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The Best Part of the Country for Working Class Black Males Is the Deep South
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Back in 2013, the New York Times gave huge publicity to a new research project on income mobility over the generations headed by then-Harvard economist Raj Chetty. The goal, a worthy one, was to find the places that were doing things right that help children move up the income ladder. Chetty’s map of high income mobility and low income mobility metropolises for working class families at the 25th percentile of income was splashed heavily in the New York Times (with pale being good upward income mobility and red being bad).

This led to much clucking about how the legacy of Jim Crow and Slavery must be holding down the children of Atlanta and Charlotte and much of the rest of the south. For example, the New York Times devoted a feature story to the low upward income mobility prospects of Atlanta and Charlotte:

In Climbing Income Ladder, Location Matters

A study finds the odds of rising to another income level are notably low in certain cities, like Atlanta and Charlotte, and much higher in New York and Boston.

By DAVID LEONHARDT PUBLISHED: JULY 22, 2013

There was much cluck-clucking over how the poisonous legacy of Jim Crow and Nixon’s Southern Strategy was holding down both whites and blacks in the South to this day.

I pointed out, however, that I really doubt that West Virginia is such an island of upward mobility. Instead, it’s mostly an island of white people (probably the worst off white people on average in any state, but white people, nonetheless). And whites raised at the 25th percentile of income, even West Virginia whites, tend to regress toward a higher mean income as adults than do blacks raised at the 25th percentile.

Thus, Chetty’s 2013 map of areas in red with low income mobility mostly looked to me like a map of heavily black regions plus Indian reservations.

Now in 2018, Chetty has managed to link his income data from the IRS to race data from the Census Bureau, so he can break out a map of income mobility by race from 25th percentile parents in 1994-2000 to their kids in 2014-15. And, sure enough, I was right and Chetty’s mouthpieces were wrong about the main driver of his 2013 map: race.

As I had suspected, the Old Coal Mining Belt on the edge of West Virginia, Ohio, North Carolina, and Tennessee turns out to be the worst place for working class white males to have grown up. And the best place was North Dakota, with its recent energy boom and lack of Latino immigrants to hammer down wages.

Black upward mobility is of course much lower all across America, mostly because blacks who were raised at the 25th percentile regress toward a lower mean income than whites who were raised at the 25th percentile. Strikingly, the best regions for working class black males to grow up in Chetty’s 2018 findings are … the conservative, Republican-ruled Deep South, from South Carolina to East Texas. The worst places for working class black male upward mobility tended to be the more liberal states of the upper midwest.

One thing to keep in mind is that unlike Chetty’s original assumption, these trends are not set in stone. North Dakota, for example, might plunge into depression if energy and agriculture prices on the world market declined and stayed low.

Similarly, the bad income mobility of North Carolina in Chetty’s studies is in part an artifact of North Carolina home-oriented industries, such as retail banking, construction, furniture, hardwood logging, and golf, booming during Chetty’s base period but then having been wiped out by 2008. So a lot of Chetty’s results aren’t due to long-term civic choices to do things better, as Chetty had hoped, but just due to local cycles of booms and busts that are fairly inevitable but are hard to predict.

By the way, the 2018 white male map income mobility map explains a lot about the 2016 Republican primary contest between Ted Cruz and Donald Trump. Cruz did well in the prospering Great Plains while Trump did well east of the Mississippi (plus among his own people, the bridge-and-tunnel folk of Greater New York).

 
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  1. anonymous[124] • Disclaimer says:

    The German American master race?

    Or more to do with homogeneity or traditional values, natural resources?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Cato
    A better map would have had a legend, would have indicated exactly what variable was presented, would have turned off or at least narrowed the county lines, and would have overlaid with state lines. Try QGIS next time.
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  2. Has Chetty, or anyone else for that matter, done a similar study in India? Or is critiquing something just for the USA?

