Ross Douthat has an interesting post discussing race and Republicanism (following on the Brooks/Krugman/Reagan debate), and in it is the following:
Publius is right: “Nixon’s law and order message was lost on no one.” It was lost on no one because violent crime went up three hundred and sixty-seven percent between 1960 and 1980. (Frankly, it’s remarkable that Republicans didn’t do a better job of exploiting the issue than they did.) So too with welfare, where conservative attacks on the system resonated as a national issue not because racist voters didn’t want to give poor blacks handouts (though they didn’t), but because the system really didn’t work. And the proof is in the pudding: We still have a costly welfare bureaucracy that caters more to minorities than to whites, but it’s no longer a political liability for liberals because the system is no longer the disaster that it became in the Seventies and Eighties.
Is this accurate? I had assumed (perhaps because I am from West Virginia), that there were FAR more whites on social services than minorities. Are we talking about percentages, or real numbers, or what?