsidize the dreams of our spiritually deranged neighbors. Well, Perhaps individually men are our neighbors, but massed together they are surely not (ibid). My brother is not the mob.

Yes, we all want our daily broad. But do we really want her to come from the state? Really? For anything "given" to us by the state is instantaneously de-spiritualized and materialized. It is desiccated, mutilated, and exsanguinated by the time it ends up in our hands. This is how, for example, what begins as the "education establishment" ends in the establishment of stupidity.

Conversely -- and this is a key principle of Christianity -- because the Word has become flesh, flesh may attain to the Word. Or, as the Pope explains, "This extreme 'becoming-corporeal' is actually the real 'becoming-spiritual.'"

Again, (↓) is (↑), and vice versa. Thus, the essence of Christianity is a spiritualization of matter, which is the exact opposite of the left's cosmic movement, which involves -- always -- the materialization of spirit.

Consider, for example, this illustrative article on "income inequality," Gauging the Pain of the Middle Class. First, imagine the hubris of anonymous state officials "gauging the pain" of an entire "class" of people they have created in their own minds.

Note that they can in no way gauge the countless sources of real pain in individuals, e.g., divorce, parental abandonment, stupidity, impulsivity, promiscuity, bad values, narcissism -- to say nothing of the existential pain that comes with man's very existence.

Rather, like the scientist who confuses reality with what he is able to quantify, the leftist confuses happiness -- or pain -- with some abstract quantity. They concede up front that "the costs of income inequality are notoriously hard to measure.... Although conventional wisdom has long held that a widening income gap is a problem, there has never been a practical way to measure its actual costs." But does this humble them? No. You cannot humble the shameless.

In order to justify what he is going to do to us anyway, the leftist rejects the common-sense idea that "well-being depends primarily on absolute consumption." Rather, he actually pathologizes the envy-free by assuming that "the context of that consumption is often far more important."

In other words, you must not be satisfied with what you have. Rather, you must compare yourself to neighbors with more than you, in order to be aware of the extent of your pain -- indeed, to indiscriminately lump together mere economic circumstances with psychological, spiritual, emotional, and existential pain. Pay no attention to that stupid commandment that counsels us to refrain from indulging in the very envy that feeds on human happiness.

Do you actually believe your cramped little hovel is adequate? Well, it isn't. Rather, it "invariably depends on the quality and size of other houses in the surrounding area." As the author of the piece suggests, this doesn't only apply to houses, but to everything, which means that in the perverse world of the left, we should nurture a kind of infinite pain as a consequence of our boundless envy. And they accuse conservatives of "greed!"

And for every superior person who is happily free of envy, there is a pained leftist elite who wants desperately to rekindle it in us. We distress them because Capitalism achieves that disgusting prosperity promised in vain by the socialism that hates it (ibid).

The upshot is that hell on earth is not just the consequence, but cause, of the spiritually vacant world of the left.

In reality, No social class has exploited the other social classes more brazenly than that which today calls itself “the state." Thus, Societal salvation is near when each person admits that he can save only himself. Society is saved when its supposed saviors despair (Don Colacho's Aphorisms).

So make a liberal miserable today: be happy!


julie said...

"Subsidizing the markers of status doesn’t produce the character traits that result in that status; it undermines them."

Or as the Man said, Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.

Re. income inequality, Dr. Sanity had a good post up this week pointing out the fact that while the rich as a class tend to get richer, the people who make up that class have a pretty high turnover rate. In other words, the guys at the top of the pile tend not to stay there over the long term. Fortunes come and go, as I think virtually every American not permanently dependent on the State understands. But again, that's why it is best to put one's trust not in material, but in the Absolute.

On a different note, wv says "recology." I'm not sure how best to use that one, but it seems pretty versatile...

julie said...

Also, am I the only one who tends to read "gauging" as "gouging?" Which fits, since articles like that seem to be trying to gouge as much pain and envy into its readers as possible...

julie said...

And speaking of daily broads, this is how the state would create them. They have to start younger and younger, because once the state gets its claws in they dry up and wither away pretty quickly...

mushroom said...

I was thinking of a new football league -- maybe the National Socialist Football League -- where the referees' job is to make sure all the games end in a tie. If any team gets too far ahead, they have to play a series of downs with only seven men against eleven. Or maybe they send in the cheerleading squad for a couple of downs.

