Micha Ghertner asked the question when I said that the shrinking proportion of whites makes their reduced support less relevant. I didn’t honestly know, but I suspected something like that. Some googling turned up Gary P. Freeman’s Immigration, Ethnic Differences and Support for the Welfare State (.doc file), which though I haven’t read completely contained the quote “the racial group loyalty effect means that individuals increase their support for welfare spending as the share of local recipients from their own racial group rises.” It also says “If the minority is rich, as were the Walloons in Belgium, then the differences don’t block welfare state development”. That’s what I was thinking of, along the lines of Thomas Sowell’s writings on affirmative action around the world, which is primarily used by poorer majorities to get back politically at an economically dominant minority.

The GSS has a question about welfare spending, and I’m going to examine how attitudes among whites, blacks, hispanics and asians have changed over time.
First whites:

Frequency Distribution
Cells contain:
-Row percent
-Weighted N
NATFARE
1
TOO LITTLE
2
ABOUT RIGHT
3
TOO MUCH
ROW
TOTAL
YEAR 1973 15.8
197
25.0
312
59.2
738
100.0
1,247
1974 20.1
253
33.6
422
46.3
583
100.0
1,258
1975 20.5
257
30.3
379
49.1
614
100.0
1,250
1976 12.1
158
22.4
291
65.5
852
100.0
1,301
1977 10.0
128
23.5
302
66.4
853
100.0
1,284
1978 10.4
137
22.9
301
66.7
878
100.0
1,316
1980 11.2
139
26.8
334
61.9
770
100.0
1,243
1982 17.2
270
28.7
452
54.1
849
100.0
1,571
1983 21.5
301
28.6
399
49.9
696
100.0
1,395
1984 19.7
79
39.9
160
40.4
162
100.0
401
1985 16.2
102
35.6
224
48.2
303
100.0
628
1986 20.7
122
35.0
207
44.3
262
100.0
591
1987 20.0
98
30.9
151
49.2
241
100.0
490
1988 21.9
121
32.1
177
46.0
253
100.0
551
1989 20.4
128
34.7
219
44.9
283
100.0
630
1990 21.2
115
38.6
210
40.2
219
100.0
545
1991 19.9
115
39.5
228
40.5
234
100.0
578
1993 15.2
97
25.5
162
59.3
377
100.0
636
1994 10.1
122
23.3
280
66.6
803
100.0
1,205
1996 10.3
116
25.5
286
64.1
718
100.0
1,119
1998 14.8
156
36.4
384
48.8
515
100.0
1,055
2000 18.2
194
40.8
435
41.0
437
100.0
1,067
2002 17.6
189
37.8
407
44.6
479
100.0
1,075
2004 19.3
206
35.8
382
44.9
479
100.0
1,067
2006 21.8
226
36.4
378
41.8
433
100.0
1,037
2008 21.6
157
35.8
260
42.7
310
100.0
726
COL TOTAL 16.6
4,183
30.6
7,742
52.8
13,340
100.0
25,265

Then blacks:

Statistics for RACE = 2(BLACK)
Cells contain:
-Row percent
-Weighted N
NATFARE
1
TOO LITTLE
2
ABOUT RIGHT
3
TOO MUCH
ROW
TOTAL
YEAR 1973 56.5
97
25.1
43
18.4
32
100.0
171
1974 53.8
85
26.8
42
19.4
31
100.0
159
1975 56.5
89
28.4
45
15.1
24
100.0
158
1976 36.0
42
24.7
29
39.3
46
100.0
116
1977 40.2
62
28.6
44
31.2
48
100.0
154
1978 42.0
62
35.2
52
22.9
34
100.0
149
1980 43.5
66
26.9
41
29.6
45
100.0
151
1982 58.3
104
23.0
41
18.7
33
100.0
178
1983 45.6
69
28.2
43
26.1
40
100.0
151
1984 56.5
36
22.5
14
21.0
13
100.0
64
1985 46.2
30
30.3
19
23.6
15
100.0
64
1986 42.4
39
29.3
27
28.3
26
100.0
93
1987 45.7
34
31.6
23
22.7
17
100.0
73
1988 38.8
34
33.9
30
27.3
24
100.0
88
1989 54.3
36
14.0
9
31.8
21
100.0
66
1990 47.5
36
27.0
20
25.5
19
100.0
75
1991 48.3
46
23.9
23
27.8
27
100.0
96
1993 28.4
24
24.7
21
46.9
40
100.0
86
1994 31.4
57
32.0
58
36.7
67
100.0
183
1996 42.4
82
27.0
52
30.6
59
100.0
193
1998 22.4
37
42.1
69
35.5
58
100.0
164
2000 37.3
68
30.6
56
32.1
59
100.0
183
2002 39.7
67
35.1
59
25.2
42
100.0
168
2004 44.1
71
28.4
46
27.5
44
100.0
161
2006 40.3
72
31.0
55
28.7
51
100.0
179
2008 42.1
53
36.2
46
21.7
27
100.0
126
COL TOTAL 43.4
1,498
29.2
1,009
27.3
942
100.0
3,449

