Do leftists practice what they preach about helping others?

Neil Simpson has a post analyzing the giving patterns of Robin Hood Democrats.

Excerpt:

Consider how these Liberal heroes want to take your money to “give” to others but can’t manage any real and significant giving themselves.  If Joe Biden, for example, can’t afford to give more than 0.2% over his roughly quarter-million dollar income (that is point-two percent, not two percent — only $369 per year), then how could he possibly afford to pay increased taxes?  Oh yeah, there will be loopholes for him and those who vote for the tax increase bills.

His 0.2% giving and the percentages below are even worse than they look because they are based on Adjusted Gross Income, which is typically much less than gross income.

[…]A truly inconvenient truth: Al & Tipper Gore donated $353 of their 1997 income of $197,729, or 0.18%.  That is a fraction of 1%.  I wonder if he’s making real donations now that he’s getting rich off the AGW fraud?

Neil’s post has a lot more examples of leftists who preach one thing, but do the exact opposite in their own personal lives. I think that leftists are largely secular hedonists (regardless of their professed religious faith) and they therefore cannot rationally justify making sacrifices for others who may have a greater need than themselves – charity just doesn’t make them feel as good as keeping the money themselves. When they think that no one is watching, they do what’s consistent with their real beliefs: every man for himself and survival of the fittest.

20 thoughts on “Do leftists practice what they preach about helping others?”

  1. Have Joe Biden and Al & Tipper Gore preached about donating to charity? If not, then they are practicing what they preach. On top of this, why are you using gross income – upwards of 38% or so goes to taxes, so your net income is going to determine what you have to give. Now if you’re a senator, you have to maintain two households, one in your district and one of the most expensive cities in the US (D.C.), lowering even further the amount that you have to give.

    On top of that, I have probably donated several hundred a year in cash and upwards of a $1000 or so in possessions (old clothes in good condition, old electronics that still work, etc) that I don’t claim because itemizing is a pain and I don’t always get receipts, so to look at something like that out of context, can be a bit misleading.

    Another point of curiosity, why did he only look at the dems and not the reds? The reds under bush organized one of the greatest corporate welfare packages the world has ever seen (and the dumb dems are only continuing after pumping it up on steroids).

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  2. Jerry,

    When you look at the “reds”, as you put them, by and large they tend to be much more generous with their income and giving to charity than the socialists. See this link:

    http://www.jasonejohnson.com/2009/03/evil-george-w-bush.html

    Furthermore, actual studies have been done on this phenomena. Arthur C. Brooks (who is NOT a conservative) studied the happiness levels and charitable giving of religious conservatives and compared them with secular liberals. The results might surprise you. Check out this link for a tiny taste of the basics:

    http://www.arthurbrooks.net/whoreallycares/statistics.html

    The fact of the matter is that liberals really don’t care about the poor at all. All the talk about helping the needy is nothing more than a redistribution scam to buy votes from the lower classes. When you actually look at the liberals in how THEY personally give or pay their taxes, you find that by and large they are tax cheats and extremely uncharitable.

    The liberals are the pharisees of our day, extremely judgmental and religious in their speech but hypocrites and frauds on the inside. Don’t be like them. Open your eyes my friend.

    wgbutler777

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  3. Statistically, liberals give far less than conservatives to charity. And atheists give far less than believing Christians. Conversely, conservatives are generally for less government hand-outs, while liberals are for ever-increasingly more.

    It would appear from this that liberals believe it is more blessed to give other peoples’ money, while conservatives believe in, and, perhaps, enjoy, giving their own.

    I wonder where the twin ideas of joy and giving may have originated?!

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  4. I’ve seen no proof about the claims both (wgbutler777 and Richard Ball) have made about the giving levels of the respective groups. The one link talked about religious people giving, but it conveniently left out who they donated to – I have a very strong feeling that religious people only donate to churches and similar organizations. I bet there are NO religious people who give like atheists – think Bill Gates. He has created a foundation with worth billions that helps poor and sick people. Here is another list of atheist/agnostics, and when you look into their giving habits, it far surpasses the one or two republican givers you have listed: http://www.celebatheists.com/wiki/Main_Page

    So until the religious give to places other than churches which mostly serve the interests of their respective faiths, I will continue believing that the christian right is greedy and self-centered.