    Read More
    • Replies: @bruced unstan
    Affirmative action in India was started by the British in the 1930s and was called 'reservations':
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reservation_in_India

    One failure of the attempt to uplift the 'untouchables' in that time was described as a 'creamy layer' which took full advantage - the previous elite - while the rest were more static:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creamy_layer

    Then, to answer your question directly, Amartya Sen has written about upward mobility and the rise of the Indian middle class after 1990 when socialism was abandoned due to Soviet collapse. You can look him up.

    The very first Sociology study of upward mobility in 'backward' groups was the Coorgs by MN Srinvas in the 50s:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanskritisation

    No, not many graphs or raw data - That was taken up by post WW2 leftists who threw all sorts of data around, mostly discredited with time. Sorry if your question was rhetorical but thought you'd be interested in the oddities above.
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  3. @anonymous
    The German American master race?

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/bc/German1346.gif

    Or more to do with homogeneity or traditional values, natural resources?

    A better map would have had a legend, would have indicated exactly what variable was presented, would have turned off or at least narrowed the county lines, and would have overlaid with state lines. Try QGIS next time.

    Read More
    • Agree: Autochthon
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  4. He clearly knows how to play conventional wisdom, seemingly an objective scientist generating the facts , who’s actually just a convenient tool. His objective is to be popular in his field; his field’s objective is to find advocates that generate arguments hard for casual people to dismiss. The whole thing is pathetic, all that education and cleverness, used merely for supporting self-interest and ideology.

    Read More
    • Agree: Clyde, Travis
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  5. The lead guy in India should be a white American, and he should advocate that the dalits and Muslims should be moved to the upper caste neighborhoods to bridge class differences.

    Read More
    • Agree: JMcG
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  6. It’s the building boom, down in the resort areas of the Southern Coast (and places like Asheville). Every Eastcoast retiree with decent savings (and Midwest) is moving to the South. Carpenters, electricians, plumbers, masons, gardeners are moving to the south in droves…as are their wives, who are often teachers, nurses, social workers, etc. Entire families are pulling up stakes in my town…they might as well have Conestoga wagons.

    Real Estate developments are like mushrooms in the rain right now, in the American South. Most of the people leaving NE or the MW are conservative or libertarians, but the liberals are switching to “fit in” in their new communities. You are gonna die alone if you espouse liberal ideas in your “new community” in the south. Your Yankee ass will be cast out, so fit in – you spent a lot of money and time to move down here:make it happen, it’s just TIME.

    Read More
    • Replies: @The Anti-Gnostic
    Also right-to-work laws, in addition to the sunshine and low taxes.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  7. It remains a a fact that the only place on the face of the Earth where Blacks and Whites have lived together for several centuries now, without one race destroying the other, is the Southern USA.

    And yet both Yankees and Indian immigrants seem to think they know so much more than us, and feel free to feel superior. So how y’all doing there in Chicago, Detroit, and San Fransisco? Please keep the lectures coming, as Black Men do so well in Yankee Land…….

    Read More
    • Agree: Almost Missouri
    • Replies: @Mis(ter)Anthrope
    There is an old saying about how white people in the different regions feel about blacks:

    White people in the North love the race but hate the people. White people in the South hate the race but love the people.

    In my experience, there is a lot of truth in that old saying.
    , @Newyorker
    Spending time with my daughter and SIL in Charleston sc, it became clear there’s a tacit social contract between the races which has been evolving for a long time.
    The whites are often racist but part of the deal is to keep things polite, in a part of the country where manners are important for both groups. ( a lot of honorifics, sir and ma’am, addressing older people).

    I get the sense black communities are stronger, the churches are influential and there’s more respect for elders and family.
    , @gunner29

    It remains a a fact that the only place on the face of the Earth where Blacks and Whites have lived together for several centuries now, without one race destroying the other, is the Southern USA.
     
    But it's only been the last 50 years that negros have had much power and influence down there. Rest of the time it was slavery or Jim Crow. Nat Turner tried, but the powers that be dealt with him, so everybody cooled it until LBJ....

