Left Behinds

The anti-andrewsullivan.com. Or, the Robin Hood (Maid Marian?) of bright pink Blogger blogs.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Department of duh

Color me appalled. I thought it was that whole small-government, lower-spending, liberty-lovin' thing.

That study found that supporters of President Bush and other conservatives had stronger self-admitted and implicit biases against blacks than liberals did.
The analysis found that substantial majorities of Americans, liberals and conservatives, found it more difficult to associate black faces with positive concepts than white faces -- evidence of implicit bias. But districts that registered higher levels of bias systematically produced more votes for Bush.

"Obviously, such research does not speak at all to the question of the prejudice level of the president," said Banaji, "but it does show that George W. Bush is appealing as a leader to those Americans who harbor greater anti-black prejudice."

Okay, okay, I'm not really shocked, Mr. Scientist.

"If anyone in Washington is skeptical about these findings, they are in denial," he said. "We have 50 years of evidence that racial prejudice predicts voting. Republicans are supported by whites with prejudice against blacks. If people say, 'This takes me aback,' they are ignoring a huge volume of research."

Such as, for example, Martin Gilens's argument that Americans hate welfare because they believe the money goes mainly to shiftless blacks.

Or, from here (PDF):

Over the last five years, at least 15 different empirical economic papers have studied the consequences of community heterogeneity, and all of these studies have the same punch line: heterogeneity reduces civic engagement. In more diverse communities, people participate less as measured by how they allocate their time, their money, their voting, and their willingness to take risks to help others.
A second measure of civic engagement is the willingness to redistribute income. Luttmer (2001), using data from the General Social Survey and from California ballot initiatives, finds that support for redistribution is higher when the recipients are from the same racial group. Researchers have found a similar result for public education. Poterba (1997) and Harris, Evans, and Schwab (2001) report evidence of a “Florida effect” in states’ public school expenditures. In Florida the “average” taxpayer is a white senior citizen, while the typical public school student is Hispanic. In this diverse environment, there is less support for public school expenditures than in states where the students and the taxpayers are of the same ethnicity. Goldin and Katz (1999) find that a similar pattern prevailed in the past—racial, ethnic, and religious diversity and income inequality predicted state educational expenditures. Data from U.S. cities, metropolitan areas, and urban counties show that the share of spending on such productive public goods as education, roads, sewers, and trash pickup is inversely related to the area’s ethnic fragmentation, even after controlling for other socioeconomic and demographic characteristics. Not only is participation and expenditure lower in more-diverse settings, but so is trust. Self-reported levels of trust and experimental evidence document that when individuals interact with people who look like them, levels of trust in the community are higher.

Again, this shouldn't surprise anyone. We have thousands of years of history to teach us that humans are tribal, xenophobic, nasty, and brutish. We may not be as short as we were 400 years ago, but there's no reason to think much else has changed.

Tags: ,,,


  • At 12:45 PM, Blogger Neda Cole said…

    As shocking as that isn't, its still awfully depressing...

  • At 1:11 PM, Blogger Solomon Grundy said…

    That's interesting about the heterogeneous communities. It's consistent with what you're always taught in political theory classes about socialism and anarchic arrangements, that they can only work in small, homogeneous communities (or authoritarian states, but that's not classical socialism).

  • At 2:16 AM, Blogger Phoebe Evergreen said…

    I took that study online, the one with the faces. I mean, a friend did. My, I mean, the results were predictable and depressing.

  • At 9:56 PM, Blogger Solomon Grundy said…

    One of my favorite episodes of King of the Hill revolves around that test.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

FREE hit counter and Internet traffic statistics from freestats.com