The PJ Tatler

Charity is Red, Stinginess is Blue

The headline isn’t entirely fair. A new study finds that several red states lead the way in charitable giving, with Utah leading them all. Several blue states, meanwhile, lead the way in not giving to charity. But those states are all big government states, so they favor giving. Just, at the point of a government gun.

The eight states whose residents gave the highest share of their income — Utah, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, Idaho, Arkansas and Georgia — all backed McCain in 2008. Utah leads charitable giving, with 10.6 percent of income given.

And the least generous states — Wisconsin, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire — were Obama supporters in the last presidential race. New Hampshire residents gave the least share of their income, the Chronicle stated, with 2.5 percent.

“The reasons for the discrepancies among states, cities, neighborhoods are rooted in part in each area’s political philosophy about the role of government versus charity,” the study’s authors noted.

But it’s not just about politics — “religion has a big influence on giving patterns.”

So maybe I should re-write the headline this way: Generosity is red, government compulsion followed by government waste and the end of personal liberty is blue.

That’s better.