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Income Inequality and Racial Politics

2014-06-29

There is little disagreement about the dramatic rise in income inequality during the last forty years.  What is not so clear is the precise cause.  We know that the labor movement suffered a loss of population in the unions over this time.  There is some indication, however, that the rise is related to a backlash against the civil rights movement, according to an article in UC Berkeley’s blog.  The idea is that insecurity leads to a fear of the other, and that this causes an increase in racism.  Read the article at: /http://blogs.berkeley.edu/2014/05/02/inequality-in-the-twenty-first-century/

This increase in racism has been attributed to the election of a black President, but it was present before that.  Tea Party adherents showed a definite tendency to racial distrust, envy, and hostility.  Many populists were already familiar with the image of the black welfare queen driving a Cadillac.  Such attitudes are only made worse by economic uncertainty.

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