It comes from Nicholas Kristof in today’s New York Times on white Americans’ misconceptions about race:
One black friend tells me that he freaked out when his white fiancée purchased an item in a store and promptly threw the receipt away. “What are you doing?” he protested to her. He is a highly successful and well-educated professional but would never dream of tossing a receipt for fear of being accused of shoplifting.
I’ve never thought twice about throwing a receipt away (for something I wouldn’t consider returning at least). Before Kristof’s column, I thought that was common practice among all Americans—white, black, green, whatever. Now, I know otherwise. The fact that I don’t fear throwing receipts away—and the fact that I didn’t know that black people do fear that—is the definition of white privilege in America.
It’s been far too long since I’ve updated this blog. It’s been a fast five months and I plan on keeping this site updated much better in the future with articles I’ve written and hopefully some original content here as well. If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I moved from Business Insider to The New Republic in mid-February after a few months at BI. At TNR, I’m working with Nora-Caplan Bricker on a soon-to-be-launched (and yet unnamed) policy vertical under Jon Cohn. I’m focusing on the economy and economic policy, but have also written pieces on a host of other issues.
If you want to check out some of my work from Business Insider, you can do so here. I’m going to consistently update this site with links to my writing at TNR. In addition, I’m debuting a weekly newsletter this week that will contain links to all of my work and any radio or TV appearances. (Those are infrequent at this point.)
Here’s a short list of what I wrote at TNR this past week:
1. Renegade Rancher Cliven Bundy is Nothing Like Mahatma Gandhi. I rebut an article by National Review‘s Kevin Williamson in which he compared Bundy, the rancher in Nevada who refuses to recognize the federal government and took up arms against federal officials last week, to Gandhi. Williamson’s point, which he made better on Twitter, is well taken: At times, breaking the law is okay. But Bundy’s actions were not one of those times. He has broken the law for two decades by grazing his cattle for free on federal lands, the federal government finally cracked down on him, and he nearly attacked federal agents for doing so. That’s nowhere near the same realm as Gandhi.
2. The Real Reason Liberals Support Higher Taxes on the Rich. In a recent article for Slate, Zachary Karabell made the same mistake that most conservatives do when they argue against more redistribution. They believe liberals are looking to just tear down the rich, instead of to help everyone else. Instead, liberals want to use the revenue from higher taxes on the rich to fund expansions of the Earned Income Tax Credit and other programs targeted at low-income households. The higher taxes are a means to do so, not an end in and of themselves.
3. Janet Yellen is Looking Out for the Long-Term Unemployed. Here, I look at two recent speeches by Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen. She has reiterated her belief that an improving economy will lead to greater employment opportunities for the long-term unemployed. In doing so, she has made clear that she intends to keep the Fed’s current policy path and not prematurely tighten policy as many inflation hawks wants the committee to do.
- There is no reason we need to simplify the number of tax brackets in the tax code. In the digital age, we can make an infinite number and it’s not an issue.
- The tax code leaves childless workers behind.
- An interview with Robert Shiller on his idea to insure against catastrophic income inequality in the future.
- A Pew chart on the changing demographics in the U.S. and the political risk that poses to the Republican Party.
- A chart of the counties that pay the most and least federal income taxes.
- And a map of the current unemployment rate in all 50 states.
That’s it for this week. Thanks for reading and check back often!