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November 16, 2004


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I would be very cautious about using either set of figures to draw conclusions. There are many other things to consider.

The people who exploit the Red State inhabitants all stash their loot up north. Red State con games like Enron are backed and bankrolled by Blue State banks -- who also reap the lion's share of the profits and tend to slide away from any serious penalties. The bail outs of connected Red State bigshots also come from up north.

Blue State funding for broadly beneficial programs is based on pragamtism, the real conservative approach, and has little in common with the widow's mite generosity of the impovershed Red States. They're more familiar with the simple moral lessons of O. Henry tales than the grand schemes of Brookings.

Daniel Bassill

I read an interesting letter to the Editor about this subject in the Chicago Tribune. The writer suggested that giving in states that supported BUSH was more likely to churches than to charities that support the poor. He went on to say that such giving is self-serving, because it pays for service (church building, payroll, programs, etc.) that primarily benefit the donor. I tend to agree, but I would not limit this trend to the RED states. I feel that giving to religious institutions should be discounted as a measure of charity since in most cases only a small percent of the dollars that are given go to help the poor.


You could make the same case about much "giving," i.e., that it benefits the donor. Think of Harvard, Museums, the Opera, prep schools, the whole circuit of elite institutions. Also think about the various think tanks that accept deductible gifts to create policy ideas favorable to donor's interests. Social programs do move wealth downwards, not sure how to what degree voluntary giving will take up that slack.

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