El racismo del estado de bienestar

Dos ácidos demográficos están corroyendo los estados de bienestar de Europa continental. Uno es el envejecimiento de la población. El otro es el flujo de inmigrantes provenientes de los países que pronto serán miembros de la Unión Europea y de otras regiones.

En nuestro reciente libro, Fighting Poverty in the US and Europe: A World of Difference , Edward Glaeser y yo analizamos las razones por las que el estado de bienestar es mucho más generoso en Europa que en los EU. Una de las explicaciones principales es la mayor heterogeneidad racial que existe en los EU en comparación con la Europa continental occidental, que es más homogénea.

Consideremos lo siguiente: de acuerdo con la Encuesta Mundial de Valores, mientras que el 60% de los estadounidenses creen que los pobres son "holgazanes", sólo el 26% de los europeos comparten esa idea. No es sorprendente que quienes piensan así son los que se oponen más a la redistribución y a la seguridad social, y hay evidencias de que, en los EU, quienes expresan más puntos de vista en contra de las minorías también se oponen a la redistribución y muestran menos compasión por los pobres.

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