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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Comments

Blissex

«I accept there is an effect, but not of the magnitude that this paper estimates.»

Uhm perhaps it is smaller, but not much smaller. Perhaps not as large as the upper bound. Consider also that so many millions of americans are illegal or legal immigrants without citizenship and the right to vote.

However there is another interesting and similar point: imagine for a moment that the majority of the body politic of the american republic does not really recognize native redskins, descendants of imported blackskins and recent illegal or legal brownskins as really belonging with them, but as an essentially ''foreign'' underclass, no matter their ostensible legal status.

A bit like in many southern America countries there are two nations one a spanish/mixed nation of relatively advanced status, and another a native one of wretched poverty and backwardness. With the main difference that in southern America the ''conquistadores'' are often in a minority, and in northern America they are the majority.

Now, if possible, rerun the northern America statistics stripping out the ''others'', and have a look at the results on things like crime and incarceration rates, government revenues and spending per head, percentage of those with health insurance, percentage of unemployed, average incomes, and finally voting patterns. I think it would be quite interesting (and very sad perhaps).

Arthur Eckart

The study above states: "The two main political parties in the United States in the period 1976–1992 put forth policies on redistribution and on issues pertaining directly to race." In the U.S., the largest group of poor are white people. So, I'd like to see proof that poor white people received greater benefits than poor minority people. Otherwise, the study is nonsense. Also, to infer the Republican party is racist and more racist than the Democratic party shows that Roemer and Lee are biased, since leaps of faith are required to believe their premises and conclusions.

Blissex

«Also, to infer the Republican party is racist and more racist than the Democratic party shows that Roemer and Lee are biased, since leaps of faith are required to believe their premises and conclusions»

Thats quite a straw man, because the authors of the paper don't make any such assumption: they just observe quite reasonably (and I think this is borne out by several opinion polls) that Republican voters tend to be more racist than Democratic voters, as the issue is «racism among American voters», not the racism of the parties, and that the issue is «voter racism».

The article argues that more racists vote Republican than Democratic because they think that the effects of Republican policies is less favourable to darkskinned people than the effects of Democratic policies, not because those policies are ostensibly designed to be racist: «voters oppose government transfer payments to minorities whom they view as undeserving».

Then that «The two main political parties in the United States in the period 1976–1992 put forth policies on redistribution and on issues pertaining directly to race.» is just a fact: both parties have addressed race, which does not mean either is racist. For example if one party supports affirmative action and another does not, both are perfectly respectable positions and neither is racist; there are many blacks that think that affirmative action diminishes their achievements, for example.

Thus the issue of whether «the Republican party» is racist is totally irrelevant to the argument in the paper. If the party is not racist and its policies do not (intentionally or not) disadvantage minorities, all those racist voters that vote Republican instead of Democratic are just fools, but this does not change that they vote much more often Republican than Democratic and this makes social policy weaker than in more homogenous countries.

In other words, the article seems to argue that poor racist whites would rather live without public health insurance and with lower salaries and pensions than to share those benefits with minorities, and thus vote in favour of whatever party that is against policies like that.

Arthur Eckart

Blissex: Their own words infer the Republican party is racist and more racist than the Democratic party by their following statements: "....we suggest that voter racism decreases the degree of redistribution...." and "anti-redistributive (Republican) party." So, along with implying Republicans are racist and more racist than Democrats, Roemer and Lee assume racism is the reason for differences in values. However, the study doesn't prove that assumption. So, they must be biased to begin with. Also, to conclude: "that poor racist whites would rather live without public health insurance and with lower salaries and pensions than to share those benefits with minorities" is ridiculous.

Blissex

«Their own words infer the Republican party is racist and more racist than the Democratic party by their following statements: "....we suggest that voter racism decreases the degree of redistribution...." and "anti-redistributive (Republican) party."»

The inference is entirely yours, not from the authors of the paper. These are two separate statements, one about voters, the other about the party. That some Republican voters are racist is hard to deny, but that does not make the Republican party racist. It is the party of Lincoln and more recently of Powell after all.

«Also, to conclude: "that poor racist whites would rather live without public health insurance and with lower salaries and pensions than to share those benefits with minorities" is ridiculous.»

Ridiculous? Poor racist whites died in their dozens of thousands to defend the right of rich racist whites to enjoy lives of idle luxury from the profits made from owning people. Was that ridiculous too?

Then many poor non-racist whites vote Republican to oppose abortion and gay marriage because they reckon that their spiritual health is more important than health care or pensions. Ridiculous too?

Arthur Eckart

Blissex, obviously you can't see the implication. Also, the fact that it's a bunk study further suggests they're politically biased. Your conclusions don't make sense.

Arthur Eckart

I'd prefer to see real data rather than made-up data, in the study, unless they're tautologies. For example, when a white person's belief on individualism and anti-government are not in agreement, then that person is a racist. Basically, when whites disagree with some black or feminist views, then they're racists. However, disagreements could be explained by factors not included in the regression, e.g. ingornance, indifference, optimism, and many other non-racist values. Consequently, completely different conclusions could be drawn, e.g. white democrats are more racist than white republicans, racism in the U.S. has decreased, racism within the republican party has always been low, etc.

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