The “RACE” variable only has white, black and “other”, so I’ll have to use the ETHNIC variable for hispanics and asians. Unfortunately, that means multiple tables for each.

Here are hispanics:

Mexicans

Statistics for ETHNIC = 17(MEXICO)
Cells contain:
-Row percent
-Weighted N
NATFARE
1
TOO LITTLE
2
ABOUT RIGHT
3
TOO MUCH
ROW
TOTAL
YEAR 1973 48.4
14
20.3
6
31.2
9
100.0
29
1974 21.6
9
64.8
27
13.6
6
100.0
41
1975 29.1
7
32.7
8
38.2
10
100.0
26
1976 26.9
7
34.6
9
38.5
10
100.0
25
1977 5.0
1
27.5
5
67.5
13
100.0
20
1978 20.6
4
14.2
3
65.2
12
100.0
18
1980 21.2
4
39.8
8
38.9
7
100.0
19
1982 28.6
11
40.3
16
31.1
12
100.0
40
1983 26.1
9
42.6
15
31.3
11
100.0
35
1984 73.2
7
.0
0
26.8
3
100.0
10
1985 35.1
5
45.8
7
19.1
3
100.0
15
1986 31.4
6
25.7
5
42.9
8
100.0
18
1987 29.2
4
20.8
3
50.0
8
100.0
15
1988 16.1
5
39.3
12
44.6
13
100.0
30
1989 36.4
6
45.5
8
18.2
3
100.0
17
1990 18.2
3
42.4
7
39.4
7
100.0
18
1991 20.0
5
50.0
13
30.0
8
100.0
27
1993 29.2
4
12.5
2
58.3
7
100.0
13
1994 11.4
6
18.1
10
70.5
40
100.0
57
1996 10.5
4
27.6
11
61.8
26
100.0
41
1998 28.4
13
42.0
19
29.6
13
100.0
45
2000 17.8
9
41.1
20
41.1
20
100.0
49
2002 22.7
12
26.8
15
50.5
27
100.0
54
2004 30.8
24
29.1
23
40.0
31
100.0
78
2006 32.3
35
37.4
41
30.3
33
100.0
109
2008 7.4
4
49.7
29
42.9
25
100.0
59
COL TOTAL 24.3
220
35.4
321
40.3
365
100.0
906

Puerto Ricans

Statistics for ETHNIC = 22(PUERTO RICO)
Cells contain:
-Row percent
-Weighted N
NATFARE
1
TOO LITTLE
2
ABOUT RIGHT
3
TOO MUCH
ROW
TOTAL
YEAR 1973 28.6
2
28.6
2
42.9
3
100.0
6
1974 48.3
7
20.7
3
31.0
4
100.0
14
1975 14.3
2
53.6
7
32.1
4
100.0
13
1976 37.5
3
25.0
2
37.5
3
100.0
8
1977 54.5
3
18.2
1
27.3
1
100.0
5
1978 14.8
1
10.5
1
74.8
6
100.0
8
1980 55.0
6
20.0
2
25.0
3
100.0
10
1982 48.6
3
6.0
0
45.4
3
100.0
6
1983 27.1
4
58.3
9
14.7
2
100.0
16
1984 50.0
1
50.0
1
.0
0
100.0
2
1985 17.4
1
41.3
2
41.3
2
100.0
4
1986 41.7
3
.0
0
58.3
4
100.0
6
1987 .0
0
.0
0
100.0
1
100.0
1
1988 10.0
1
30.0
2
60.0
3
100.0
5
1989 71.4
3
14.3
1
14.3
1
100.0
4
1990 33.3
1
66.7
2
.0
0
100.0
3
1991 38.5
3
15.4
1
46.2
3
100.0
7
1993 50.0
2
.0
0
50.0
2
100.0
3
1994 30.0
3
40.0
4
30.0
3
100.0
11
1996 61.5
4
38.5
3
.0
0
100.0
7
1998 40.0
8
28.6
6
31.4
6
100.0
19
2000 25.0
3
55.0
6
20.0
2
100.0
11
2002 10.5
1
52.6
6
36.8
4
100.0
11
2004 52.6
9
34.2
6
13.2
2
100.0
17
2006 41.4
5
28.4
3
30.2
4
100.0
12
2008 31.6
3
68.4
7
.0
0
100.0
10
COL TOTAL 36.2
79
34.3
75
29.5
64
100.0
218

