The welfare state is a powerful tool for closing racial gaps. But it also shouldn’t be obscured that the largest group of beneficiaries from these programs are white.

slowboring.com/p/welfare-stat…
The white population in America is just very large, so the plurality of the poor people in America are white.

A political rhetoric that ignores them seems unlikely to succeed.

slowboring.com/p/welfare-stat…
I think the official Race-Class Narrative texts from Demos are pretty strong on this point, but this is one of these things where the practice often deviates from the theory.

slowboring.com/p/welfare-stat…
For example, Demos’ own write-up of the Rescue Plan makes it sound as if it somehow exclusively invests in “Black and Brown” communities.

This is how Rush Limbaugh used to lie about Obamacare! But Obama did much better than Biden with low-income whites.

slowboring.com/p/welfare-stat…

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More from @mattyglesias

12 Jun
This is probably the funniest one of these, subtweeting the 1619 Project but it reminds me of what I (for most of my life a US history dummy) really appreciated about Alan Taylor's "American Colonies" when I read it ten years ago.
It's conventional to teach the history of the American polity — the entity founded in 1776 — but nobody starts their US history on July 4, 1776.

It starts in the colonial era. But then you start discussing the 17th century history of the colonies that became the 13 states.
But the parts of the contemporary United States of America that were *not* part of the original thirteen colonies also have history.

They have indigenous history and they also have a history of European colonization.
Read 7 tweets
11 Jun
Not trying to be a mean-spirited dunker here but I think a false belief that Republicans are constantly winning policy fights distorts judgment about current politics.

In the winter of 2004-2005 the two biggest fights were marriage equality & social security; GOP lost both.
In the Obama years there was a fight about privatizing Medicare; Democrats won and under Trump Republicans stopped pushing for that.

Then they tried and failed to repeal the ACA. McConnell stopped pushing legislation after Doug Jones with a bigger majority than Ds have now.
Liberals, especially college grads in big cities, tend to see Trump and the Trumpified GOP as so obviously monstrous that they’re blinded to the extent that they have secured votes by ditching unpopular positions in favor of more moderate ones.
Read 4 tweets
10 Jun
The NRCC’s message for the midterms is wages went up too much under Biden and they’ll keep people poorer?

nrcc.org/2021/06/09/you…
Superficially this sounds good, but have you considered that suppressing the pandemic and stimulating the economy has raised demand and wages leading to a 38 cent increase in the price of a barbacoa burrito?
I think there’s a pretty fundamental difference between a price increase in an inelastic, non-discretionary space like gas or groceries & one like takeout burritos where it’s easy to walk away.

That’s why even though the used car thing is so idiosyncratic it’s still troubling.
Read 4 tweets
9 Jun
Here's a good GSS question on free speech: "Now consider a Muslim clergyman who preaches hatred of the United States. A. If such a person wanted to make a speech in your community preaching hatred of the United States, should he be allowed to speak, or not?"
What I like about it is that anti-American Islamism is genuinely super-unpopular with all major factions of American politics.

Nobody sees that cleric as an ally. So it really is just a test of people's commitment to free speech and that commitment is ... tepid.
There's no big party gap, but men are more supportive of free speech than women and more educated people are more supportive than the less educated.
Read 4 tweets
9 Jun
I think the best question @BCAppelbaum raises here is the quiet dispute between him and Warren Buffett about the social impact of vast wealth passing tax free into charitable foundations.

nyti.ms/3imQZ3Y
Buffett’s view is that his charitable giving supports important causes and that marginal reductions in the national debt are not important.

I am sympathetic to this argument!
But as @BCAppelbaum briefly alludes to here, there’s no IRS requirement that your charitable giving actually be effective or really even “charitable” in any kind of normal sense.
Read 4 tweets
7 Jun
Today’s free Slow Boring post is all about parking — specifically the nearly ubiquitous rules that require builders of basically everything to provide more than a market amount of parking.

These rules are really bad.

slowboring.com/p/the-case-for…
A number of cities have recently adopting parking reforms — including a notable one in Minneapolis which is big — and successfully gotten themselves cheaper, more abundant housing.

slowboring.com/p/the-case-for…
But the biggest parking reform yet could be coming to California where a strong bipartisan majority just backed a huge statewide reform over opponents’ incoherent objections.

slowboring.com/p/the-case-for…
Read 4 tweets

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