    But I really wish you could of kept them there. Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland, Oakland, and all the other big cities outside the south wouldn't be the shitholes they are.

    Actually, I'm most pissed off at Booth, Lincoln was getting ready to ship them back to Africa with some cash and well wishes. Instead they stayed. And have been the biggest burden to the country since....
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  8. The first thing I noticed about the maps was the surprisingly poor conditions of working-class whites on the West Coast. The Humboldt county CA area has the poorest whites west of the Mississippi… but neither urban nor rural areas are much better. Add in the high cost of living, and I’d say the West Coast is a bad place to be white.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Neoconned
    Humboldt is an overrated s**thole.

    My aunt in San Jose tried to get me a farm job at a winery near Santa Rosa this summer but it didn't work out. I then on the advice of locals took a bus up the 101 to Humboldt. ALL THE LITTLE towns there are filled with drug addled white bums looking for cheap pot and trimming work

    Thousands of Latin Americans and Eastern europeans and European hippies show up too on tourist visas to go work on the farms there.

    The bums sleep and defecate in the wooded areas of the towns there.

    I tried getting a medical trimming job if you get what I mean but the Mexicans have driven pay down to $100/day. I can make that much back home without freezing in a tent up in the Humboldt mountains.....
    , @Anonymous

    The Humboldt county CA area has the poorest whites west of the Mississippi
     
    Ozarks are WTMR.
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  9. The assistant manager at my restaurant is a married black guy with three kids. His wife is a registered nurse.

    We’ve spent the last two weeks fighting over our brackets. A lot of the brothers down here become welders, cops or truck drivers and work hard.

    Then again the South has a lower cost of living too….

    Read More
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  10. @Sleep
    The first thing I noticed about the maps was the surprisingly poor conditions of working-class whites on the West Coast. The Humboldt county CA area has the poorest whites west of the Mississippi... but neither urban nor rural areas are much better. Add in the high cost of living, and I'd say the West Coast is a bad place to be white.

    Humboldt is an overrated s**thole.

    My aunt in San Jose tried to get me a farm job at a winery near Santa Rosa this summer but it didn’t work out. I then on the advice of locals took a bus up the 101 to Humboldt. ALL THE LITTLE towns there are filled with drug addled white bums looking for cheap pot and trimming work

    Thousands of Latin Americans and Eastern europeans and European hippies show up too on tourist visas to go work on the farms there.

    The bums sleep and defecate in the wooded areas of the towns there.

    I tried getting a medical trimming job if you get what I mean but the Mexicans have driven pay down to $100/day. I can make that much back home without freezing in a tent up in the Humboldt mountains…..

    Read More
    • Replies: @JMcG
    Hey, I thought you had something lined up to get you out of NO. I’m going to beat the drum for line work again one more time.
    Florida Keys Electric Coop is hiring now. 50/hr plus benefits. That’s for a journeyman, but plenty of places are screaming for apprentices. Pike is non-union, but they have 400 job openings posted.
    Hope you make out ok!
    , @stillCARealist
    "drug addled white bums looking for cheap pot and trimming work"

    "The bums sleep and defecate in the wooded areas"

    Pot is such wonderful stuff. I'm so glad it's legal now and everyone can grow and smoke it without any bad consequences. I forsee a beautiful future.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  11. @theMann
    It remains a a fact that the only place on the face of the Earth where Blacks and Whites have lived together for several centuries now, without one race destroying the other, is the Southern USA.


    And yet both Yankees and Indian immigrants seem to think they know so much more than us, and feel free to feel superior. So how y'all doing there in Chicago, Detroit, and San Fransisco? Please keep the lectures coming, as Black Men do so well in Yankee Land.......

    There is an old saying about how white people in the different regions feel about blacks:

    White people in the North love the race but hate the people. White people in the South hate the race but love the people.

    In my experience, there is a lot of truth in that old saying.

