Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Do NAMs want to tax the rich because they're poor or because they're NAMs?

Predictors of wanting to tax the rich, N = 4,743.

Compared to whites, non-Asian minorities (NAMs) are more likely to favor the government reducing income inequality by taxing the wealthy. Is this because they are poor and liberal, or because they are NAMs?

The table displays unstandardized OLS coefficients. The first model includes only two predictors: whether or not the respondent is black and whether or not the respondent is Hispanic.  Both groups are significantly more likely than whites and Asians (the reference group) to favor taxing the rich. In the second equation, income is added. Not surprisingly, higher-income people are less likely to favor being taxed to reduce inequality. This is the same finding reported in the last post. The coefficients indicate that the influence of income reduces the effect of race, but even with the adjustment, blacks and Hispanics are significantly more likely to favor income equalization. And you can see that even when the extent of one's liberalism is added to the model, the racial gap persists, just in a reduced form.

In other words, blacks and Hispanics want to tax the rich: 1) because they are poor; 2) because they are liberal; and 3) because they are minorities. Each of the variables has an independent effect, but of course, income and liberalism may just be mediating the relationship between race and taxes. It is not unreasonable to conclude that NAMs are poor and liberal because they are NAMs.

But even if we partial out the effects of income and politics to see what is left of race, income and liberalism reduce the racial effect by less than half (just compare coefficients across the models). The pattern of results is consistent with the view that NAMs want high taxes for the wealthy because they perceive them as privileged and white, and this feeling goes beyond simply being poor and liberal .     


  1. Anonymous6:40 AM

    "NAMs want high taxes for the wealthy because they perceive them as privileged and white"

    Yes, and it bears repeating. Liberal whites have no idea to what levels of taxation they'd be beholden to if -real-leftwing minorities but had the power to levy them. We used to have a 70% tax bracket before Reagan. We'd probably get that again if NAACP and LaRaza-approved candidates filled congress and the Oval Office.

  2. Sgt. Joe Friday8:30 AM

    I actually think they'd be more clever about it than just imposing a huge income tax increase. They'd go through the side door, with stuff like luxury taxes, higher gasoline taxes, raising property taxes, and so on. In other words, stuff that wouldn't hurt the truly wealthy so much as cut upper middle class suburban whites down to size.

  3. Anonymous4:26 PM

    "NAMs want high taxes for the wealthy because they perceive them as privileged and white."

    Or maybe just because they have the money. Asked what it would be like if all white people disappeared, one group of black high school students responded, "We're screwed."


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