Wealth, Welfare and the Brother-In-Law Rule

September 10, 2014 5:34 PM

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One of the enigmas of the American political landscape is the impoverished Republican. This is the American with very little money, and many unmet needs, who nevertheless votes for people and policies that will deny him or her assistance. Indeed, many of the reddest states in the nation--those whose elected leaders want to gut the state's welfare programs--are among the largest beneficiaries of government aid.

This makes no sense. With economic inequality at a historic high, why would so many Americans want to cut spending on social services targeted specifically for them? Are these Republicans such ideological purists--so opposed to wealth redistribution on principle--that they are willing to sacrifice t...

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