(The Chiefs would probably still manage to lose.)

Gagdad Bob said...

The left's class warfare would have considerably less appeal if they were called on their mischaracterization of "the rich." Obviously, income taxes do not tax wealth, but income. Therefore, we are not talking about "tax cuts for the rich," but the state appropriating more of the income a person earned that year. Just because you had a good year or two -- or even ten -- it hardly makes you "rich."

There is also no such thing as "the poor," since only a tiny minority of income earners in the bottom quintile are still there 10 years later -- and usually because of easily identifiable behaviors. They will always be with us.

Interlocutor XXX said...

I'd like to put out questions:

What are your personal spiritual goals and why?

What is your plan to move towards those goals?

What are your personal spiritual goals for our culture and why?

What is your plan to move our culture towards these goals?

Lastly, regarding the "daily broad," if the State wanted to give me one, I would probably take her.

How about you?

julie said...

Just because you had a good year or two -- or even ten -- it hardly makes you "rich."

Amen to that. Speaking from personal experience, "A fool and his money are soon parted" doesn't get any less true when you get more money; you just get parted from it that much faster, one way or the other...

And as to the poor, again speaking from personal experience, poverty and even destitution do not equal squalor, though the two conditions often go hand in hand. And more often than not, those who are poor but don't give in to the squalid life tend not to remain in such abject poverty, at least not in a free country.

Of course, that being the case, even the most materially poor man is subject to envy and hatred when he manages to live with humble good humor and a modicum of self-respect. Perhaps even more so than the wealthy, for the envious cannot conceive of nor comprehend immaterial happiness, while it is expected that the "rich" should be content with their lot.

jwm said...

I am richly blessed in this one area. I do not envy those who have more stuff, more money, more anything than I do. That doesn't mean I would not like to be better off than I am- of course, I'm human too. But when I listen to people go on a rant over "Rich, greedy bastards", what I hear is, "Poor envious Me"


USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"Besides, someone else has not only won the future already, but passed the savings on to you!"

Which is the best deal there is since we only have everything to lose otherwise. :^)

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Speakin' of Heaven how can one not see a slice of it, and indeed experience it in the form of Heavenly manna (ie bacon n' beer)?

Skully, Perfessor of Theo-ology and acclaimed author of the (yet to be written...still holdin' out for a decent price...or any price really) book: Beer, Bacon, Metaphysics and You.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Interlocutor XXX:

No thanks, I like my broad alive and breathin'.

You might be a leftist when you can't comprehend what you just read.

Anonymous said...

Hm, Martin Luther King Jr. would disagree with you. Wasn't he some kind of a Christian?

"But we must see that the struggle today is much more difficult. It's more difficult today because we are struggling now for genuine equality. And it's much easier to integrate a lunch counter than it is to guarantee a livable income and a good solid job. It's much easier to guarantee the right to vote than it is to guarantee the right to live in sanitary, decent housing conditions. It is much easier to integrate a public park than it is to make genuine, quality, integrated education a reality. And so today we are struggling for something which says we demand genuine equality."

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"There is also no such thing as "the poor," since only a tiny minority of income earners in the bottom quintile are still there 10 years later -- and usually because of easily identifiable behaviors. They will always be with us."

Aye. If yer still working the entry level job of McBurger Flipper ten years later you're doin' it wrong.

Gagdad Bob said...

MLK was a registered Republican -- which he needed to be, since his whole struggle was rooted in the principle that the Constitution means what it says.

Toward the end of his life he seems to have gone off the rails into socialism, but he was a preacher, not an economist.

julie said...

My brother is not the mob.

That's an excellent point. Just wanted to make sure it didn't get lost; there's food for thought there...

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"My brother is not the mob."

They're not your brother they're the heavy. :^)

julie said...

Ben, lol - exactly :)

As to MLK,

"It's much easier to guarantee the right to vote than it is to guarantee the right to live in sanitary, decent housing conditions."

Obviously, citizenship means that one has a right to participate in the legal process - in other words, the right to vote, which is a sort of ownership in the government of the city, county, state and nation in which one lives.

