T Nation

Racists Favor Income Redistribution

Very interesting paper, which turns some common assumptions on their head:

http://volokh.com/archives/archive_2006_11_26-2006_12_02.shtml#1164605626

EXCERPT:

[i]Later in the paper I present the results of full latent variable structural equation models. The latent variable traditional racism (Model 1: r = .27) predicts the latent variable income redistribution. (I also find that the preference against income redistribution is not just the result of income or education; rather, the data are consistent with racism continuing to play a small but significant role in explaining the support for income redistribution.)

The data are broadly inconsistent with the standard belief in the social psychology literature that anti-redistributionist views are positively associated with racism. The results are a problem for the academic assumption that opposing income redistribution indicates hostility toward other groups and a desire to dominate them. Indeed, many social psychologists believe that the link between opposing redistribution and social dominance is so strong and clear that opposing redistribution can be treated as a measure of social dominance orientation. [/i]

To me, this conclusion that those who favor income redistribution are more likley to hold racist beliefs actually makes some sense, given a couple of my general assumptions: 1) that people with the lowest education levels are most likely to hold racist beliefs and also most likely to favor income redistribution; 2) Even though a lot of people at the highest incomes (which correlates to high education) also favor income redistribution (to a degree anyway), those with some college or just college educations do not, and are numerous enough to dominate the data for “higher incomes.”

ADDENDUM: I should note that the author points out specifically that he controlled for income and education, and got an independent relationship between traditional racism and favoring income redistribution. So the racism isn’t a proxy for income or education, even though those might be separately correlated.

I’ve found most pro wealth-redistributionists support affirmative action (race based). So, it doesn’t surprise me.

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
To me, this conclusion that those who favore income redistribution are more likley to hold racist beliefs actually makes some sense, given a couple of my general assumptions: 1) that people with the lowest education levels are most likely to hold racist beliefs and also most likely to favor income redistribution; 2) Even though a lot of people at the highest incomes (which correlates to high education) also favor income redistribution (to a degree anyway), those with some college or just college educations do not, and are numerous enough to dominate the data for “higher incomes.”

[/quote]

Correlating education and wealth with racism is not exactly accurate either. We assume that education leads to less racist views but if we consider that the highest educated people are the most wealthy then it doesn’t hold. The wealthy in my own opinion are some of the the most closed minded people in existance just becasue they are so seperated from and out of touch with “real” life. This in my mind is more systemic of racism than an opinion about income redistribution.

To some extent I agree that we can corrrelate ignorance with racisim but education is not an accurate measure of ignorance.

BTW, I think you should make it clear that the correlation “Racists More Likely Favor Income Redistribution” does not correlate “People Who Favor Income Redistribution More Lilely to be Racist”. Also, correlation does not mean cause. It means that the data are related which can be taken to mean that one data can be related the other–which does not take into account secondary actors, etc.

[quote]Sloth wrote:
I’ve found most pro wealth-redistributionists to support affirmative action (race based program). So, it doesn’t surprise me.[/quote]

Affirmative action isn’t based on racial quotas. It’s based on economic diversity.

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
Sloth wrote:
I’ve found most pro wealth-redistributionists to support affirmative action (race based program). So, it doesn’t surprise me.

Affirmative action isn’t based on racial quotas. It’s based on economic diversity.[/quote]

Did you mean to say racial diversity?

[quote]Sloth wrote:
LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
Sloth wrote:
I’ve found most pro wealth-redistributionists to support affirmative action (race based program). So, it doesn’t surprise me.

Affirmative action isn’t based on racial quotas. It’s based on economic diversity.

Did you mean to say racial diversity?[/quote]

No. I meant economic empowerment and racial diversity. Affirmative action is not supposed to be racial quota filling.

Here’s the entire abstract:

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=945932

[i]Abstract:
In the field of social psychology, it is commonly believed that people support capitalism and oppose greater income redistribution because they are racist or want to dominate other people or groups. Indeed, a study of college students in the United States and secondary students in Sweden found that attitudes supporting capitalism were positively associated with racism and an orientation toward social dominance (Sidanius & Pratto, 1993). In this article I expand and test this thesis using 16 nationally representative General Social Surveys conducted by the National Opinion Research Center between 1980 and 2004. The sample sizes used for analyses vary from 535 to 15,743.

