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Keeping Quiet on Social Issues

Keeping Quiet on Social Issues

(p.77) Chapter Four Keeping Quiet on Social Issues
Billionaires and Stealth Politics
Benjamin I. PageJason SeawrightMatthew J. Lacombe
University of Chicago Press

Chapter 4 applies our web-scraping and public records techniques to billionaires’ statements and actions concerning certain social, cultural, or moral issues. We find little evidence of stealth politics on the issues of abortion or same-sex marriage, where billionaires’ policy preferences tend to be less divergent from those of the general public than they are on taxes or Social Security. When it comes to immigration policy, however—where some billionaires’ taste for cheap imported labor clashes with many Americans’ cultural or economic anxieties about foreign immigrants—stealth politics reappears. Many billionaires actively work in favor of high levels of immigration, especially for high-skill workers. But few say much about that in public.

Keywords:   billionaires, social issues, immigration, abortion, same-sex marriage

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