Der Rassismus des Wohlfahrtsstaates

Zwei demographische Probleme wirken wie zersetzende Säuren auf die kontinentaleuropäischen Wohlfahrtsstaaten: Die alternde Bevölkerung und der Zustrom von Einwanderern aus den zukünftigen neuen Mitgliedsländern der Europäischen Union und aus anderen Teilen der Welt.

In unserem jüngsten Buch Fighting Poverty in the US and Europe: A World of Difference , gehen Edward Glaeser und ich der Frage nach, warum der Wohlfahrtsstaat in Europa um so viel großzügiger ausgeprägt ist als in den USA. Ein wichtiger Erklärungsansatz ist die viel größere ethnische Heterogenität der Bevölkerung in den USA im Vergleich zu der eher homogenen Zusammensetzung in Kontinentaleuropa.

Man bedenke Folgendes: Laut der internationalen Werteumfrage von World Value Survey glauben 60 % der Amerikaner, dass arme Menschen „faul" sind, wohingegen nur 26 % der Europäer diese Ansicht vertreten. Es ist daher auch nicht überraschend, dass Menschen mit einer derartigen Einstellung dem Gedanken der Umverteilung und staatlicher Sozialhilfe ablehnender gegenüber stehen. Auch in den USA zeigt sich, dass Menschen, die einen „Anti-Minderheiten"-Standpunkt vertreten eher gegen Umverteilung sind und weniger Mitgefühl mit den Armen zeigen.

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