Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism -- America's Charity Divide--Who Gives, Who Do

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Basic Books, Dec 4, 2007 - Social Science - 272 pages
We all know we should give to charity, but who really does? In his controversial study of America's giving habits, Arthur C. Brooks shatters stereotypes about charity in America-including the myth that the political Left is more compassionate than the Right. Brooks, a preeminent public policy expert, spent years researching giving trends in America, and even he was surprised by what he found. In Who Really Cares, he identifies the forces behind American charity: strong families, church attendance, earning one's own income (as opposed to receiving welfare), and the belief that individuals-not government-offer the best solution to social ills. But beyond just showing us who the givers and non-givers in America really are today, Brooks shows that giving is crucial to our economic prosperity, as well as to our happiness, health, and our ability to govern ourselves as a free people.

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Who really cares: the surprising truth about compassionate conversatism: America's charity divide--who gives, who doesn't, and why it matters

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Here, economics and public policy scholar Brooks offers up impressive research on the demographics of charitable giving, revealing that religious people (i.e., belonging to any faith, they regularly ... Read full review

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The title of this book refers to the surprising find that the author came across in his research: conservatives are much more generous than liberals. This flies in the face of the conventional wisdom where even president Bush had to brandish his 2000 campaign as "compassionate conservatism". It turns out "compassionate" is redundant: conservatives of all stripes outflank liberalism when it comes to charitable giving and generosity. This is a very stable and robust find, and it turns out that it does not depend on the kind of charity: money, time, treasure, blood donations, secular or religious causes, in all those categories conservatives, especially the religious kind, are by far more giving and generous than anyone else. One of the great strengths of this book is the reliance on empirical, quantifiable, data and not case studies or the word of mouth. Even though the book is data driven, it is eminently readable and should be read by anyone who has even the slightest interest in public policy debate. 

Contents

Is Compassionate Conservatism an Oxymoron?
15
Faith and Charity
31
Other Peoples Money
53
Income Welfare and Charity
75
Charity Begins at Home
97
Continental Drift
115
Charity Makes You Healthy Happy and Rich
137
The Way Forward
161
The Data on Charity and Selfishness
185
Notes
209
Acknowledgments
237
Index
241
Copyright

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Page 115 - But now I only hear Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar, Retreating, to the breath Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear And naked shingles of the world.
Page 19 - For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still : woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write grievousness which they have prescribed; to turn aside the needy from judgment, and to take away the right from the poor of my people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless...
Page 45 - With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God's work must truly be our own.
Page 33 - Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
Page 2 - They have not only commercial and manufacturing companies, in which all take part, but associations of a thousand other kinds, religious, moral, serious, futile, general or restricted, enormous or diminutive. The Americans make associations to give entertainments, to found seminaries, to build inns, to construct churches, to diffuse books, to send missionaries to the antipodes; in this manner they found hospitals, prisons, and schools.
Page 137 - It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.
Page 85 - The lessons of history, confirmed by the evidence immediately before me, show conclusively that continued dependence upon relief induces a spiritual and moral disintegration fundamentally destructive to the national fiber. To dole out relief in this way is to administer a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit.
Page 216 - Any one may so arrange his affairs that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which will best pay the Treasury; there is not even a patriotic duty to increase one's taxes.
Page 116 - If he was to lose his little finger tomorrow, he would not sleep tonight; but, provided he never saw them, he will snore with the most profound security over the ruin of a hundred millions of his brethren, and the destruction of that immense multitude seems plainly an object less interesting to him than this paltry misfortune of his own. To prevent, therefore, this paltry misfortune to himself, would a man of humanity be willing to sacrifice the lives of a hundred millions of his brethren, provided...
Page 138 - I believe the power to make money is a gift from God . . . to be developed and used to the best of our ability for the good of mankind. Having been endowed with the gift I possess, I believe it is my duty to make money and still more money and to use the money I make for the good of my fellow man according to the dictates of my conscience.

About the author (2007)

Arthur C. Brooks is Louis A. Bantle Professor of Business and Government Policy at Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. The author of Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism, Brooks writes widely about the connections between culture, politics, and economic life in America, and his work appears frequently in the Wall Street Journal and other publications. He is a native of Seattle, Washington, and currently lives in Syracuse, New York, with his wife Ester and their three children.

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