    Read More
    • Replies: @John Derbyshire
    Working as kitchen help around NYC in 1973, the thing I heard from black co-workers was: "In the South you can get as close as you like, but don't get too big. In the North you can get as big as you like, but don't get too close."
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  12. One thing I’ve always noticed about black people in the South is that they tend to be friendlier than blacks elsewhere. But now even this is changing. My wife noted that whenever my young son chats up a black child at the park or somewhere similar, she is always given a hostile, suspicious look by the mother. I commented that it seems within the last ten years or so, Black people have become less friendly and more insular towards those outside their race. A period of time roughly corresponding to the Obama administration.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Travis
    so true...we noticed it even among my black relatives, they are less friendly towards whites today than 15 years ago (and they had a white mother, like Obama)...one factor for them, the town they live was 10% Black and is now 30% Black. but another reason has been the media obsession with BLM and blaming whites for all the problems of Black americans.
    , @Twodees Partain
    It's true that black people here are more friendly to white people, and more pleasant toward others in general than in the northern states. The black people who are unfriendly to others overall around here are transplants from NY and NJ, for the most part, at least as far as I have experienced.
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  13. Looks like the Great Migration was fine while there were lots of decent paying jobs for unskilled labor but the decline of manufacturing in those areas meant everyone went downhill, with blacks hardest hit. I think the NY Times had a piece last year about how some northern blacks are moving back to the South and finding they like it better than they thought – perhaps southern whites and blacks are also a lot closer culturally than the two groups are in the north and west as well.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  14. @Mis(ter)Anthrope
    There is an old saying about how white people in the different regions feel about blacks:

    White people in the North love the race but hate the people. White people in the South hate the race but love the people.

    In my experience, there is a lot of truth in that old saying.

    Working as kitchen help around NYC in 1973, the thing I heard from black co-workers was: “In the South you can get as close as you like, but don’t get too big. In the North you can get as big as you like, but don’t get too close.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @AnotherDad
    It takes an Englishman to actually come up with the saying that American blacks actually say. (Though I've usually heard it expressed with a "they", as in "they don't care how ...")
    , @MBlanc46
    Hadn’t heard that one. Thanks.
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  15. @theMann
    It remains a a fact that the only place on the face of the Earth where Blacks and Whites have lived together for several centuries now, without one race destroying the other, is the Southern USA.


    And yet both Yankees and Indian immigrants seem to think they know so much more than us, and feel free to feel superior. So how y'all doing there in Chicago, Detroit, and San Fransisco? Please keep the lectures coming, as Black Men do so well in Yankee Land.......

    Spending time with my daughter and SIL in Charleston sc, it became clear there’s a tacit social contract between the races which has been evolving for a long time.
    The whites are often racist but part of the deal is to keep things polite, in a part of the country where manners are important for both groups. ( a lot of honorifics, sir and ma’am, addressing older people).

    I get the sense black communities are stronger, the churches are influential and there’s more respect for elders and family.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
    That's part of it, but I think there is more. It is also more common in the South for black and white working class men to mix un-self-consciously doing things blue collar guys do: motorcycling, fishing, running an auto shop, etc.

    I don't know why this is exactly, maybe the climate, maybe the longer history of living side by side, maybe practical Christianity, maybe just less uptight than Northerners...
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  16. @Hapalong Cassidy
    One thing I’ve always noticed about black people in the South is that they tend to be friendlier than blacks elsewhere. But now even this is changing. My wife noted that whenever my young son chats up a black child at the park or somewhere similar, she is always given a hostile, suspicious look by the mother. I commented that it seems within the last ten years or so, Black people have become less friendly and more insular towards those outside their race. A period of time roughly corresponding to the Obama administration.

    so true…we noticed it even among my black relatives, they are less friendly towards whites today than 15 years ago (and they had a white mother, like Obama)…one factor for them, the town they live was 10% Black and is now 30% Black. but another reason has been the media obsession with BLM and blaming whites for all the problems of Black americans.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  17. @Neoconned
    Humboldt is an overrated s**thole.

