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Monthly Archives: September 2015

Amy Chua coined the term “market-dominant minority” to describe a minority ethnic group that holds more economic power in a region than the group which is the region’s demographic majority. Chinese in South Asia (and probably Africa); Lebanese in Latin America; Jews in Russia; Afrikaaners in South Africa. These groups are much, much wealthier than the indigenous South Asians, Latin Americans, Russians, and Black Africans, all of whom yet win hands-down in terms of population.

Market-dominant minorities live a precarious existence, for obvious reasons, especially if they are recent arrivals. (Nor do old wounds heal quickly, a fact to which over 4,000 dead Boer farmers can attest.)

Whenever it is pointed out that white Americans are to be a minority in America within half a century, there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth about whites becoming a market-dominant minority in their own country. However, this will never come to pass, for two reasons.

First, even when white Americans dip below 50% of the American population, they will nevertheless remain the largest ethnic group. Pew Research puts the latest projection for 2065 at White: 46%, Hispanic: 24%, Asian: 16%, with blacks and Native Americans rounding out the rest. Per the link, this projection holds even though Asian immigration is soaring at the present. 

Whites are thus projected to remain the largest ethnic “minority” within a country that has no distinct “majority.” Market-dominant minorities, by definition, are true minorities within a region that has a distinct ethnic majority. White Americans will not fit that description.

Second, and more to the point, white Americans will not be a market-dominant minority in the future because they are not and most certainly never will be the wealthiest ethnic group in America.

Once again, Pew provides the relevant data*:

IncomebyRelition

If we may correlate religion with ethnicity (as I think we can in this case), Indians are by far the wealthiest ethnic group in America. Many other data reports can be found to verify this fact. Indians, then, are today’s market-dominant minority and will remain so into the near and middle-term future. Per the earlier Pew link, by 2065, Asians will still be a meager 16% of the population; separated out, Indians will obviously constitute a smaller percentage than that. Given the reality of power laws in economics, there is no reason to think that Indian Americans will lose any of that wealth in the coming decades. Today and in 2065, they fit and will fit the description of market-dominant minority much better than WASPs. (Jews are not a market-dominant minority because they are white, no matter what anti-racists or white supremacists tell you.) Chinese Americans are and will continue to be market-dominant minority runners-up.

I don’t expect this reality to be confronted or even mentioned any time soon. Class-based Leftism is deader than punk rock. Today’s Left is far more concerned about cultural dominance as opposed to material or economic dominance, and I think we can expect whites (including Jews, who are white) and Blacks to continue dominating the culture industry.

* A more recent graph exists (the one above is from 2009), but the same trend emerges. However, Pew has tried to muddy the results in the most recent graph by listing the religions alphabetically instead of by income.

In 2011, Pew Research polled over a thousand Muslim Americans and declared them “middle class and mainstream” (here and here). Looking at the most general of averages, this is largely correct. Until recently, and with the exception of Somalians, Muslims who have immigrated to America will have passed through a stringent selection filter compared to their current European counterparts. However, taking a microscope to the statistics uncovers a more complicated picture, especially regarding assimilation of the second and third generations.

On many metrics, from old to young Muslims (and from foreign to native born), one finds a slide from moderate to immoderate views. The difference is not extreme, but nor is it negligible. Some examples:

1.  Younger Muslims are more unanimous than older Muslims in their rejection of “adopting American customs.”

AdoptAmericanCustoms

2. Older, foreign-born Muslims are more likely to describe Americans as “friendly.” Younger, native-born Muslims are less quick to do so.

AmericansFriendly

3.  Younger Muslims are more likely than older Muslims to report feeling discriminated against.

DiscriminatedAgainst

4. Native Muslims are more willing than foreign born Muslims to say that suicide bombing against civilians is “sometimes” or “rarely” acceptable. 10% of native-born Muslims think suicide bombing is “sometimes” okay. Of course, this number pales in comparison to the percentage of Muslims who think this in other countries.

SuicideBombing

5. Likewise, native-born Muslims are more likely to have a favorable view of Al Qaeda than their older, foreign-born counterparts; less are likely to have an unfavorable view.

