Sunday, March 09, 2014

Is there really a compassion gap?

Nicholas Kristof wrote about one child and one mother for a story, and got 3 comments which he calls an "outrage" and "compassion gap" and then segues into criticism of all conservatives/Republicans--who actually have a much better record for compassion than liberals in all studies. Plus they believe a job is better for poverty than handouts and marriage is one part of the solution to generational poverty!!

He also equates affluence with being Republican, which is just catering to his base—liberal Democrats. Most who read the first story, didn't comment. During the recession, poverty (line) increased by 16%, but food support increased by 58%. And the recent decrease we heard about was because ARRA temporary funding came to an end 4 years after the end of the recession. There is no compassion gap, but the entire nation is getting weary of the liberals' excuses and their failed programs which keep the poor tied to and dependent on politicians.

And where does he come up with this? The liberals propose abortions and close charter schools that help poor and minority children.

“To break cycles of poverty, we have the tools to improve high school graduation rates, reduce teen pregnancies and increase employment. What we lack is the will to do so.”

Like most liberals, he doesn’t break out charitable giving by faith—and whether rich or poor (the very wealthy contribute by far the most,  just like they do taxes).  And although he notes the importance of marriage in getting out of poverty, it’s just a throw away line, almost a straw man so he can criticize conservatives who promote it. Even his formula isn’t correct:  it’s 1) marriage before having children, 2) finish high school, and 3) a job—any job. He lumps unmarried moms, drugs and crime together.

“Critics [this came out of the Clinton administration]  note that if a person manages to get through high school and avoid drugs, crime and parenting outside of marriage, it’s often possible to escape poverty. Fair enough. But if you’re one of the one-fifth of children in West Virginia born with drugs or alcohol in your system, if you ingest lead from peeling paint as a toddler, if your hearing or vision impairments aren’t detected, if you live in a home with no books in a gang-ridden neighborhood with terrible schools — in all these cases, you’re programmed for failure as surely as children of professionals are programed for success.”

This is a horribly depressing home life for any child with no government program in the world that could turn it around, but he blames a compassion gap. But that’s his implication—with enough compassion (there are 79 government transfer programs including Medicaid, SNAP, WIC, low income housing, Head Start, Healthy Start, etc.), we could turn this around.

Kristof insults all his readers by judging them based on a few   snarky comments on Twitter and e-mail.  Man up, Kristof.

Besides, in 2008 Kristof noted that Conservatives were more charitable that Liberals.

Arthur Brooks, the author of a book on donors to charity, “Who Really Cares,” cites data that households headed by conservatives give 30 percent more to charity than households headed by liberals. A study by Google found an even greater disproportion: average annual contributions reported by conservatives were almost double those of liberals.

Other research has reached similar conclusions. The “generosity index” from the Catalogue for Philanthropy typically finds that red states are the most likely to give to nonprofits, while Northeastern states are least likely to do so.

No comments: