Can We Still Afford the Slavery Tax?

John Derbyshire, Takimag, August 11, 2011

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Absent any such deus ex machina, however, we are heading into tightwad territory, at least so far as public finances are concerned. Where will the pennies get pinched?

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And then, what about welfare?

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As soon as you start to look at the numbers, though, you come up against the race issue. Here are the 2007-08 TANF tables–that’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, a federal program–broken up by state and race. So for example, in the state of Maryland, which is 30 percent black, 80 percent of TANF-receiving families are black.

It’s the same with food stamps, which nowadays come under SNAP–that’s the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The New York Times published a neat interactive graphic on SNAP usage a couple of years ago. The accompanying article tells us:

Nearly 12 percent of Americans receive aid–28 percent of blacks, 15 percent of Latinos and 8 percent of whites….Half of Americans receive food stamps, at least briefly, by the time they turn 20. Among black children, the figure was 90 percent.

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Those gaps may be getting bigger. The Pew Research Center caused a stir the other day by releasing a report on the white/Hispanic/black wealth gaps. {snip}

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The gaps seem to be awfully intractable. You need to be over fifty to remember Jim Crow; you need to be somewhat older than that to remember a grandparent who was born in slavery. Yet still the needles on a lot of these dials have barely moved.

After the ructions of the 1960s the USA erected a vast system of support and preferences for black citizens. The height of human felicity in the later 20th century was to be a smart and energetic black American. Colleges, employers, and lenders would beat a path to your door in order to meet their race quotas. {snip}

For the less stellar there was plenty of government make-work on offer. This has especially been the case at the federal level. In 2007, the latest year for which I can find figures, black Americans were massively overrepresented in the federal workforce–by more than 800 percent in CSOS (Court Services and Offender Services).

Two entire generations of Americans have now grown up among these favors, preferences, and welfare-support discrepancies for black people. They are rationalized among non-blacks, though not without some resentment, as a “Slavery Tax”–as fair recompense for past injustices.

Following the black riots of the 1960s, non-blacks have seen these concessions as an implicit contract or treaty–as non-black America saying to black America: “We’ll give you this stuff if you promise not to break our windows.”

Yet fifty years on, we are still looking at these colossal, apparently intractable, gaps. And the Slavery Tax is expensive–$31 billion in state and federal expenditures in 2008 just for TANF. If black Americans, at 13 percent of the population, consumed TANF funds at the same rate as white Americans, the TANF bill would be less than $14 billion, a savings of $17 billion. A lot of money: not much to show for it.

If you think these numbers are not worth bothering about–mere billions in a sea of trillions–this is just one modest slice of the Slavery Tax I’m talking about. The massive government make-work programs, with all their salaries and benefits, must be far more, though beyond my ability to compute. {snip}

Can the Slavery Tax be maintained in an age of austerity? {snip}

Yet if the Slavery Tax is curtailed or abolished, what will be the consequences? Will it be taken as an abrogation of that implicit treaty, to be responded to with much breaking of glass?

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{snip} If we can’t, how much wider will those gaps get?

And how much glass will be broken? Those riots in London this week:

[British government] cutbacks in the number of police officers have also been blamed for the riots….In the 12 months to the end of March 2011, the number of officers fell by 4,625 to 139,110.

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  • on the lam from the Thought Police

    I cannot think of any advantage a large black population brings to a country.

    Some blacks excel at athletics or entertainment. That does not begin to compensate for the cost of black crime, the cost of a criminal justice system much more expensive than we would need with virtually no blacks, the cost of one failed effort after another to bridge the black – white academic gap, and the obvious fact that most beneficiaries of affirmative action cannot perform adequately.

  • E Pluribus Pluribus

    The “slavery tax” has many components. A neglected component is, to quote Professor Robert Greenberg in the August issue of American Renaissance, “school textbooks portraying Timbuktu as center of great scholarship.”

