Tis the season to be generous, to count our blessing and and remember the more needy. In that spirit, it’s worth noting that conservatives are more generous than us liberals. According to a new book by Arthur Brooks, a behavioral economist at Syracuse, people on the right side of the political spectrum tend to donate more money to non-profits.
In the book, Brooks cites extensive data analysis to demonstrate that values advocated by conservatives — from church attendance and two-parent families to the Protestant work ethic and a distaste for government-funded social services — make conservatives more generous than liberals.
The book, titled “Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism” (Basic Books, $26), is due for release Nov. 24.
When it comes to helping the needy, Brooks writes: “For too long, liberals have been claiming they are the most virtuous members of American society. Although they usually give less to charity, they have nevertheless lambasted conservatives for their callousness in the face of social injustice.”
The book’s basic findings are that conservatives who practice religion, live in traditional nuclear families and reject the notion that the government should engage in income redistribution are the most generous Americans, by any measure.
Here at Scienceblogs we spend lots of time bashing the faithful. In general, religious folk are a relatively easy target, especially when they try to take on Darwin. But it’s also worth noting that religious belief seems to correlate, at least in America, with an enlarged sense of charity for your fellow man. I hope that little fact makes it into the next edition of The God Delusion.