"Yet racial hatred is still a potent force in our society, as we’ve just been reminded to our horror. And I’m sorry to say this, but the racial divide is still a defining feature of our political economy, the reason America is unique among advanced nations in its harsh treatment of the less fortunate and its willingness to tolerate unnecessary suffering among its citizens."
Krugman continues by analyzing Nixon and Reagan's "Southern strategy" in dividing the South based on cultural and racial issues and notes that of the 22 states that have refused Obamacare for its citizens since 2012, 80% are former slave states. Why? The answer per Krugman lies in the racialization of poverty and welfare in the U.S., as exacerbated by Nixon/Reagan/Bush racial coding.