AlQaeda

6. One of the most interesting findings, in my view, is the reversal in response to the question of mosques expressing political views. Foreign-born Muslims are generally against it; native-born are all for it.

MosquesPolitics

7. Younger Muslims are more skeptical about Arab involvement in the 9/11 attacks.

9-11

On some key metrics, then, it appears that younger, native-born Muslims are moving slowly in the opposite direction expected if Muslims were assimilating smoothly into secular American norms. This is not good, especially in light of the fact that, economically, Muslims are faring no worse than white evangelicals and Catholics. Any movement away from secularization among young Muslim Americans is not driven by economic inequality.

*Note: Some of these stats include African Americans who have converted to Islam.

In the GOP debate, Donald Trump apparently said the following: “We’ve had a graduated tax system for many years, so it’s not a socialistic thing.”

Well, it all depends on what the tax money is paying for.

The fact of taxes (on income, on property, on capital gains, on whatever) is ideologically neutral. Post-agriculture, all functioning societies have had a ruling elite that extracts a portion of wealth or tribute from everyone else in order to pay for the sorts of things that maintain a functioning society. No one likes paying taxes, but they do it because that’s how roads and sewers get built.

Similarly, no one likes paying more taxes than someone else has to pay, but they won’t complain about it (within reason) as long as they sense their tax dollars are funding things they want to see, like better roads and better sewers.

Whether the issue is flat or progressive taxation, then, it’s a grin-and-bear-it situation . . .

. . . until the governing elite starts using tax dollars to pay for things you don’t approve of. Then you’re pissed and all of a sudden taxation takes on an ideological hue. If the governing elite uses  tax dollars to pay for things no one approves of, then everyone’s pissed and there’s a revolution. Most of the time, though, some people are pissed and others aren’t and that’s when you realize that fights over “taxes” in general are really fights about what the money should be spent on.

Progressive income taxes were historically passed into law to pay for war. William Pitt the Younger signed into law the UK’s first graduated income tax (the first income tax full stop) to fight the left-wing French revolutionaries. Abe Lincoln introduced the progressive income tax in America to fund his fight against the Southern states. In all likelihood, one’s willingness to grin-and-bear-it was predicated on one’s support or opposition to these wars and whom the tax money was ultimately killing.

The idea that progressive taxation alleviates income inequality is post-WWII because the alleviation has absolutely nothing to do with progressive taxation and everything to do with early twentieth century social welfare programs. If USG never taxed poor people, taxed the hell out of rich people, but spent all the tax revenue on hookers and blow for Congress, then the progressive income tax would not do much to alleviate inequalities between rich and poor. The idea that progressive taxation alleviates inequality exists because USG does not spend its income on hookers and blow but on social welfare programs that allow poor people to buy hookers and blow.

Tea Party conservatives and libertarians are therefore retarded or naive, or maybe both, when they whine about taxation in general. The argument has never been about taxation—its levels, its brackets, and so on—but about what tax money should and should not be spent on. Calls for “less taxation” from the conservative side are just veiled complaints about tax money being spent on poor people. Progressives, to their credit, are at least honest about things and usually complain specifically about tax money being spent on the military. To them, every B-2 built or maintained represents a whole lot of food stamps that will never be used to buy Doritos and vodka.

To construct a sense of “buy-in,” and to stop these idiotic conversations about taxes in general, my ideal state would have the good sense to let each citizen decide how his tax money is to be spent. Each year, a citizen would submit his taxes along with a form—let’s call it the Taxation Investment Form—with a dozen or so categories that could be “checked” with a certain percentage of tax money allotted. This could be done with every form of major tax: state, federal, income, property, estate, and so on (I would perhaps exclude sales tax). A citizen would essentially earmark what state services and programs he wants to fund and which ones he doesn’t want to fund. If he wants all his tax money to go to social welfare programs, so it goes. If he wants all his tax money to go to the military, so it goes. If he wants half his tax money to go to the military and the other half to go to infrastructure development, so it goes.

Under this highly democratic scenario, I doubt anyone would care all that much about his tax bracket, and we could justly say that every society would get the society it deserves. At the very least, it would probably get rid of universal health care for politicians.