NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


August 11, 2008

In his new book, "Makers and Takers,"  Peter Schweizer, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution and Stanford University,  explores why conservatives work harder, feel happier, have closer families, take fewer drugs, give more generously, value honesty more, are less materialistic and envious, whine less and even hug their children more than liberals.

Using the latest data and research, Schweizer shows that the claims that conservatives are mean-spirited, greedy, selfish malcontents with authoritarian tendencies are a myth.  Instead, he finds that many of these claims actually apply more to liberals than to conservatives. 

For example:

  • Some 71 percent of conservatives say you have an obligation to care for a seriously injured spouse or parent versus less than half (46 percent) of liberals.
  • Conservatives have a better work ethic and are much less likely to call in sick than their liberal counterparts.
  • Liberals are two and a half times more likely to be resentful of others' success and 50 percent more likely to be jealous of other people's good luck.
  • Liberals are two times more likely to say it is okay to cheat the government out of welfare money you don't deserve.
  • Some 55 percent of conservatives say they get satisfaction from putting someone else's happiness ahead of their own, versus only 20 percent of liberals.
  • Those who are "very liberal" are three times more likely than conservatives to throw things when they get angry.

Schweizer argues that the failure lies in modern liberal ideas, which foster a self-centered, "if it feels good do it" attitude that leads liberals to outsource their responsibilities to the government and focus instead on themselves and their own desires. 

Source: Peter Schweizer, "Makers and Takers," Doubleday, June 3, 2008.


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