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Study: Conservatives More Generous Than Liberals

Joshua Sharp

Posted: Dec 22nd 2008 5:04AM

Filed under: Politics, USC, News

Liberals don't walk the walk when it comes to helping the poor, left-leaning columnist Nicholas Kristof confesses in a we-can-do-better column for the New York Times Sunday edition.

The only debate is whether conservatives give 30 percent more to charity than liberals, as Arthur Brooks, author of "Who Really Cares," claims, or twice as much as liberals, as a study by Google indicates.

Kristof admits to being "unhappy with my findings," echoing sentiments from the researcher Brooks:

"When I started doing research on charity," Mr. Brooks said, "I expected to find that political liberals - who, I believed, genuinely cared more about others than conservatives did - would turn out to be the most privately charitable people. So when my early findings led me to the opposite conclusion, I assumed I had made some sort of technical error. I re-ran analyses. I got new data. Nothing worked. In the end, I had no option but to change my views."

Other findings from the data:

- Conservatives are more likely to donate blood, and more likely to volunteer

- If liberals and moderates donated blood as often as conservatives, the U.S. blood supply would increase by 45 percent

- Conservative donations tend to support religious institutions, while liberal donations shade toward the arts and education (Kristof argues that the former is more likely to help the needy, citing research showing that donations to education disporportionately favor wealthy Americans)

- Conservatives give more to non-secular charities than liberals (when proportion of income is considered)

- The middle class gives less than the working poor

- Individuals from European countries donate far less than Americans, though European governments give more humanitarian aid per capita than the U.S.

Of course, donations are important regardless of the donor's political ideology. These studies are often little more than fun facts for friendly teasing between political rivals.

If you are able to donate - conservative, moderate or liberal - click here for a list of Top Rated Charities to support.

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