But unfortunately, as has been seen over and over again, housing conditions cannot be guaranteed, and indeed ought not to be a "right" at all. This is because in a free country, each individual is ultimately in charge of his or her living space, and the conditions therein. To guarantee that a slob living in squalor should have a clean home, odds are someone else would have to be tasked with keeping it "sanitary and decent." And even then, the results would likely be questionable. Again, this is because personal choices and behavior have a far greater impact on the state of one's living conditions than virtually anything else.

scory said...

I note that since King said those things our government has passed law after law, regulation after regulation and spent literally trillions of dollars in addressing all those things and at the end of the day we have student test scores that are lower than ever, schools that are dillapidated and sometimes dangerous to attend (especially in the inner cities among the very people King was most referencing), public housing that in many cases are filthy, crime-ridden slums, true unemployment near all-time highs (and effecting lower income people most severely) and a government that is effectively bankrupt at every level. All this in pursuit of "genuine equality". And most of this was done, in large part, by people who were and are "some kind of Christian".

If you read this blog long enough you can get a pretty clear picture of "some kind of Christian". Obama claims to be Christian. So does Jeremiah Wright. So does Nancy Pelosi ("I am an ardent Catholic").

BTW - excellent post today, Bob.

Shiner said...

To pay for the crime of enslaving Africans the descendants of the slave owners must pay the descendants of the slaves.

That is why the African American is entitled to goods and services gratis and will be for the next several centuries. And then the interest is paid on the debt and you can start working on the principal.

That's what you get for what you did and ain't it a beeyotch ha ha next time wachayousef.


The odious Mr. Pibb said...

Government can and must enforce that the rich part with a large portion of their lucre.

If you don't want to part with your lucre here's some advice: don't get so stinking rich.

Why do people insist on making huge piles of money? It just disrupts everything.

In other countries most of the people don't even have to work because the rich pay for them. So why not here? Why should people work when other people are sitting on piles of money they aren't doing anything with?

Old Fart said...

Brilliant, Shiner. You've traded one type of slavery for another, just as onerous, just as destructive to the black family, but far more insidious as the chains are worn willingly and the degradation comes from within.

As to the odorous one (and likely the same), what makes you think rich people are just sitting on piles of money? And when was the last time a poor person hired you for a job?

Oh, the stank of stupidity...

Magnus Itland said...

"The prosperity of a society depends on its values." The same applies to some extent to the individual and the family, although random events have a larger impact on small units of people and time.(There are events beyond a man's control, much to the surprise of Job's friends then and now.)

The blame game just mires us ever deeper in Hell. We may see things that are actually blameworthy, but in that case, our foremost effort must be to demonstrate its opposite by a blameless life, at home, at work, among friends and neighbors.

Anonymous said...

MLK was a registered Republican

Do you seriously think he'd be one today?

The party of Lincoln is now the party of Michelle Bachman, Sarah Palin, David Duke, Haley Barbour and similar loonies, grifters, and racists. I don't really think he'd feel at home there.

If you read this blog long enough you can get a pretty clear picture of "some kind of Christian".

I take it that the your position here is that the Reverend MLK, one of the most respected Christian clerics of recent times, was not a real Christian. OK. Don't think you guys own the trademark, fortunately.

Anonymous said...

Well, I want the government to take care of me.

It's easier than taking care of myself.

I don't need much I just want my needs taken care of without a whole lot of hassle. So that's the politician's job.

So what your saying is people should keep whatever they earn well thats fine if you earn something but some of us cant earn anythng. We dont know how to do anything.

so think about that theres lots of people like me and we need help.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Pibb. So what you make a bunch now your rich. Do you think your better than me then?
then I have to watch you with all your cars and ounces and all that. BFD.

Real people don't get rich because they know its disrespectful to others in the neighborhood. So you think your all that well then just knock off for the week on wednesday and do everybody a favor.

Gagdad Bob said...

The party of Lincoln is now the party of Thomas Sowell, Shelby Steele, Walter Williams, Clarence Thomas, Armstrong Williams, Ward Connerly, Herman Cain, et al, so King definitely wouldn't feel at home. For one thing, he couldn't keep up intellectually. Nor would he be comfortable in the party of Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Maxine Waters, Louis Farakhan, Jeremiah Wright, Cornell West, Keith Ellison, et al, but for different reasons.

mushroom said...

Scory makes a good point. All the regulation and legislation has taken away more and more of our freedom but solved no problems -- apparently. The bitchers are still bitching about the same thing. You can't cure envy by giving lazy, worthless parasites more blood.

Gagdad Bob said...

That is indeed the point I was trying to make -- that liberalism has no limiting principle. Despite trillions of dollars down the rathole, they only ask for more, because envy cannot be appeased. Appeasement only makes it demand more.

Furthermore, the size of government is responsible for the inherent corruption in the political system, since there is so much cash and other prizes with which to bribe various interests.

Anonymous said...

King couldn't keep up with intellectual nonentities like Clarence Thomas and hacks like Thomas Sowell and Armstrong Williams? That's a good one.

Williams, you might recall, got canned for illegally and unethically taking payments from the government to promote legislation on his show. In other words, he was a paid propagandist, a shill. That's sure some anti-state leadership and sterling intellectual capacity you have over there on your side.

Anonymous said...

While King, as presumably everybody knows, penned some of the most memorable rhetoric of the 20th century. Even mentioning him in the company of the losers you listed would be insulting if it wasn't laughable.

mushroom said...

Right, and King is thoroughly wrong in the quote Anon gave.

Asking the government to guarantee a "liveable income and a good solid job" is nothing more than pandering and demagogue-ing, I don't care if you do have your own national holiday. The only way the government can do that is by violating and destroying the very Constitution upon which King based his legitimate stand for equality.

The Ghost of Robert Byrd said...

I agree with anonymous. Why would the negro, born and bred for slavery, ever want to leave the party of servility for the party of liberty? It violates every law of nature.

nonecompooper said...

Well we don't want hell on earth but we don't want heaven on earth either. Think it over: what would be left to accomplish?

We need to have earth on earth.

Napoleon said...

"King, as presumably everybody knows, penned some of the most memorable rhetoric of the 20th century."

As if anybody could know that.

julie said...

Damn - I hadn't heard that before. Much like Gandhi, the image is apparently more important than the reality. Which would be fine except that people are then expected to honor his memory with a degree of reverence (to the point where no criticism is allowed) that looks to be rather unwarranted.

Pretty disappointing, that. The dream he had and the cause for which he fought were generally worthy of the reverence, but the man himself clearly made some serious errors; not only plagiarism, but aligning himself with Margaret Sanger...

William said...

Jesus, our socialist role model:

But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. You will be repaid at the resurrection of the just. [Luke 14:13 &14.]

If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. [Matthew 19:21]

You cannot serve both God and Money. [Matthew 6:24.]

Resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. [Matthew 5:39]

I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despite-fully use you, and persecute you; [Matthew 5:44]

For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
[1 Timothy 6:10,11}

Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom. Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.
(Proverbs 23:4,5)

He that by usury and unjust gain increaseth his substance, he shall gather it for him that will pity the poor.
(Proverbs 28:8)

The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth.
(Psalm 37:21)

A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent.
(Proverbs 28:20)

What would Jesus think of Republicans targeting the poorest and weakest among us by cutting funding for community health centers, heating for the poor, foodstamps, and medicare? During the election, they lied throught their teeth - accusing the Democrats of wanting to cut medicare... now look at the hypocrites.. cutting programs for the poor and elderly while fighting tooth and nail to preserve a tax cut for the wealthiest Americans. Note the titles given to these Bush tax cuts for corps and the rich:

Cut #1: Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001
Cut #2: Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003
Cut #3: Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005

Well guess what? There was no economic growth and the worst job creation of any modern presidency. The Republican fantasy of trickle down has a proven record of failure, yet they keep sticking to it because of their puppet masters and their innate mental predispostion of not being able to adapt.

Game over. You lose.

Petey said...

The devil can quote scripture? Who knew?

Cousin Dupree said...

Yes, and he can channel Ed Schultz at the same time.

Old Fart said...

Oh, Billy, Childe, isn't that, er, cute? You drew a stick figure with your own feces!


Run along now, son, and wash your hands. The grownups are talking.

William said...

It is interesting to note how the intellectually weak and less informed react when confronted with facts.

Gagdad Bob said...

Trust me, they're even worse with principles.

Old Fart said...