Then asians:

Chinese

Statistics for ETHNIC = 5(CHINA)
Cells contain:
-Row percent
-Weighted N
NATFARE
1
TOO LITTLE
2
ABOUT RIGHT
3
TOO MUCH
ROW
TOTAL
YEAR 1973 .0
0
.0
0
100.0
1
100.0
1
1976 50.0
1
.0
0
50.0
1
100.0
2
1977 .0
0
50.0
1
50.0
1
100.0
2
1978 .0
0
77.5
2
22.5
1
100.0
3
1980 .0
0
.0
0
100.0
1
100.0
1
1982 6.9
0
71.3
3
21.9
1
100.0
4
1983 21.7
2
.0
0
78.3
6
100.0
8
1984 .0
0
.0
0
100.0
1
100.0
1
1986 100.0
1
.0
0
.0
0
100.0
1
1987 .0
0
50.0
1
50.0
1
100.0
3
1988 .0
0
75.0
3
25.0
1
100.0
4
1989 .0
0
55.6
3
44.4
2
100.0
5
1990 .0
0
100.0
2
.0
0
100.0
2
1991 .0
0
.0
0
100.0
1
100.0
1
1993 .0
0
100.0
1
.0
0
100.0
1
1994 20.0
1
40.0
1
40.0
1
100.0
3
1996 .0
0
25.0
1
75.0
3
100.0
4
1998 4.5
1
81.8
10
13.6
2
100.0
12
2000 20.0
1
60.0
3
20.0
1
100.0
5
2002 16.7
1
58.3
4
25.0
2
100.0
7
2004 18.2
4
65.9
13
15.9
3
100.0
20
2006 13.6
2
61.0
8
25.4
3
100.0
13
2008 27.3
3
63.6
6
9.1
1
100.0
10
COL TOTAL 13.4
15
56.3
62
30.4
33
100.0
110

Japanese

Statistics for ETHNIC = 16(JAPAN)
Cells contain:
-Row percent
-Weighted N
NATFARE
1
TOO LITTLE
2
ABOUT RIGHT
3
TOO MUCH
ROW
TOTAL
YEAR 1973 33.3
0
66.7
1
.0
0
100.0
1
1974 28.6
1
42.9
1
28.6
1
100.0
3
1975 33.3
1
.0
0
66.7
2
100.0
3
1976 50.0
1
.0
0
50.0
1
100.0
3
1977 .0
0
28.6
1
71.4
2
100.0
3
1978 .0
0
.0
0
100.0
3
100.0
3
1980 .0
0
100.0
4
.0
0
100.0
4
1982 .0
0
50.2
3
49.8
3
100.0
5
1983 19.5
1
.0
0
80.5
2
100.0
3
1984 .0
0
66.7
1
33.3
1
100.0
2
1985 100.0
2
.0
0
.0
0
100.0
2
1986 100.0
1
.0
0
.0
0
100.0
1
1988 50.0
1
50.0
1
.0
0
100.0
2
1991 .0
0
100.0
1
.0
0
100.0
1
1993 .0
0
.0
0
100.0
2
100.0
2
1994 33.3
1
33.3
1
33.3
1
100.0
3
1996 .0
0
.0
0
100.0
2
100.0
2
1998 42.9
2
28.6
1
28.6
1
100.0
4
2000 16.7
1
16.7
1
66.7
2
100.0
3
2002 .0
0
66.7
2
33.3
1
100.0
3
2004 28.6
1
57.1
2
14.3
0
100.0
3
2006 8.4
1
52.1
5
39.5
4
100.0
10
2008 42.9
1
57.1
2
.0
0
100.0
3
COL TOTAL 20.3
14
38.4
27
41.3
29
100.0
70

If diversity reduces support among non-whites, we would expect them to have become less supportive over time as America got more diverse. There is some support for this in the tables, but as I am breaking it up by year my sample sizes are much smaller than I’d like. Oddly enough, this effect is not seen on whites. Since the question is relative to current welfare spending, we could also be seeing the effect of policy changes (or at least perceived changes) over time. Further investigation is needed.

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