Feature:Opinion

Surprise! Conservatives are more generous than liberals

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Billy Hallowell
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      Billy Hallowell

      Billy Hallowell’s (www.billyhallowell.com) career in journalism and commentary began at an early age. While his contemporary career focuses on social and political issues, including but not limited to liberal bias in the mainstream media and at the university-level, his past experiences provide a diversified platform. From traveling the nation to discuss youth-related issues to contemporary social and political commentary, Hallowell has been working in conservative activism for more than a decade.
      Hallowell's career began following the Columbine shooting in 1999 when the then 15-year-old launched Teen Web Online, a web site intended to address violence, discrimination and other social issues facing America’s young generation. “At the time, I was so stunned. I founded Teen Web as an outlet for my generation to get relevant information, while becoming empowered to make lasting change in local communities.”
      Through journalism, media, public speaking appearances and the blogosphere, Hallowell has worked to inspire and motivate his generation. He has been published and featured in political and cultural books, textbooks, articles and Web sites that focus on the youth of America and its role in the future of our world.
      In 2002, Hallowell founded the Columbine Survivor Project and the Peace Project. The latter became an annual event at The College of Mount Saint Vincent in Riverdale, NYC, where Hallowell joined co-hosts Miss USA, Miss Teen USA and Lori Beth Denberg, among others, to present a day-long inspirational event to high school and college students in the New York City area. During the same year, he founded Pathufind Media (www.pathufindmedia.com), an ongoing project that subcontracts affordable conservative and/or motivational speakers to colleges and community groups.
      It was also in 2002 that Teen Web Online received an endorsement from MTV’s John Norris. Through a contact at the network, Hallowell was offered a bi-weekly column on SHiNE.com, a non-profit and media outlet for American youths (directly leading him into social and political commentary). This then led to a print and online column with Positive Teens Magazine in 2003. During this time, Hallowell joined MTV's Julie Stoffer and Columbine survivor Richard Hoover in forming the Peace Project National Tour, through which the trio spoke to young people around the nation about violence, discrimination and drug and substance abuse. The three became spokespersons for The National Love-a-Teen-Day, a campaign to provide love and support for teenagers across America.
      Also in 2003, Hallowell was selected to represent the United States at the World Bank’s conference on youth development in Paris, France. Following this experience, he was honored by the International Youth Foundation with the YouthAction Net Fellowship. On the educational front, he was a Rhodes Scholar nominee in 2006 and the recipient of the prestigious Clark Fellowship during the same year. In addition to these honors, Hallowell has received a number of journalism and community awards for his work.
      From 2008-2009, he served as the director of content and Chief Executive Officer of VoterWatch, a non-partisan non-profit that focused on issues pertaining to U.S. government transparency. During this time, he was the founder of the 2008 Presidential Debates Project, featuring Dick Morris, Sophia Nelson, The Heritage Foundation, Public Agenda and other prominent political figures andorganizations. Additionally, he joined Lawrence Lessig’s Open Debates Coalition to urge both presidential campaigns to make the 2008 debates more open and engaging.
      During the 2008 election cycle, Hallowell joined co-host Stephen Nichols (MTV’s Real World) for Static News, a weekly political radio show. Subsequently, Hallowell’s experience on election day was recorded for the upcoming documentary American Reality (from the producers of Control Room). In 2009, Hallowell launched RENEWtv, an online “TV” show intended to discuss the reformation of the GOP.
      Media outlets he has been featured in or produced works for include: The Democrat & Chronicle,COSMO Girl Magazine, NY Teen, Teenage Buzz Magazine, Positive Teens Magazine, SNAP, Many Voices, Many Visions, NBC’s The John Walsh Show and Radio Disney, among many others.
      Hallowell’s work can currently be read on Big Journalism, Big Hollywood, Big Government, The Daily Caller, Billy Hallowell Online, Family Security Matters, Urban Conservative and other related outlets.
      Billy Hallowell was educated the College of Mount Saint Vincent in Riverdale, New York, and graduated with a B.A. in communications, with concentrations in broadcasting, corporate and journalism, and a minor in writing. In June 2008, Billy completed his M.S. in social research from Hunter College in Manhattan, New York.

If you talk to most liberals, they’ll tell you that conservatives are insensitive, callous and selfish.  To their own detriment, leftists tend to believe that those on the right simply don’t care about the less fortunate.  While this doctrine has been embedded in left-leaning gospel for decades, research and reality paint a very different picture — one that has perplexed many of the left’s self-proclaimed “compassionates.”  With one of the worst economic downturns in American history still impacting the lives of millions of Americans, understanding this subject is paramount.

Out of all of the left’s discombobulated theoretical constructs, the ludicrous assertion that conservatives simply do not care about society’s downtrodden is particularly frustrating, as it vehemently denies both reality and logic.  On the surface, the notion that liberals are the world’s most charitable individuals could easily be accepted.  After all, many on the left talk quite a bit about helping the poor and providing social safety nets.  However, the left rarely explores the negative consequences of its policies.  Furthermore, liberals fail to analyze and comprehend their own deficient charitable giving patterns.

Thomas Sowell captured this overall sentiment in a Nov. 2006 Human Events piece when he wrote, “One of the most pervasive political visions of our time is the vision of liberals as compassionate and conservatives as less caring.”  While myths surrounding leftist giving and volunteerism continue to be perpetuated, American researchers have taken a pretty clear and concise look at this issue and the case is closed: Conservatives out-give and out-volunteer the opposition.  Don’t believe me?  Examine the facts.

In 2006, independently-registered researcher and author Arthur Brooks tackled the issue of political ideology as it pertains to giving.  According to a 2006 ABC News piece by John Stossel and Kristina Kendall, Brooks’ research has shown that conservatives donate about 30 percent more than do liberals.  Interestingly, on average, conservatives earn less than liberals.

Brooks also claims that financial donations aren’t the only difference at hand.  When it comes to an issue as random as blood donations, conservatives are about 17 percent more likely than their liberal counterparts to donate blood!  But, that’s not all.  In 2008, George Will covered some of Brooks’ other findings.  As it turns out, in 2004, George W. Bush carried 24 out of 25 of the states in which charitable giving exceeded the national average.  According to Will,

“In the 10 reddest states, in which Bush got more than 60 percent majorities, the average percentage of personal income donated to charity was 3.5. Residents of the bluest states, which gave Bush less than 40 percent, donated just 1.9 percent.”

Clearly, there are a number of factors that influence the disparity between conservative and liberal giving.  Two reasons that Brooks mentions in his own work are religious affiliation and the way in which liberals and conservatives view the government’s role in society.  To address the former, a higher proportion of conservatives are religious and, thus, report routinely giving to churches and faith-based ministries.

In terms of the latter, it’s no secret that liberals are more prone to accept the notion that it’s the government’s responsibility to provide direct services to the people.  While conservatives are by no means opposed to essential state-sponsored programs, they place a higher value on personal responsibility and the building of self-driven social capital.  According to Brooks, “…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.”  Compassion, however, should be rooted in personal engagement; liberals fail to match conservatives in this area.