    My aunt in San Jose tried to get me a farm job at a winery near Santa Rosa this summer but it didn't work out. I then on the advice of locals took a bus up the 101 to Humboldt. ALL THE LITTLE towns there are filled with drug addled white bums looking for cheap pot and trimming work

    Thousands of Latin Americans and Eastern europeans and European hippies show up too on tourist visas to go work on the farms there.

    The bums sleep and defecate in the wooded areas of the towns there.

    I tried getting a medical trimming job if you get what I mean but the Mexicans have driven pay down to $100/day. I can make that much back home without freezing in a tent up in the Humboldt mountains.....

    Hey, I thought you had something lined up to get you out of NO. I’m going to beat the drum for line work again one more time.
    Florida Keys Electric Coop is hiring now. 50/hr plus benefits. That’s for a journeyman, but plenty of places are screaming for apprentices. Pike is non-union, but they have 400 job openings posted.
    Hope you make out ok!

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  18. @Neoconned
    Humboldt is an overrated s**thole.

    My aunt in San Jose tried to get me a farm job at a winery near Santa Rosa this summer but it didn't work out. I then on the advice of locals took a bus up the 101 to Humboldt. ALL THE LITTLE towns there are filled with drug addled white bums looking for cheap pot and trimming work

    Thousands of Latin Americans and Eastern europeans and European hippies show up too on tourist visas to go work on the farms there.

    The bums sleep and defecate in the wooded areas of the towns there.

    I tried getting a medical trimming job if you get what I mean but the Mexicans have driven pay down to $100/day. I can make that much back home without freezing in a tent up in the Humboldt mountains.....

    “drug addled white bums looking for cheap pot and trimming work”

    “The bums sleep and defecate in the wooded areas”

    Pot is such wonderful stuff. I’m so glad it’s legal now and everyone can grow and smoke it without any bad consequences. I forsee a beautiful future.

    Read More
    • Agree: CJ
    • Replies: @Corn
    “Pot is such wonderful stuff. I’m so glad it’s legal now and everyone can grow and smoke it without any bad consequences. I forsee a beautiful future.”

    It will be beautiful for our ruling class. The hoi polloi won’t take notice of their shenanigans, let alone resist, if the proles are all stoned and stupid on the couch.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  19. @Lagertha
    It's the building boom, down in the resort areas of the Southern Coast (and places like Asheville). Every Eastcoast retiree with decent savings (and Midwest) is moving to the South. Carpenters, electricians, plumbers, masons, gardeners are moving to the south in droves...as are their wives, who are often teachers, nurses, social workers, etc. Entire families are pulling up stakes in my town...they might as well have Conestoga wagons.

    Real Estate developments are like mushrooms in the rain right now, in the American South. Most of the people leaving NE or the MW are conservative or libertarians, but the liberals are switching to "fit in" in their new communities. You are gonna die alone if you espouse liberal ideas in your "new community" in the south. Your Yankee ass will be cast out, so fit in - you spent a lot of money and time to move down here:make it happen, it's just TIME.

    Also right-to-work laws, in addition to the sunshine and low taxes.

    Read More
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  20. Anonymous[215] • Disclaimer says:

    One thing that comes to mind Black Belt vs. UMW (Upper Mid West, natch) is: right-to-work regions vs. union fiefdoms.

    Not to say (gov’t) unions haven’t done well by office-friendly blacks; see Zillow for N. Va./S. Md.

    Would be interesting to see a study of whether integrated unions led to the spiraling costs in the lower and mid-Midwest that ruined working class of both races, yet with solidarity ideal more manageable up by the Canuck border.

    Read More
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  21. Anonymous[313] • Disclaimer says:
    @Sleep
    The first thing I noticed about the maps was the surprisingly poor conditions of working-class whites on the West Coast. The Humboldt county CA area has the poorest whites west of the Mississippi... but neither urban nor rural areas are much better. Add in the high cost of living, and I'd say the West Coast is a bad place to be white.

