The claim of the left is always that they’re the compassionate ones, while we on the right are cruel and heartless and don’t care about other people. If leftists really want to do good in this world, they should stop and realize that the people across the aisle are not monsters; we simply have different ideas about how to best help people.
Studies have proven that conservatives tip more than liberals. Arthur Brooks found that conservatives donate 30 percent more to charity than liberals. They are also more likely to volunteer for good causes. And they give more blood: if liberals and moderates gave blood as often as conservatives, the American blood supply would increase by 45%.
But who cares about personal giving? What about the policies that Republicans and Democrats advocate? Isn’t it true that Democrats’ policies help the poor and the outcast while Republicans’ policies tend to be geared towards individual gain and not do enough to help those in need? Actually, no.
Take socialism. You may be excited over Bernie Sanders’s promises of free healthcare and education (rather materialistic of you, wouldn’t you say?). But recall that socialism and communism, two sides of the same coin (see: Lenin: “The goal of socialism is communism”), killed no less than 100 million people in the last century. Sounds compassionate, no?
Bernie Sanders was praising Venezuela’s socialist system less than a decade ago. Today, the average Venezuelan lost 19 pounds in 2016 and there’s a black market for toilet paper, while the leaders actually gained weight. Only a third of millennials can correctly identify socialism as “social ownership and state control of the means of production.” The rich do fine in such a situation because, in Carrie Sheffield’s words, “the tighter the government’s grip on the economy, the greater the capacity for special interests to rig the system in their favor.” Does this system sound compassionate?
Bernie has said in the past that a 90% tax rate for wealthy people would not be too high. The definition of slavery is essentially a 100% tax rate. Think about it. You work, but you get to keep none of the products of your own labor. Is forcing a 90% tax rate on others compassionate? What is compassionate about stealing? Mark Zuckerberg didn’t steal from you. Why should the rest of us vote to steal from him? Penn Jillette puts it best: “People need to be fed, medicated, educated, clothed, and sheltered, and if we’re compassionate we’ll help them, but you get no moral credit for forcing other people to do what you think is right. There is great joy in helping people, but no joy in doing it at gunpoint.”
One newspaper paragraph is not enough for me to fully describe why socialism is anti-Christian. But the bottom line is, socialism cannot compete with capitalism in wealth creation, and generosity requires resources to be generous with. Wealth must be created before it can be donated. Socialism does not allow for that because who wants to produce anything when they know the the products of their labor will go straight to the government? It is the business owners that we should lift up as the best helpers of the human race because they are the productive ones creating jobs and wealth to go around for everybody (see: the Pareto principle). It is an indisputable fact that capitalism has lifted more people out of poverty than any other system ever created. The more countries we have seen adopt it, the less suffering the world has seen.
As Bill Voegeli of the Claremont Institute says, “The liberal asks, ‘Does it feel good?’ The conservative asks, ‘Does it do good?’” (I highly recommend watching his video on Prager U on this subject.) Conservatives believe that individuals are capable of helping one another on a voluntary basis. They can and will help those around them. Early foreign observers of America recognized this religiously derived behavior, partly inspiring the idea later phrased, “American exceptionalism.”
Liberals believe we need a collective system where everybody is forced to pay for others according to the state’s discretion. However, the fundamental nature of humans is that we are much more inclined to help people we are close to. Free markets and voluntary associations use this to our advantage and help ensure we help the greatest number of people in the best way possible. This is a truism around the world. One study found that for every 1 percent increase in a state’s total tax burden, charitable giving drops by 1.16 percent. America is already the most generous nation, in large part because we have lower taxes than the countries of Europe which have progressed towards socialism further than we have. Shouldn’t we keep it that way?