Oh, that's ripe.

Even if that article were accurate, it was written two years ago, before the Resident went on his world apology tour, bought into the car business, and launched the national debt so far into orbit were probably never going to be able to get out of the mess.

Oh, those dread days when unemployment hovered around 6%!

Indeed, it is interesting to note how the intellectually weak and less informed react when confronted with facts.

julie said...

I wonder why it is that someone who so clearly thinks himself intellectually and morally superior would troll around a place filled with magic-believing stupid people?

I mean really, if he's so much smarter, wiser and more humble, this seems like a rather perverse way for him to spend his time.

In all seriousness, I wonder what's wrong with him? How does one reach his fifties and never gain the insight that making unprovoked attacks against his "inferiors" simply demonstrates and illuminates his own massive inferiority?

Asstounding, truly.

Gagdad Bob said...

Hey, it's not easy being a leftist. On every issue, if someone doesn't share their policy preference, they they must determine whether it is because of racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, ageism, religious bigotry, or greed. It's a complex world they live in.

Magnus Itland said...

Someone is wrong on the Internet!

julie said...

Good point. Poor little guy, I almost feel sorry for him. Think a pat on the head will make him feel better?

Magnus, lol!

julie said...

Apropos: Collective guilt is not sexy.

William's Friend said...

William is right; trickle-down had its thirty years to produce results and it has not.

Give it up.

So, pay up your taxes and support social programs like Jesus would want you to and give up your unseemly persecution of tax and spend libs who come off seeming more Christian than the right-wingers.

Game over, you guys lose now get cracking on changing your attitudes.

Williams Friend said...

I would further add that none of you coons put up a decent rebuttal remark. If you got it, nows the time.

Van said...

"Likewise, truth is both the beauty and virtue of intelligence, and beauty is the truth and virtue of creativity."

You've exposed the fact that archways everywhere lack their proper inscription.

Van said...

JWM said "I am richly blessed in this one area. I do not envy those who have more stuff, more money, more anything than I do."

I thought I was pretty much envy free, until reading today reading Chesterton's "The Dum Ox". He notes of Thomas,

"When asked for what he thanked God most, he answered simply, "I have understood every page I ever read."

I'm friggin' practically sweating chlorophyllafter that.

Van said...

Ben said " book: Beer, Bacon, Metaphysics and You."

I would sooo buy that book.

Anna said...

Magnus -

I love that one...

Van said...

Magnus said "Someone is wrong on the Internet!"

LOL. For some reason my wife printed that cartoon and stuck in smack dab in the middle of our refrigerator door... years ago.

I can't imagine why.


Van said...

willian frump said "...none of you coons put up a decent rebuttal remark..."

If you ever manage to make it up to the level of being merely wrong, one of us might toss you a bone.

Petey said...

"Everything I know is wrong" is pretty much stage one of the Raccoon adventure. Takes a while to get there.

julie said...

You have to watch that first step; it's a doozie...

William said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
William said...

You might like to know the United States currently ranks thirty-fourth (34th) out of the thirty-four members of the OECD in regards to spending on social programs, DEAD LAST.

The amount the United States spends is currently only 7.2% of our gross domestic product on programs that make up our social contract with the American people.

Remember that when hysterical liars spout the term socialism.

Cousin Dupree said...

You neglected to include charitable giving, which makes America the most generous nation on earth. Not to mention the fact that feckless socialist governments are free to waste so much money because we foot the bill for their defense, surely the height of magnanimity. And even the EUnuchs fully recognize that their systems are not sustainable.

Liberals never run out of perverse and tendentious formulas to "prove" that a shithole like Cuba has superior healthcare, or that America is "greedy" just because the state isn't greedy enough.

BTW, the only contract Americans ever signed with the state is the Constitution. The "social contract" you speak of does not exist, because none of us freely entered it. More to the point, the "social contract" is nothing more than what the state wants to do to you. It's that yellowish fluid trickling down your back they call "rain."

Cousin Dupree said...

