November 30, 2006
Charity: Liberal vs. Conservative
Thomas Sowell discusses a book, "Who Really Cares" by Arthur C. Brooks, that examines "the actual behavior of liberals and conservatives when it comes to donating their own time, money, or blood for the benefit of others." Here's how Sowell begins:
More frightening than any particular beliefs or policies is an utter lack of any sense of a need to test those beliefs and policies against hard evidence. Mistakes can be corrected by those who pay attention to facts but dogmatism will not be corrected by those who are wedded to a vision.
One of the most pervasive political visions of our time is the vision of liberals as compassionate and conservatives as less caring. It is liberals who advocate "forgiveness" of loans to Third World countries, a "living wage" for the poor and a "safety net" for all.
But these are all government policies -- not individual acts of compassion -- and the actual empirical consequences of such policies are of remarkably little interest to those who advocate them. Depending on what those consequences are, there may be good reasons to oppose them, so being for or against these policies may tell us nothing about who is compassionate or caring and who is not.
I have to say that this fits well with my observations over the last 30 years, or so, though there are notable exceptions.
This is well worth considering.
Could this be all about "self?"Posted by USAdave at November 30, 2006 06:34 AM | TrackBack