Class, Empathy, and Taxes

Several recent studies by three University of California psychologists, Michael Kraus, Paul Piff, and Dacher Keltner, suggest that individuals with lower class incomes are more empathetic and more altruistic than individuals with higher class incomes. They argue that since lower income individuals have to rely more on others to survive, they learn pro-social behaviors and learn to emphasize with others. The results of these studies may explain why some individuals with a great deal of disposable income (1) are unaware of the magnitude of income inequality in the US, (2) believe they should pay the same tax rate as lower income individuals, and (3) want to Continue reading Class, Empathy, and Taxes

Facts and Stuff on the Distributions of Income and Race in America

Via Andrew Gelman at the Monkey Cage, an article on this recent Gallup poll regarding people's income and their perceptions of income distributions, tax burdens, etc.  The thrust of the article is that there are some disparities between where people fall in the overall income distribution and their perceptions of how the tax burden should be distributed—Not my normal thing, but interesting nevertheless. More below…