I begin by showing that respondents who express traditionally racist views (on segregation, interracial marriage, and inborn racial abilities) tend to support greater income redistribution. Traditional racists also tend to oppose free-market capitalism and its consequences, wanting the government to guarantee jobs for everyone and to fix prices, wages, and profits. Next, I report a similar pattern for those who express intolerance for unpopular groups on the 15 Stouffer tolerance questions (regarding racists, homosexuals, communists, extreme militarists, and atheists). Those who express less tolerance for unpopular groups tend to favor income redistribution and oppose capitalism.

Then I present the results of six full latent variable structural equation models. The latent variables traditional racism (Model 1: r=.27) and intolerance (Model 2: r=.31) predict the latent variable income redistribution. Similarly, the latent variables traditional racism (Model 3: r=.33) and intolerance (Model 4: r=.36) predict anti-capitalism. Controlling for education, income (log), gender, and age in Models 5 and 6, the effects of the racism and intolerance predictors on redistribution and intolerance are somewhat reduced in size, but remain significant. Thus the preference against income redistribution, for example, is not just the result of income or education; rather, the data are consistent with racism and intolerance continuing to play a significant role in explaining the support for income redistribution and anti-capitalism.

I then preliminarily explore alternative hypotheses, showing that in the 1996 General Social Survey, compared to anti-redistributionists, strong redistributionists have about two to three times higher odds of reporting that in the prior seven days they were angry, mad at someone, outraged, sad, lonely, and had trouble shaking the blues. Similarly, anti-redistributionists had about two to four times higher odds of reporting being happy or at ease. Not only do redistributionists report more anger, but they report that their anger lasts longer. When asked about the last time they were angry, strong redistributionists were more than twice as likely as strong opponents of leveling to admit that they responded to their anger by plotting revenge. Last, both redistributionists and anti-capitalists expressed lower overall happiness, less happy marriages, and lower satisfaction with their financial situations and with their jobs or housework.

Further, in the 2002 and 2004 General Social Surveys anti-redistributionists were generally more likely to report altruistic behavior. In particular, those who opposed more government redistribution of income were much more likely to donate money to charities, religious organizations, and political candidates. Those who wanted the government to promote more income leveling were less likely to be generous themselves in their charitable donations and some other altruistic behaviors.[/i]

You can download the entire paper if you follow the link above.

LOL. It’s all in the definitions… define it right and you can draw any conclusions you want.

Too bad so many people actually do.

[quote]vroom wrote:
LOL. It’s all in the definitions… define it right and you can draw any conclusions you want.

Too bad so many people actually do.[/quote]

vroom,

Professor Lindgren was simply looking at self reported data sets from broad sets of individuals who were all responding to the same set of questions. Perhaps you have some actual problems with the definitions you’d like to share? And then explain how they affect the conclusions?

[quote]vroom wrote:
LOL. It’s all in the definitions… define it right and you can draw any conclusions you want.

Too bad so many people actually do.[/quote]

Going to ANY lengths…?

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
Very interesting paper, which turns some common assumptions on their head:…
[/quote]

Apart from the insinuation, that a racist is probably also a socialist, are there other reasons for which you think this paper is interesting?

[quote]
BostonBarrister wrote:
Very interesting paper, which turns some common assumptions on their head:…

karva wrote:
Apart from the insinuation, that a racist is probably also a socialist, are there other reasons for which you think this paper is interesting?[/quote]

It’s mainly interesting because many people claim the exact opposite: that if you oppose redistribution of wealth you likely do so for racist reasons, because minorities are disproportionately represented among the poor.

It stands to reason that wealthy whites are racist, or at least tend that way. They live in enclaves, like Aspen, in gated communities, with bodyguards and security everywhere. They would tend to socially engage with similar wealthy elites. I doubt if many of those people are black, hispanic, or asian.

They may give to the UNCF but perish the thought of having a black neighbor!

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
It’s mainly interesting because many people claim the exact opposite: that if you oppose redistribution of wealth you likely do so for racist reasons, because minorities are disproportionately represented among the poor.[/quote]

That argument is not commonly used here. It sounds so 70’s. If you oppose redistribution of wealth you are a capitalist pig, but even that argument is oldfashioned. Very few and no-one with any level of political influence opposes wealth redistribution. The question nowadays is rather, how much to distribute and on which grounds. And how to make the system cost efficient. Example: should medication for sicknesses caused by obesity/smoking/drinking be subsidized?

