Racial Income Inequality Worse in Liberal Cities


Don’t let the sun set on you in Madison, Wisconsin.

Minneapolis-St. Paul. San Francisco. Chicago. Even Madison, Wisconsin. If you are politically liberal and value relatively high levels of income equality, you might live in one of these quintessentially liberal U.S. cities. Yet all four lurk in the bottom half of the 2014 National Urban League’s State of Black America report on income inequality between blacks and whites. Among the many places where black-white income is less skewed are Phoenix, Arizona, Nashville, Tennessee and Columbia, South Carolina.

Nationally, blacks and Hispanics earn less than whites and generally have higher rates of unemployment. But there are significant regional variations. And looking at the Urban League rankings, I couldn’t help noticing how many northern liberal cities fared poorly on the racial equality index.

The inequality is sometimes intense. According to 2005-2009 data based on the U.S. Census American Community Survey, which was provided to me by John Logan, a demographer at Brown University, the San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City metropolitan area has an astonishing $56,000 white-black gap in household median income. The white-black gap in the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington metro area is about $40,000.

There is no definitive cause, and explanations vary. Mathew Kahn, an economist at UCLA, e-mailed, “Educated liberals are tolerant people who are willing to live in racially integrated areas even if the minority neighbors are poor. Such liberals are more willing to vote for redistributionist policies and this may attract poor people to collect such transfers.”

That explanation however is incomplete because black migration to the north had little to do with welfare, which didn’t really exist at the time, and a lot to do with the availability of jobs. Those jobs went away eliminating the working middle class and leaving little for working people to do except go into the bureaucracy.

New York City is typical of the gap between the rich and the poor that forms when the middle class is wiped out.

  • DogmaelJones1

    This is why I cannot live in New York City. “New York City is typical of the gap between the rich and the poor that forms when the middle class is wiped out.” And that’s in addition to rent controls extinguishing a middle class population, especially in Manhattan. The productive middle class was banished to the boroughs and the suburbs (and even out of state), and had the extra added cost-of-living expense of commuting to Manhattan and their jobs (in addition to ex-NYC taxes). My last residence there was a closet-sized studio which I shared with another working stiff. We took turns sleeping on the floor. That was in the early 1980’s. I shudder to think of what that same studio costs now. It’s probably been converted into a condo! In the meantime, today, all those trust fund Yuppies and Wi-Fi elitists hang out at Starbucks cafes and vote the straight liberal/left ticket.

    • UCSPanther

      Probably a bit like pre-revolutionary Paris: Virtually no middle class, the rich live in Versailles-style luxury and everyone else is wallowing in grinding poverty.

      • Doobee

        The Obama-lib-left is metastasizing out into the rest of the country. Mega-wealthy New Yorkers are moving to other states and bringing their leftwing politics with them.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      If it was in Manhattan, assume 3K a month at least

      • DogmaelJones1

        I suspected it was that much. For a hole in the wall. Thanks.

        • Sharpshooter

          Geez…my daughter & SIL pay $1050 a month rent in Laramie, WY for a six year old, 1975sf, HOUSE, on a landscaped acre lot.

    • Hilda

      I can relate to this. I was taxed out of LA proper, commuting 1.5 hours one way every day because the rents near my place of work were simply unaffordable. I was eventually taxed out of CA altogether and moved to the State of Washington where there is no income tax, but I see the same thing happening in the neighboring city of Portland where productive people in Vancouver, WA and commute to work in Portland. Portland, Oregon is the city where the young go to retire, not because they are wealthy but because the income tax and all the other taxes in Oregon is so outrageous that they have enough welfare for all the those young “retired” Red artists. Just the way Pelosi likes it.

  • Douglas Mayfield

    The whole purpose of Democratic socialist poison is to create dependency and so insure that the ‘ruling class’, the good little wealthy socialists, will have someone to rule.

    • DogmaelJones1

      And they’ll rule until, as Margaret Thatcher once said, the money runs out. And the money will run out when the productive part of the socialist economy can no longer bear the tax and regulation burdens, and disappears into the underground. As happened in Atlas Shrugged.