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    1. To “think Bill Gates” and do so properly would only result in a tit-for-tat matching of rich dudes. Beck just had a whole show devoted to some billionare dude who vows to die broke by giving away all he owns when his time comes. In the meantime, he’s created a cancer-fighting institute that is designed to transform into a resort once cancer is eradicated.

      As to the destinations of charitable giving by religious conservatives, the Brooks study referred to earlier shows that religious conservatives give more to even liberal and secular causes in both time AND money. Indeed, he found that across the board, in any way one cares to look at the issue, religious conservatives give more.

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    2. In fact religious persons give more to charity than atheists even when you discount giving to churches and religious organizations.

      Source: Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism – Arthur C. Brooks

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    3. http://www.arthurbrooks.net

      People who are religious give more across the board to all causes than their non-religious counterparts

      There is a huge “charity gap” that follows religion: On average, religious people are far more generous than secularists with their time and money. This is not just because of giving to churches—religious people are more generous than secularists towards explicitly non-religious charities as well. They are also more generous in informal ways, such as giving money to family members, and behaving honestly.

      Giving supports economic growth and actually creates prosperity

      Many studies show that giving and volunteering improve physical health and happiness, and lead to better citizenship. In other words, we need to give for our own good. Cultural and political influences—and the many government policies—that discourage private charitable behavior have negative effects that are far more widespread than people usually realize.

      The working poor in America give more to charity than the middle class

      The American working poor are, relative to their income, some of the most generous people in America today. The nonworking poor, however—those on public assistance instead of earning low wages—give at lower levels than any other group. In other words, poverty does not discourage charity in America, but welfare does.

      Upper level income people often give less than the working poor

      Among Americans with above-average incomes who do not give charitably, a majority say that they ‘don’t have enough money.’ Meanwhile, the working poor in America give a larger percentage of their incomes to charity than any other income group, including the middle class and rich.

      Plus:

      People who give money charitably are 43 percent more likely to say they are “very happy” than nongivers and 25 percent more likely than nongivers to say their health is excellent or very good.
      A religious person is 57% more likely than a secularist to help a homeless person.
      Conservative households in America donate 30% more money to charity each year than liberal households.
      If liberals gave blood like conservatives do, the blood supply in the U.S. would jump by about 45%.

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  5. Jerry, the Libs are hypocrites because they pretend to care about their fellow man and the poor. But they only “care” about taking the money of others by force, via taxes, to redistribute as they see fit — and in a most inefficient way.

    Look at the religious Left and see how they act like we must support universal health care to be in line with Jesus’ teachings. They pervert scripture to make their points — http://tinyurl.com/yljdqax

    If they really cared about other people it would manifest itself in giving.

    The gross vs. net game doesn’t help, because conservatives give more by either measure and don’t have the wealth redistribution philosophy.

    The dual household angle doesn’t help either. They get many benefits that more than offset that.

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    1. Take a look at real Christians like Wilberforce and Michele Bachmann. One stopped slavery, the other has 23 foster kids. That’s Christianity. They inconvenience themselves to do right – that self-sacrifice is NOT RATIONAL for the secular left.

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      1. Like I’ve said on that before wintery – Wilberforce was an extreme liberal – he presented ideas that were at least a century ahead of their time (not that all men are equal should have been that far behind, but unfortunately he was). So wilberforce is one of those leftist christians that Neil is railing against.

        Bachmann got paid for those foster kids. There have been several people in Ohio that have been arrested for having so many foster kids and mistreating them – the reason they had so many foster kids? It’s because it’s how they “made their living.” If Bachmann didn’t get paid, that would be exceptional (I don’t want to take too much from her because it’s still a great thing she did taking in foster kids, unfortunately it seems like those OH families are more the norm – it was my experience in the system).