[quote]Headhunter wrote:
It stands to reason that wealthy whites are racist, or at least tend that way. They live in enclaves, like Aspen, in gated communities, with bodyguards and security everywhere. They would tend to socially engage with similar wealthy elites. I doubt if many of those people are black, hispanic, or asian.

They may give to the UNCF but perish the thought of having a black neighbor![/quote]

If this isn’t sarcasm I am a monkey’s uncle. Wow!

It’s funny to me that people only tend to equate racism with hatred when that clearly isn’t the case. One can be considered a racist if they think their race is superior over others which is usually marked by the belief that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement.

For example, whites can’t dance because they have no rhythm is a racist comment becasue it not only stereotypes whites but also attributes what a white person is able to achive based on his or her race–despite being untrue.

Am I being jumped on for something?

My contention is that they are really measuring the wrong things. There are all kinds of correlations that can be teased out of this type of study.

Since you are presenting this, howabout you pull out the pieces that represent the classifications of measurement used and the questions used to get people into those classifications? In other words, do some work to support the viewpoint or allegations you are promoting.

I’m not going to spend hours digging through this for no good reason, because at the moment it doesn’t really appear to be saying much of anything.

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
Sloth wrote:
LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
Sloth wrote:
I’ve found most pro wealth-redistributionists to support affirmative action (race based program). So, it doesn’t surprise me.

Affirmative action isn’t based on racial quotas. It’s based on economic diversity.

Did you mean to say racial diversity?

No. I meant economic empowerment and racial diversity. Affirmative action is not supposed to be racial quota filling. [/quote]

Yet, it still uses race as consideration.

[quote]vroom wrote:
Am I being jumped on for something?

My contention is that they are really measuring the wrong things. There are all kinds of correlations that can be teased out of this type of study.

Since you are presenting this, howabout you pull out the pieces that represent the classifications of measurement used and the questions used to get people into those classifications? In other words, do some work to support the viewpoint or allegations you are promoting.

I’m not going to spend hours digging through this for no good reason, because at the moment it doesn’t really appear to be saying much of anything.[/quote]

I provided you with an abstract and paper from a very well respected law professor at Northwestern, who specializes in empirical legal research and has published material on how to conduct social science research.

Here’s his bio: http://www.law.northwestern.edu/faculty/fulltime/Lindgren/Lindgren.html

Here’s his CV: http://www.law.northwestern.edu/faculty/fulltime/lindgren/lindgrJaCV.pdf

Why don’t you come up with some actual objections to methodology or the links between the conclusions, as opposed to “there are all sorts” of possible issues, and then we can discuss those objections.

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
Why don’t you come up with some actual objections to methodology or the links between the conclusions, as opposed to “there are all sorts” of possible issues, and then we can discuss those objections.[/quote]

I’m not claiming the guy has no background to stand on. However, you have a particular propensity to post other people’s thoughts instead of your own.

Why should I invest my time performing deep analysis of something you are proposing when you have not? You want me to accept it, or put in much effort getting into the heart of it, when you haven’t, and then you will discuss what I find?

It’s your regurgitated position… not mine. Don’t ask me to invest my time and effort in it when you won’t.

[quote]
BostonBarrister wrote:
Why don’t you come up with some actual objections to methodology or the links between the conclusions, as opposed to “there are all sorts” of possible issues, and then we can discuss those objections.

vroom wrote:
I’m not claiming the guy has no background to stand on. However, you have a particular propensity to post other people’s thoughts instead of your own.

Why should I invest my time performing deep analysis of something you are proposing when you have not? You want me to accept it, or put in much effort getting into the heart of it, when you haven’t, and then you will discuss what I find?

It’s your regurgitated position… not mine. Don’t ask me to invest my time and effort in it when you won’t.[/quote]

Interesting, and ultimately irrelevant. You want to start with a base level that your inchoate doubts should be addressed. If you won’t even invest the time to have an actual objection, no one is going to invest the time to spoon feed you…