New Study Finds "Racial Resentment" Is the Main Reason Many Oppose Government Welfare Programs
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New Study Finds "Racial Resentment" Is the Main Reason Many Oppose Government Welfare Programs

photo: Ingo Freed

SAN JOSE, CA — June 8, 2018

A new study, conducted by Robb Willer, a professor of sociology at Stanford University, and Rachel Wetts, a doctoral candidate in sociology at the University of California, Berkeley, has shown that since 2008, more white people in the United States oppose welfare programs, in part because of their increasing "racial resentment."

According to researchers, the main reason for this opposition has been white Americans' perceptions that they might be losing their financial and social status while people of color make gains in those areas.

"We find evidence that welfare backlash among white Americans is driven in part by feelings that the status of whites in America is under threat," Wetts told NPR.

“Our study can't tell all the reasons why people might oppose welfare programs, but we look at this role of the threat to white status as one of the things that can trigger welfare backlash.”

Despite those perceptions, other research has found that white people are the biggest beneficiaries of the government safety net. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, white people made up the most significant share — at 52 percent — of people lifted from poverty by safety-net programs, while black people made up less than a quarter of that share. When it comes to receiving Medicare, white people make up about 43 percent of recipients, Hispanics about 30 percent, African-Americans 18 percent, with 9 percent identified as other, according to Wetts.

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Author: USA Really