    The Humboldt county CA area has the poorest whites west of the Mississippi

    Ozarks are WTMR.

    Read More
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  22. This illustrates that the solution to biased data and biased interpretation of data is more data combined with principled model selection based on more data. Chetty and company cannot be relied upon for unbiased interpretation, unbiased data, more data nor principled model selection.

    So we’re all we’ve got, guys.

    I’ve now added all of Patchwork Nation’s 700+ county-level measures to The Laboratory of the Counties github repository — many of which are longitudinal (time series) — not just a snapshot.

    As for principled model selection, it’s Algorithmic Probability.

    https://www.hectorzenil.net/index.html

    One year before passing away, Marvin, Minsky, a founding father of the field of Artificial Intelligence, made an astonishing claim describing what turns out to be exactly my research aim and purpose in a closing statement at a prime venue (see video on the right):

    “It seems to me that the most important discovery since Gödel was the discovery by Chaitin, Solomonoff and Kolmogorov of the concept called Algorithmic Probability which is a fundamental new theory of how to make predictions given a collection of experiences and this is a beautiful theory, everybody should learn it, but it’s got one problem, that is, that you cannot actually calculate what this theory predicts because it is too hard, it requires an infinite amount of work. However, it should be possible to make practical approximations to the Chaitin, Kolmogorov, Solomonoff theory that would make better predictions than anything we have today. Everybody should learn all about that and spend the rest of their lives working on it.”

    ​Marvin Minsky
    Panel discussion on The Limits of Understanding
    World Science Festival
    NYC, Dec 14, 2014

    Read More
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  23. @theMann
    It remains a a fact that the only place on the face of the Earth where Blacks and Whites have lived together for several centuries now, without one race destroying the other, is the Southern USA.


    And yet both Yankees and Indian immigrants seem to think they know so much more than us, and feel free to feel superior. So how y'all doing there in Chicago, Detroit, and San Fransisco? Please keep the lectures coming, as Black Men do so well in Yankee Land.......

    It remains a a fact that the only place on the face of the Earth where Blacks and Whites have lived together for several centuries now, without one race destroying the other, is the Southern USA.

    But it’s only been the last 50 years that negros have had much power and influence down there. Rest of the time it was slavery or Jim Crow. Nat Turner tried, but the powers that be dealt with him, so everybody cooled it until LBJ….

    But I really wish you could of kept them there. Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland, Oakland, and all the other big cities outside the south wouldn’t be the shitholes they are.

    Actually, I’m most pissed off at Booth, Lincoln was getting ready to ship them back to Africa with some cash and well wishes. Instead they stayed. And have been the biggest burden to the country since….

    Read More
    • Replies: @Hapalong Cassidy
    Ironically, those northern cities you mention would not have been destroyed had Lincoln not declared war on the South. The Great Migration never would have happened to the extent it did. Of course, Tennessee, NC, Arkansas, and Virginia had a large amount of blacks (and would have remained in the Union had Lincoln not pushed war on the already-seceding states), and they might have been part of a northern migration.
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  24. @John Derbyshire
    Working as kitchen help around NYC in 1973, the thing I heard from black co-workers was: "In the South you can get as close as you like, but don't get too big. In the North you can get as big as you like, but don't get too close."

    It takes an Englishman to actually come up with the saying that American blacks actually say. (Though I’ve usually heard it expressed with a “they”, as in “they don’t care how …”)

    Read More
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  25. @Hapalong Cassidy
    One thing I’ve always noticed about black people in the South is that they tend to be friendlier than blacks elsewhere. But now even this is changing. My wife noted that whenever my young son chats up a black child at the park or somewhere similar, she is always given a hostile, suspicious look by the mother. I commented that it seems within the last ten years or so, Black people have become less friendly and more insular towards those outside their race. A period of time roughly corresponding to the Obama administration.

    It’s true that black people here are more friendly to white people, and more pleasant toward others in general than in the northern states. The black people who are unfriendly to others overall around here are transplants from NY and NJ, for the most part, at least as far as I have experienced.

