Monday, November 15, 2004

Voting and Charity

Two interesting facts to consider together:

1. As has been often noted, the states that voted for Bush are, on average, net recipients of federal spending, while the states that voted for Kerry, on average, pay more in taxes than they receive from the federal government.

Why is this? Probably lots of factors: The Kerry states are richer, and so pay more in taxes in the first place. The Bush states are poorer, and probably have more folks on welfare. The Bush states are also more rural, and might have more military bases, national parks, federally-owned land, etc., etc. These are all just guesses, though, and I wonder if there is any actual study that examines the nature of federal spending, state-by-state.

2. By contrast, as noted here, the Bush states are the most generous with charitable giving. Indeed, as Patrick Carver points out, the top 24 most generous states are "red states." Thus, it's odd to rely on federal spending as an excuse for vilifying the "red states" as greedy, as some left-leaning people have been wont to do lately.


Blogger Al Nye said...

What do you think about the statistic that more divorces occur in red states than in blue states?

What does that about moral values?

7:01 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

I've heard this one before. Presumably the "generosity" includes donations to churches, without regard for whether those churches offer any benefit to the public beyond weekly services and ministering to the congregation. That type of giving is quantitatively different than, say, helping to support a soup kitchen, or to feed and clothe people you don't know. The "analysis" cited, of course, provides no context. But if you want to create one false argument to rebut another, I suppose this is the type of straw that may seem appealing.

10:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For all the elderly red staters who voted for Bush, I say let them eat dogfood.

11:08 PM  

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