John Stossel wrote an article talking about a certain former president named Carter and some celebrity type folks who think America is cheap because the government gave away only $20 billion in aid last year. Of course, Americans gave away $260 billion to charity. But since it was redistributed by government, that apparently doesn't count to Carter and Bono. Today Stossel takes a look at just who is giving that money. The answers will surprise you. Well, in some ways, maybe not so much in others.
To test what types of people give more, "20/20" went to two very different parts of the country, with contrasting populations: Sioux Falls, S.D. and San Francisco, Calif. The Salvation Army set up buckets at the busiest locations in each city — Macy's in San Francisco and Wal-Mart in Sioux Falls. Which bucket collected more money?
Sioux Falls is rural and religious; half of the population goes to church every week. People in San Francisco make much more money, are predominantly liberal, and just 14 percent of people in San Francisco attend church every week. Liberals are said to care more about helping the poor; so did people in San Francisco give more?
It turns out that this idea that liberals give more…is a myth. Of the top 25 states where people give an above average percent of their income, 24 were red states in the last presidential election.
I guess that doesn't surprise me. When you think about it, many on the left thinks it is government's job to give money. They care about the poor, they just don't actually want to give them anything personally. They want the government to take care of all that.
Arthur Brooks, the author of "Who Really Cares," says that "when you look at the data, it turns out the conservatives give about 30 percent more." He adds, "And incidentally, conservative-headed families make slightly less money."
And he says the differences in giving goes beyond money, pointing out that conservatives are 18 percent more likely to donate blood. He says this difference is not about politics, but about the different way conservatives and liberals view government.
"You find that people who believe it's the government's job to make incomes more equal, are far less likely to give their money away," Brooks says. In fact, people who disagree with the statement, "The government has a basic responsibility to take care of the people who can't take care of themselves," are 27 percent more likely to give to charity.
Read the whole thing. There are some very interesting things about giving patterns. But who you calling cheap, Jimmy?