        I don’t fully disagree with the left and the universal health care or the other welfare programs they over-support; it creates an over-dependence on the system and “unhealthy” social patterns.

        As for the gross vs net argument, my point is that it’s sensationalism. If someone makes 1million a year and the government has to take 900,000 to support corporate and social welfare, to claim that they only gave 10,000 or 1% of their gross income is misleading – they really gave 10% of their available income.

        As for the stats you gave, I couldn’t see much in the way of research process on the authors site since so many have come to believe that correlation = causation, which is entirely not the case; my point here being that someone who believes that they’re heading off to a great guy in the sky may be overall happier with a mundane existence, and that’s what the studies are showing.

        Additionally, maybe they feel they should be giving more since higher levels of religions equate to higher levels of societal dysfunction (Journal of Religion in Society, October 2005, Evolutionay Psychology, 2005 and several others). What criteria defined dysfunction: things like murder and suicide rates, prison population, mortality, sexually transmitted diseases, abortions, marriages, deaths, alcohol consumption, poverty and unemployment.

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        1. Wilberforce was a Tory (Conservative Party) and an evangelical Christian.

          Regarding the religious people being disfunctional, you should keep in mind that all of those immoral behaviors are forbidden or discouraged by Christianity, and no Christian can engage in them consistently. People can say they are Christian, but you have to judge them based on what they do. For example, Bill Clinton says that he is a Christian, but he sexually harassed his employees and committed adultery, then he lied about it when he was caught.

          On atheism, though, what is rational is survival of the fittest – so it’s moral to murder millions of people, own slaves, and perform sex selection abortions, etc. Actually, if you believe in Darwinism, then extermination of inferior individuals and groups is rational, since nature exterminates inferior species all the time, and we’re just natural animals like all the other animals.

          On atheism, you only get 80 years of life in an accidental universe, so what is rational is to try to pack in as much happiness into your life as you can, using other people as means to that end, as appropriate. There is no non-arbitrary standard that defines what you ought to do – just don’t get caught acting unfashionably by the rest of your society.

          I abstain from alcohol, drugs, and pre-marital sex, so I’m not susceptible to those charges about what “Christians” do. Try to find the ones who actually believe it and watch them – although I hasten to add that nobody is perfect.

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          1. survival of the fittest doesn’t allow for abortion or murdering millions – both lead to imbalances in the population and genetic bottlenecks which can quickly lead to the extinction of a population.

            If you read the articles you will see that societies that are less religious don’t suffer the magnitude of problems that religious societies do. There have been numerous studies that continually validate this. (though it is interesting to note that the one thing that non-religious societies do suffer more of than religious ones are increases suicide rates, but everything else trends much lower)

            Wintery, I have always claimed that you are one of the best people I have met; if you attribute that to your christianity, then I am glad, but most people use religion as a crutch to do evil…if I do x, y, and z, all I have to do is ask for forgiveness on my death bed and I will go to heaven.

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          2. Jerry,
            How many times must you be corrected before you stop making additional absurd and unsubstantiated claims?

            Wilberforce was a liberal Christian?! C’mon!

            Now you’re claiming that you know that most religious people use religion as a crutch to do evil. And that you have a strong feeling that religious people only give to churches and organizations that benefit themselves.

            Do the unwarranted claims ever end? Where is your proof?

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        2. Those dysfunction things were rising as the world becomes more and more secular. It’s ridiculous to link them to Christianity, since Christianity is virtually in opposition to all those.

          Atheists on the other hand, at least clearly support abortion and sex outside marriage.

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        3. What happened to the points about charitable giving on religious conservatives vs atheists? I saw no answer to the latest arguments. Has that been conceded by Jerry?

