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Race and Taxes, and Jane Mayer on How to Kill a Bill

Race and Taxes, and Jane Mayer on How to Kill a Bill

Update: 2021-04-022
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The investigative reporter Jane Mayer recently received a recording of a meeting attended by conservative power brokers including Grover Norquist, representatives of PACs funded by Charles Koch, and an aide to Senator Mitch McConnell. The subject was the voting-rights bill H.R. 1, and the mood was anxious. The bill (which we discussed in last week’s episode) would broadly make voting more accessible, which tends to benefit Democratic candidates, and it would raise the curtain on “dark money” in elections with stringent disclosure requirements. The problem for this group, a political strategist says, is that the bill is popular among voters of both parties, but H.R. 1, they insist, must die. As we hear the participants tick through options to tarnish the bill’s public appeal, Mayer notes how the political winds have shifted in Washington, leaving the Republican coalition newly fragile. Plus, Dorothy Brown, a professor of tax law, uncovers how the seemingly race-neutral tax code compounds many inequalities in American life, and prevents Black people from building wealth. She talks with Sheelah Kolhatkar about her new book, “The Whiteness of Wealth.”

Comments (2)

ncooty

The story on race in the tax code is race-baiting, irresponsible garbage. The New Yorker and The Radio Hour should be ashamed of this level of pseudo-journalistic trash. The interviewed guest out-right admitted that the effects are fully mediated by wealth (for which we have good direct measures). She merely injected race as a proxy or surrogate measure for wealth--as if all poor people are black and all black people are poor. (Imagine if that logic were used as a legal defense regarding lending decisions.) Her methods and interpretations were clearly reverse-engineered, and should be condemned by anyone who understands responsible research. (But then, responsible research doesn't get you interviewed, does it?) Not only does this create a needless wedge issue that further divides society and foments us-vs-them stories (with imputed and implied racism), but it also misdirects public policy. By her lights, we'd collectively address her racialized red herrings rather than the actual problems of economic inequality. This pseudo-journalism isn't merely wrong and misdirected, it also actively harms society. Moreover, in a pragmatic sense, it risks alienating voters who are capable of thought and would prefer to address the actual issues rather than fueling unfounded hate. I had expected more from The New Yorker than click-chasing, race-baiting, weak-minded, destructive, pseudo-scientific rabble-rousing.

Apr 3rd
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ncooty

@9:40: That's the last straw: using "ask" as a noun. That's it; the GOP has gone too far.

Apr 3rd
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Race and Taxes, and Jane Mayer on How to Kill a Bill

Race and Taxes, and Jane Mayer on How to Kill a Bill

WNYC Studios and The New Yorker