    In other words, deformed and debased history and literature instruction are part of the “Slavery Tax.” The single element of “the slavery tax” is a very heavy burden. It is one reason for the steep decline in verbal proficiency of white students in the past four decades. On BookTV.org, in 2010 E. D. Hirsch Jr., [referring to a chart showing the average Verbal SAT score falling about 40 points from 1967 – 2002], pointed out:

    “The absolute number of students who scored above 600 declined by 56 percent and the absolute number of students who scored above 650 declined by 73 percent. A sudden influx of black and Hispanic test-takers cannot explain why large numbers of college-bound middle-class white students suddenly became less proficient. That is what happened.”

    Indeed, a sudden influx of black and Hispanic test-takers may not explain the steep decline of white verbal proficiency, but

    the effect of the ideology of multiculturalism on history and literature instruction adopted as a result of a huge influx in the enrollment of black and Hispanic students into formerly white schools could.

    Education historian Diane Ravitch’s THE LANGUAGE POLICE: How Pressure Groups Restrict What Students Learn (2003) is a fine source for anyone wishing to understand how public school textbooks have been rendered essentially unreadable.

  • Anonymous

    The slavery tax goes far beyond welfare benefits. Despite the leftist/liberal propaganda, we spend much more per student to try and educate blak children than white children, with no results. White taxpayers also pay to deal with chronic, intractable blak crime, where the meter starts running with the initial loss, continues through the arrest and courts and only stops when the perps parole expires. the truth is, blaks are “high maintenance” in every sense of the word.

  • Anonymous

    A study out of Dartmouth a couple of years ago explains the decline in White SAT scores in racial terms.

    The study first had White and Black subjects take cognitive ability tests to get a baseline.

    Then they had Whites and Blacks interact, one-on-one with each other for a certain period of time. Then both were given another cognitive ability test right afterwards.

    The test results clearly showed that after interacting with Blacks, Whites scored lower on their cognitive tests, while Blacks scored generally the same.

    Clearly, Whites find it a mental burden interacting with Blacks, feeling they have to dumb themselves down to a lowest common denominator. In a multi-cultural society Whites now experience this 24/7, so it should come as no surprise that Whites are scoring lower on standardized tests.

  • Anonymous

    I disagree. There is no “slavery tax”. White men were defeated, and their conquerors are enjoying the spoils of victory.

  • Anonymous

    To Poster 1, On The Lam: it’s not the black – white academic gap, it’s the “intelligence gap”!!!

  • john

    I’ve always loved John Derbyshire, an English ex-pat who’s one of the very best Americans in the land.

    He raises an interesting question: To wit: How long can our nation afford to buy off its black citizens, who have shown no propensity for meaningful assimilation over the past four decades, and who continue to comprise overwhelmingly the criminal class in our country. Derb doesn’t add that this seems to be an immutable world-wide problem with the African races, which makes any reasonable accommodation of their behavioral tendencies highly unlikely anytime soon, whether in our country or elsewhere.

    On balance, it’s the most intractable problem our nation faces.

  • Bud

    It isn’t really a slavery tax, it’s a black inabilities tax, and it’s paid by every country that has blacks in it even if they never had slavery. It’s a small but important point – it isn’t about misplaced guilt but about biological capabilities. The blacks rioting in Britain, even those on welfare, would have no more than 1/4 of the wealth they have in Britain, if they’d stayed in their own countries, and in their guts they know it. They steal what they know they never could produce.

    If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. – Mark Twain

  • Anonymous

    At some point, hopefully soon, the question should be asked in this country: why should taxpayers continue paying to keep blacks on perpetual welfare? The past slavery/racism excuses does not justified perpetual welfare from taxpayers. As shown by the riots in England, Brits are now descending into that same morass of perpetual and more welfare/handouts for peoples who can NEVER ever function in an advanced society.

  • Anonymous

    Once a school is 1/3 non-Asian minority, the teachers give up on assigning homework, and everything the kids do is some kind of group project in which the one group member who does all the work shares his grade with the three or four kids who do nothing.

