News flash: Republicans don’t actually understand who benefits from a flat tax

I thing this little tidbit sums up as much as anything, the frustration with the number of low-income voters who support Republicans simply because they just don’t get it:

Jason Clayworth blogs some data from the Des Moines Register Poll that manages to be distressing and totally unsurprising at the same time.

Among the 400 likely Republican caucusgoers polled, 29 percent think they would be better off under Cain’s [9-9-9 tax] plan, and 31 percent think things would be the same, for a combined 60 percent. Eighteen percent think they would be worse off, and 22 percent aren’t sure.

But among those making less than $50,000 a year, the percentages rise to 34 percent who think they would be better off and 33 percent who think things would be the same, or 67 percent combined. Fourteen percent say they would fare worse, and 19 percent aren’t sure.

As Cain would say: The problem with their analysis is that it’s not correct. Forty-seven percent of people currently get exemptions that spare them from federal income taxes, or lack jobs that would have them paying FICA. Under 9-9-9, poor people pay higher taxes. Families making between $20,000 and $50,000 would see their annual tax bills go up by more than $3000. Families making more than $1 million would get tax cuts averaging out at $581,000.

What Weigel doesn’t say here is that while 60% think they would be better off or the the same, the vast majority would actually be worse off.  If you’re really rich, though?  Herman Cain is your man.

Want to get ahead? Wear makeup

Really interesting piece in the Times about how wearing makeup affects snap perceptions of not just women’s attractiveness, but their competence:

The study’s 25 female subjects, aged 20 to 50 and white, African-American and Hispanic, were photographed barefaced and in three looks that researchers called natural, professional and glamorous. They were not allowed to look in a mirror, lest their feelings about the way they looked affect observers’ impressions.

One hundred forty-nine adults (including 61 men) judged the pictures for 250 milliseconds each, enough time to make a snap judgment. Then 119 different adults (including 30 men) were given unlimited time to look at the same faces.

The participants judged women made up in varying intensities of luminance contrast (fancy words for how much eyes and lips stand out compared with skin) as more competent than barefaced women, whether they had a quick glance or a longer inspection.

Lots of interesting discussion of whether this is bad for women/feminism– do give it a read.  As far as judgments of competence go, the truth is that you are much more likely to see a powerful, competent woman in the workplace who looks like the woman in the third panel, than in the first panel.  Thus, it’s actually quite a reasonable judgment to make where successful women in the workplace do regularly wear a fair amount of makeup.  Maybe the world shouldn’t be that way, but it is.  I also wonder what the effect would be for men.  Not eyeshadow and lipstick, but everybody looks better by having skin blemishes hidden and facial complexion nicely balanced.  Presumably, more attractive people are generally judged as more competent.  It’s pretty much always good to be more attractive.  The one time I had make-up was for 2008 election night coverage on WUNC TV.  I have to say, I did think I looked pretty good.  Imagine what a little make up could do for the “competence” category on my teaching evaluations.

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