Chain Reaction: The Impact of Race, Rights, and Taxes on American Politics

By Mary D. Edsall; Thomas Byrne Edsall | Go to book overview

6
The Tax Revolt

THE COSTS of liberalism—highly visible, and often exploited by the right in the course of political competition—have obstructed public recognition of the achievements of the federal government, of the Democratic party, and of the civil rights movement. The trends on crime, drug use, chronic joblessness, welfare, and out-of-wedlock births in the decades following the Civil Rights Act of 1964 contrast sharply with the unprecedented development of a black working and middle class. During the years following passage of the Civil Rights Act, an expanding economy, legal prohibitions against racial discrimination, and growing private support and public-sector backing for new education and employment opportunities for blacks joined to become powerful sources of social transformation.

With the federal judiciary, Congress, and the government regulatory apparatus acting together as an engine of change, blacks surged into higher education and into professional and managerial employment. In 1973, the income of young (aged 25-29) black college graduates actually exceeded that of young white college graduates by nine percent; 1 by the mid-1970s, the percentage of black high school graduates going on to college matched, and in some years surpassed, the percentage among whites. 2

Clifton Wharton, chancellor of the State University of New York, himself black, pointed out in 1978: "Blacks who make up II percent of America's population, now make up 10 percent of the 10.6 million college students. In one year, 1974, the percentage of black high school graduates actually exceeded the percentage of white high school graduates going to college." 3 The number of blacks holding managerial, professional, and technical jobs grew from 474,060 in 1960 to 781,369 in 1970 to 1,564,914 in

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Chain Reaction: The Impact of Race, Rights, and Taxes on American Politics
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Chain Reaction - The Impact of Race, Rights, and Taxes on American Politics *
  • Contents vii
  • Preface and Acknowledgments ix
  • 1: Building a Top-Down Coalition 3
  • 2: A Pivotal Year 32
  • 3: After 1964 47
  • 4: The Nixon Years 74
  • 5: The Conservative Ascendance 99
  • 6: The Tax Revolt 116
  • 7: Race, Rights, and Party Choice 137
  • 8: A Conservative Policy Majority 154
  • 9: The Reagan Attack on Race Liberalism 172
  • 10: Coded Language 198
  • 11: White Suburbs and a Divided Black Community 215
  • 12: The Stakes 256
  • Afterword 289
  • Notes 293
  • Bibliography 315
  • Index 333
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