    In 1967, the white high school dropout rate would still have been substantial, and it was still possible to get a well-paid job with nothing more than a high school diploma, so only the most ambitious kids were taking the SATs at that time.

    I don’t know that the average white IQ has dropped much since 1967, if at all, but the old world of coming home and doing homework and practicing your piano lesson is out the window. Lots of kids living with one overwhelmed parent, and divorced parents often avoid conflict with the children and have to deal with schoolbooks left at dad’s house, etc. Similar situation if both parents work.

    Many schools with a lot of transient students do NOT allow the school books to go home with the children, because they never know which kids are about to move away and never bring the books back to the school.

    My cousins went to a school with lots of Mexicans. It was possible to attend for 4 straight years of high school, make good grades, and NEVER open a textbook.

  • Anonymous

    Welfare costs are a microcosm of the total burden of keeping blacks around. The following can also be added:

    -Cost of imprisoning millions of blacks

    -The billions that they cause in property damage

    -The billions spent on extra law enforcement in order to unsuccessfully prevent the above

    -The billions they ring up in medical care they never pay for

    Add them up and the cost is simply astronomical.

    Somehow, I don’t think our forefathers getting free cotton picking all those years was worth it…

  • Jake

    Despite the outrageous largesse given to blacks in the form of “Great Society”, ($8 trillion) Pigford I&II, (billions) welfare, food stamps, medical, etc., etc., etc. And this is not to mention law enforcement, courts and prison costs, black are even most hostile than ever.

  • Anonymous

    11 — Anonymous wrote at 8:43 AM on August 12:

    “Welfare costs are a microcosm of the total burden of keeping blacks around. The following can also be added:

    -Cost of imprisoning millions of blacks

    -The billions that they cause in property damage

    -The billions spent on extra law enforcement in order to unsuccessfully prevent the above

    -The billions they ring up in medical care they never pay for

    Add them up and the cost is simply astronomical.

    Somehow, I don’t think our forefathers getting free cotton picking all those years was worth it…”

    You forgot to add the cost to the well being and safety of 100 white women a day, the families of those raped, murdered, beat up, permanently injured, etc. Add that to the impact of blacks who weedle into white families via the plethora of social pressure to do so and the damage it does to families split apart and genetically damaged thereby.

  • Lauren

    from #4: The test results clearly showed that after interacting with Blacks, Whites scored lower on their cognitive tests, while Blacks scored generally the same.

    Clearly, Whites find it a mental burden interacting with Blacks, feeling they have to dumb themselves down to a lowest common denominator. In a multi-cultural society Whites now experience this 24/7, so it should come as no surprise that Whites are scoring lower on standardized tests

    ______

    Even though I grew up here in Mississippi, I find that the whites surrounding me are astonishingly dumb. I cannot relate to most of them, and have struggled for decades to understand why. I knew that it was some sort of “Cultivated Stupidity”, but could not get beyond that rather nebulous beginning.

    Then, a while back, a poster here used a term “Surrender of Intelligence”. That term opened conceptual doors for me…and continues to do so. And I think that what you wrote fleshes-out the term a bit more for me.

    Here in the South, Middle Class Whites were routinely raised by black maids. If you remember the Hallmark Cards “Black Holes/Black Ho’s” “controversy” (youtube it), then you have an inkling of the sort of logic to which white children in the South were routinely subjected. Only, instead of a microphone, the black women in positions of power over the kids had Switches from Peach Trees. The poor tots had no choice but to submit to the maids’ standards of truth and logic.

    A friend came back from a hoity-toity tour of Homes here, attended by the city’s white elite, with the strangest comment: “All the people were shuffling around like Zombies…afraid to say a word. It’s like the Maid had already given them a switching, and they were waiting for Daddy to come home and take off his Belt.” And I’ve heard similar comments about the grim atmosphere in ritzy Jackson restaurants. The upper classes seem emotionally damaged…beaten-down; terrified to relay even the simplest information without repackaging it beyond recognition, lest they offend.

