Sunday, June 25, 2006

The Politics of Giving

RedState has a link to a short, but interesting, Washington Post article.

A study by Stanford University professor Shanto Iyengar found that when polled about Katrina relief, Republicans are likely to be less giving and over a shorter period of time than Democrats.

Now don't go rejoicing all you left leaners. The same study found that while Republicans were effectively color neutral, giving the same amount to all victims, regardless of race, Democrats were far more likely to give more money to Whites than to other races.

According to Professor Iyengar this matches perfectly with an earlier study on criminal punishment in which Republicans wanted criminals punished, but in equal measure, while Democrats were more likely to punish non-whites than whites for the same crimes.

You just can't imagine my surprise in finding that Democrats are more likely to let color affect their behaviour. I'm shocked I tell you, shocked!

My only issue is with the 'stingy' tag being given to Republicans in this case. The Stanford study greatly limited what they considered charitable givings so that things such as Church offerings, something that greatly helps the poor and needy, were not included. The study itself focused mainly on welfare type programs which should explain the relatively low Republican giving. As a general rule, Conservatives tend to be more of the "hand up" and not "hand out" group, and while acknowledging the need for social assistance programs, expect that after a certain amount of time the 'victim' should be able to get back on their feet. In the real world, when everything is included, Republican states give more than even the more affluential Democrat ones.

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