    Read More
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  26. @stillCARealist
    "drug addled white bums looking for cheap pot and trimming work"

    "The bums sleep and defecate in the wooded areas"

    Pot is such wonderful stuff. I'm so glad it's legal now and everyone can grow and smoke it without any bad consequences. I forsee a beautiful future.

    “Pot is such wonderful stuff. I’m so glad it’s legal now and everyone can grow and smoke it without any bad consequences. I forsee a beautiful future.”

    It will be beautiful for our ruling class. The hoi polloi won’t take notice of their shenanigans, let alone resist, if the proles are all stoned and stupid on the couch.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  27. @Newyorker
    Spending time with my daughter and SIL in Charleston sc, it became clear there’s a tacit social contract between the races which has been evolving for a long time.
    The whites are often racist but part of the deal is to keep things polite, in a part of the country where manners are important for both groups. ( a lot of honorifics, sir and ma’am, addressing older people).

    I get the sense black communities are stronger, the churches are influential and there’s more respect for elders and family.

    That’s part of it, but I think there is more. It is also more common in the South for black and white working class men to mix un-self-consciously doing things blue collar guys do: motorcycling, fishing, running an auto shop, etc.

    I don’t know why this is exactly, maybe the climate, maybe the longer history of living side by side, maybe practical Christianity, maybe just less uptight than Northerners…

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  28. @istevefan
    Has Chetty, or anyone else for that matter, done a similar study in India? Or is critiquing something just for the USA?

    Affirmative action in India was started by the British in the 1930s and was called ‘reservations’:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reservation_in_India

    One failure of the attempt to uplift the ‘untouchables’ in that time was described as a ‘creamy layer’ which took full advantage – the previous elite – while the rest were more static:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creamy_layer

    Then, to answer your question directly, Amartya Sen has written about upward mobility and the rise of the Indian middle class after 1990 when socialism was abandoned due to Soviet collapse. You can look him up.

    The very first Sociology study of upward mobility in ‘backward’ groups was the Coorgs by MN Srinvas in the 50s:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanskritisation

    No, not many graphs or raw data – That was taken up by post WW2 leftists who threw all sorts of data around, mostly discredited with time. Sorry if your question was rhetorical but thought you’d be interested in the oddities above.

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  29. And the best place was North Dakota, with its recent energy boom and lack of Latino immigrants to hammer down wages.

    North Dakota has had Mexican migrant workers for generations. When the Grand Forks flood displaced the regional INS office, some of whom were sent our way, I caught a pair of ND immigration officers talking to each other in Spanish.

    It’s possible that ND is like Texas, where the visiting Mexicans decide they admire the locals and want to be like them.

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  30. @gunner29

    It remains a a fact that the only place on the face of the Earth where Blacks and Whites have lived together for several centuries now, without one race destroying the other, is the Southern USA.
     
    But it's only been the last 50 years that negros have had much power and influence down there. Rest of the time it was slavery or Jim Crow. Nat Turner tried, but the powers that be dealt with him, so everybody cooled it until LBJ....

    But I really wish you could of kept them there. Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland, Oakland, and all the other big cities outside the south wouldn't be the shitholes they are.

    Actually, I'm most pissed off at Booth, Lincoln was getting ready to ship them back to Africa with some cash and well wishes. Instead they stayed. And have been the biggest burden to the country since....

    Ironically, those northern cities you mention would not have been destroyed had Lincoln not declared war on the South. The Great Migration never would have happened to the extent it did. Of course, Tennessee, NC, Arkansas, and Virginia had a large amount of blacks (and would have remained in the Union had Lincoln not pushed war on the already-seceding states), and they might have been part of a northern migration.

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  31. @John Derbyshire
    Working as kitchen help around NYC in 1973, the thing I heard from black co-workers was: "In the South you can get as close as you like, but don't get too big. In the North you can get as big as you like, but don't get too close."

    Hadn’t heard that one. Thanks.

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