    Mostly, though, people here are (just like blacks) too loud, too interruptive, unfocused, and silly. They indulge in Magical Thinking, Symbolism, Fatalism, Wishful Thinking…. and, just like blacks, take even the mildest challenge or correction as a mortal insult.

    And I think it has to do with Mississippi Whites’ having had to coexist with blacks, for two solid centuries.

    Lucky for me, our best (black) Tractor Driver burned down a big wooden bridge owned by the Government. That bankrupted our family farm, and meant that all the basics….a MAID, swimming in the Country Club pool, Subdeb, Deb Cotillion, going Chi Omega…even a church wedding…were not to be in my future.

    So, my newly-bankrupted and newly-maidless Grandmother raised me. Together, we learned to keep house, and ‘do our own labor’. We discovered just how much of the Thrifty Scot and the Resourceful Jew were in our genetic heritage. I give prayers of thanks for that, because it meant that I, unlike girls with maids, was not forced to ‘surrender my intelligence’. I was not beaten down for thinking thoughts beyond the capacity of the brain of some maid.

    Here, in the richest town of the poorest state, we just had the World Premiere of ‘The Help’. I’m told Madison County’s hidden Rolls Royces were freed from their cotton cocoons, and were lined up before the thirty-foot Corinthian columns at the Grandview’s entrance. Stars and magnamillionaires were in abundance. People with maids, watching a movie about maids. We saved our $500.00 (per ticket) and will see ‘The Help’ when it hits DVD. Somehow, I don’t think the movie tells the story I’m telling.

    Thank you for citing the Dartmouth study. I will look into it. And thanks to the poster here who once used the term “Surrender of Intelligence.”

  • anonymous

    I heard a story once about a white northern visitor who was told by a white southerner, ‘You just don’t understand the complex interdepence the race have here.”

    I came up with a better word for it. How about “interdisfunctionality”.

    Everywhere else in the world, people are deemed capable of taking care of themselves even living in the worst conditions. Do we have two races addled here?

  • Anonymous

    Poster #14 says

    Mostly, though, people here are (just like blacks) too loud, too interruptive, unfocused, and silly. They indulge in Magical Thinking, Symbolism, Fatalism, Wishful Thinking…. and, just like blacks, take even the mildest challenge or correction as a mortal insult.

    And I think it has to do with Mississippi Whites’ having had to coexist with blacks, for two solid centuries.

    ———————————————–

    I did not know that most Whites there were brought up by black maids? I thought most Whites were too poor to have black maids or slaves. Are the Whites there the ones people refer to as “trailer trash or “rednecks”?

    I do know that when forced to mix blacks and Whites together (desegregation) that many Whites will pick up black behavior and thinking. That insane idea that by mixing Whites with blacks it will bring blacks up to White standards is garbage. My mother used to say, one bad apple will spoil the whole barrel. In the case of desegregation that is exactly what happened.

  • Anonymous

    My sister moved south from the upper midwest. We had no blacks within arm’s reach where we grew up, and so it was a white world. It wasn’t perfect, and there was white trash around, but we had a pretty nice life and town.

    Since she’s moved south she’s been complaining about the state of people in general, as some of the posters mentioned about black/white coexistence in the south.

    I moved to a big urban area for work. It’s a very segregated place with each group silently accepting the concept of territory.

  • Carl D.

    Let’s not forget to include the ‘Minority Mortgage Meltdown’ which led to the current sorry state of economic affairs in the US. Making 6-figure housing loans to unqualified minorities cost us trillions, and will continue to burn us for a long time while the consequences work their way through the financial systems.

    I also add Obama and all the woes he has brought to the US to the bill being paid for the slavery tax as well. A no-experience empty sack of socialist wind, big on talk and nothing else, would never have gotten anywhere near the White House if he was not able to sell his ethnicity to a US eager to get over its past.