No developed country approaches American giving. For example, in 1995 (the most recent year for which data are available), Americans gave, per capita, three and a half times as much to causes and charities as the French, seven times as much as the Germans, and 14 times as much as the Italians. Similarly, in 1998, Americans were 15 percent more likely to volunteer their time than the Dutch, 21 percent more likely than the Swiss, and 32 percent more likely than the Germans. These differences are not attributable to demographic characteristics such as education, income, age, sex, or marital status. On the contrary, if we look at two people who are identical in all these ways except that one is European and the other American, the probability is still far lower that the European will volunteer than the American.

here is a persistent stereotype about charitable giving in politically progressive regions of America: while people on the political right may be hardworking and family-oriented, they tend not to be very charitable toward the less fortunate. In contrast, those on the political left care about vulnerable members of society, and are thus the charitable ones. Understanding “charity” in terms of voluntary gifts of money (instead of government income redistribution), this stereotype is wrong.

The fact is that self-described “conservatives” in America are more likely to give—and give more money—than self-described “liberals.” In the year 2000, households headed by a conservative gave, on average, 30 percent more dollars to charity than households headed by a liberal. And this discrepancy in monetary donations is not simply an artifact of income differences. On the contrary, liberal families in these data earned an average of 6 percent more per year than conservative families.

These differences go beyond money. Take blood donations, for example. In 2002, conservative Americans were more likely to donate blood each year, and did so more often, than liberals. People who said they were “conservative” or “extremely conservative” made up less than one-fifth of the population, but donated more than a quarter of the blood. To put this in perspective, if political liberals and moderates gave blood like conservatives do, the blood supply in the United States would surge by nearly half.

One major explanation for the giving discrepancy between conservatives and liberals is religion. In 2004, conservatives were more than twice as likely as liberals to attend a house of worship weekly, whereas liberals were twice as likely as conservatives to attend seldom or never. There are indeed religious liberals in America, but they are currently outnumbered by religious conservatives by about four to one.


But the broader principle is that no matter how much the state gives to someone like you, it will never be enough, for envy is insatiable.

Anonymous said...

You signed the Constitution? You must be older than you look. If you are really Button Gwinnett, can I get your autograph?

julie said...

It occurs to me, too, that Americans may be generous in ways less easily defined by statistics. What I mean is, people also give in ways, both financially and personally, that aren't reportable on a tax form. I can't think of anyone that I spend time with who isn't willing to do something, more often than not, to help somebody out when personal circumstances are tough. They may not always know what to do, and sometimes the help is maybe not so helpful, but the impulse usually seems pretty strong. Our culture is a giving culture; that's why it's so easy for entitlement programs to get passed. Unfortunately, that giving impulse can easily be usurped by envy, which is exactly what happens any time entitlement programs are funded by taxpayer dollars.

julie said...

Heh - Redistributing GPAs. The one point I don't see these guys making is that once these kids are out of college, the 4.0 students are going to be giving to the failing students in fact, and a lot more than a couple of GPA points...

julie said...

Heh heh

"The Greens are trying to frame this election as an epic battle between them as the cosmopolitan and enlightened forces of light versus those dumb and uneducated reactionaries (as somebody quipped, "We are intellectual opposites: we are intellectual, and you are the opposite") who are trying to bitterly cling to an idealized past. I mean, that is pretty damn rich coming from the party whose every social, cultural and economic goal can essentially be summed up as return to the small tribal societies of the Pleistocene."

Pershing Rolls in His Grave said...

I object to the blog author and to contributors Julie and Van.

To each of you: I want to know what your credentials are and why you feel qualified to pronounce on American policy.

RG is a grocery clerk and a hack psychologist; he has no miliitary experience and has never held a public office.

Julie is a defense attorney and has no background in political science.

Van is a common business man and like RG has no experience leading men into peril.

And yet you pronounce your opinions on American policy.

The nerve. I demand you admit your are unqualified to lead and retract your statements in toto, e.g. this entire blog since its inception.

Or, show me something I can respect.

Do it for your country, not for some unkwon interlocutor. But please, get sincere about who you are and how much influence you really should wield.

Thank You.

julie said...

A defense attorney? I can't decide whether that's a move up or a move down.

If you're going to complain about my lack of credentials, you should at least acknowledge how bad of an advisor I am - a common housewife, nothing more nor less. My opinions, in general, are hardly worth the electrons being flashed on the screen.

The real mystery is why anybody should care about what I think at all - particularly anyone who disagrees with me.