      • Drakken

        The taxes and the black market ratios are an extremely good indicator has to how the local economy is doing. Over half of the cigarettes being sold in NYC are black market. At this point, the economy in NYC is losing jobs, Capitol and productive people.

        • Doobee

          Yeah, but life is sweet for da Mayor and his crew.

      • Doobee

        Yes, but when the economy collapses, they’ll blame the middle class for it but call them the “rich.”

      • contrarian35

        Won’t be long.

  • Gee

    I was hearing that the lower class in San Francisco wants to run out the Tech workers because they are willing to pay their rent and the landlords want them for tenants instead of the freeloaders that get money from the government

  • truebearing

    Madison Wisconsin, the capitol of Wisconsin and self-appointed liberal geniuses, had extremely few blacks until the leftists took over the city government, thanks primarily to the huge percentage of students voting Democrat. It wasn’t that blacks were prevented from living in Madison, it was just an expensive and very competitive place to get a job, and the apartments were expensive. There were pizza delivery guys working on their PhD’s.

    Once the Left got firm control in the 80’s, they started increasing welfare payments until they were higher than any surrounding city. Pretty soon, blacks were coming out of the Chicago, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, and Detroit ghettos to get easy money. Guess where the crime rate went?

    The influx of blacks and the accompanying crime resulted in wealthier whites moving to the West side, where expensive homes sprang up like mushrooms after a rain. The leftists were angry about it, though, so they passed a revengeful law that made it mandatory to build low income housing in any new development. Naturally, that had the predictable effect of spreading the crime into neighborhoods that had never had any previously. Law enforcement costs went up. The Left persisted, and more blacks from the worst ghetto cultures in the Midwest continued coming. The schools went downhill like a skier trying to outrun an avalanche.

    But what about the jobs and income disparity, you ask? It stayed as bad as it ever was. The blacks seeking better handouts didn’t want educations, in fact, beat up the native blacks who did, calling them “Oreos” and other racial names. No, they weren’t qualified for anything other than fast food, custodial, and other low paying jobs. Now the city and the schools have annual rituals where they announce new initiatives to raise minority test scores, but it never improves. Gangs have prospered though, and murders are way up from the 1 per year Madison had in the 70’s.

    The people with money moved to the small towns surrounding Madison, and now those towns are not so small and growing rapidly. The Left is derisive about “white flight” but many of them have done the same thing. Now many of them live in the beautiful hills to the west of Madison, safe from the mess they created.

    • UCSPanther

      The modern left could be compared to the French Monarchy in pre-revolutionary France, but it would be more accurate to compare them to the Ceasescus of Romania: Arrogant, hypocritical and power-hungry.

      • truebearing

        They are also deeply delusional. When the children of the liberals in Madison started getting beaten up, robbed, and raped, the parents and the school personnel were at a loss. They couldn’t understand how, after they were so generous with everyone else’s money, handing out more welfare than any other city, the black kids were so hostile to them. After all, they were the wonderful white liberals. They naively expected the inner-city Chicago gangbangers to suddenly like them and become like them. They apparently thought the black criminal element would somehow be able to tell they were liberals, so they shouldn’t be robbed or beaten.

        The way they deal with “bad neighborhoods” now is by making it profitable for developers to buy the housing in an area, tear it down and drive the criminals into another area. It’s Municipal Whack-a-Mole. The taxpayers foot the bill, as usual.

  • Johnny Palestine

    Liberalism,Progressivism, etc. is a mental disease. To these divisive wackjobs, having a family and kids makes you a hateful conservative.

    To the progressive and their demented ways, the mroe muslims in the coutnry and the more on government payrolls, the better.

    A real man cannot be a progressive.

  • Dan Jackson

    The current situation is Detroit a good barometer for where the county’s going. As blacks
    flail about in 3rd-world conditions because there are no more fat union jobs, and anyway, the whites who created them have also left, Dem politicians are increasingly searching OUTSIDE Detroit for tax money/transfers/grants to bail out their pet minority that unfailingly votes for them. THEY’RE COMING FO YO MONEY, WHITEY!