          Regarding the societal dysfunction argument: when you look at studies that review the effect of religion upon individuals you find that deeply committed believers fare much better in life than their secular counterparts:

          Here is an article discussing self-control and religiosity based on a University of Miami study:

          http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/30/science/30tier.html

          “…have reviewed eight decades of research and concluded that religious belief and piety promote self-control…professional interest arose from a desire to understand why religion evolved and why it seems to help so many people. Researchers around the world have repeatedly found that devoutly religious people tend to do better in school, live longer, have more satisfying marriages and be generally happier…”

          Here’s another link linking religion to happiness:

          http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7302609.stm

          “…Religious people are better able to cope with shocks such as losing a job or divorce, claims the study presented to a Royal Economic Society conference.

          Data from thousands of Europeans revealed higher levels of “life satisfaction” in believers…..”

          What many atheists do to get around troubling (for them) studies like this is to respond by pointing to studies that misdiagnose problems in a society at large, and then conveniently blame those problems on religion, and Christianity in particular (America is a Christian nation, so all of its problems must be attributable to Christianity, etc etc).

          In reality these problems are usually attributable to some other factor, such as the breakdown of the family in society and the continued rejection of Christian values, but it is much more convenient to the atheist to blame the Christians. In many ways things haven’t changed all that much for Christians. 2000 years ago they were blamed for the burning of Rome and now they are blamed for drug abuse and abortions. This in itself is an interesting proof for Christianity, but that is another subject.

          Sociology is a real LOSER for atheists. In my opinion, the proofs for Christianity are even greater in the realm of sociology than they are in the physical sciences.

          wgbutler777

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          1. I believe my points on societal dysfunction are more than enough to refute your sociological argument. the studies were conducted properly and looked at the “break-downs” that you want to contribute to other factors. But, when every society that has a high degree of “religousness” has these problems, you have to start looking inward.

            As for the charitable giving, not fully, though I do concede some; I believe my points have gone mostly unanswered. I have pointed out that the largest donatations come from atheists/agnostics and I gave some good links. The responses that followed were vague “statistically speaking” type arguments that didn’t link to anything decent so I did find an article http://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=2682730&page=1 that talks about a simple study (non-scientific) that backs what most have said about religious vs liberal – the religious give more on a tit-for-tat basis.

            I still believe, however, that the atheist overall have given more. You have warren buffet that has donated over 37billion and you have bill gates that has donated countless billions and has a foundation that continues to give; from what I can find, both are atheists. This type of behavior is found at the top where there are a multitude of atheists/agnostics (ted turner is another great one that comes to mind). While the claim is true that the percent of the total worth isn’t as much as say the religious, I guess it would take a religious person to lament that warren buffet only donated 37 billion when he could have done more. His 2% (37 billion in this case and the 2% is a WAG for example purposes only) will do far more than the average religious persons say 3% that only amounts to $500.

            My original points are correct – I can’t find anything that indicates the politicians referenced advocate charity. They were elected to do what they think is best for our country. I often disagree with what they do, but, they aren’t being hypocritical.

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          2. “I believe my points on societal dysfunction are more than enough to refute your sociological argument.”

            Uhmm, your “points” are not even close to refute the 8 decades of research pointed out by wgbutler777

            “I still believe, however, that the atheist overall have given more.”

            You don’t measure charity by how much you give, but by how much of what you have that you give.

            “As He looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. ‘I tell you the truth,’ He said, ‘this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” Luke 21:1-3 NIV.

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          3. Jerry,

            They are being very hypocritical when they lecture us about how its our “patriotic duty” to pay taxes, and then we find out that these same politicians work the system and don’t pay what THEY legally owe in taxes. Timothy Geitner and Al Franken come to mind, along with numerous other people that Obama associates with.

            As far as the religion causing problems issue, its important for you to understand that I am not defending religion as such, only the Judeo/Christian religions, and evangelical Christianity in particular. If you want to say that these religions cause problems in society, you will have to show me the correlations where going to church and practicing the teachings the New Testament somehow causes one to become an alcoholic or have an abortion.

            wgbutler777

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  6. Jerry, their hypocrisy is rank and easily demonstrated: They claim to care about the poor but do virtually nothing about it with their own funds. End of story.

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