Top Stories for the Week of July 13th to July 19th

We have 47 stories this week related to Black business or Black Economics plus and a summary of William Darity’s discussions about his reparations book: “From Here to Equality

Top Stories

  • The economics behind racial coronavirus disparities (PBS NewsHour) – Nice watchable summary of current economic state of Black America.
  • William Darity discusses reparations in a (TED Talk), and with his co-author A. Kirsten Mullen in a video session (Economic Policy Institute). They cover their new book: “From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century.”
  • Why are there so few Black owners and workers in central Pennsylvania’s construction industry? (Harrisburg Patriot-News) — Here’s why it’s hard for Black businesses to compete.
  • To Make Orchestras More Diverse, End Blind Auditions (NY Times) – A transparent metaphor for society with no right answer. But there is also a warning that classical music may die off, if it does not diversify.
  • The 15 white coats promotes Medicine as a career choice (Cancer Health)

Employment / Unemployment

  • Half of Black workers in Minnesota have lost work during pandemic (Star Tribune)
  • Stress rises for unemployed as extra $600 benefit nears end (Philadelphia Tribune)
  • Black Workers, Already Lagging, Face Big Economic Risks (NY Times)
  • The Bakery That Makes Ben & Jerry’s Brownies Will Hire Anyone — Yes, Anyone (Daily Meal)

Coronavirus / PPP

  • A $2 Trillion Rescue Leaves America’s Black Neighborhoods Behind (Bloomberg Businessweek)
  • “The everyone economy”: how to make capitalism work for all (Financial Times) – Author argues for automating low wage, low productivity jobs, strong social safety net, higher taxes on the rich and job creation subsidies.
  • The economics behind racial coronavirus disparities (PBS NewsHour) – Nice watchable summary of current economic state of Black America.
  • White Americans got their stimulus checks faster than Blacks and Hispanics (CBS News)

Inequality / Structural Racism

  • African Americans got left out of the urban economic boom (Quartz)
  • US wealth and inequality raises debt risk (Moodys) – Inequality raises event risk to events like coronavirus.
  • Federal Reserve policy has failed Black Americans for decades. Now is the time to fix that. (Business Insider) – At least they are thinking about it, but it’s not clear on what the Federal Reserve can do to combat racism.

Reparations

William Darity discusses reparations in a (TED Talk) and with his co-author A. Kirsten Mullen in a video session (Economic Policy Institute). They cover their new book: “From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century.” There is also a good overview on (NPR).

Talk/Book Summary

Slavery’s effect is still all around us. Jim Crow segregation still affects us. “Reparations is an acknowledgement, a redress and a closure for a grievous injustice.”

Wealth is the best way to measure the lack of Black economic progress.  Wealth measures economic security. “Wealth captures the cumulative intergenerational effects of White supremacy in the US.” The goal of the redress component of a reparations program is to close the Black-White wealth gap.” A reparations should consist of direct payments to descendants of slavery.

The professor calculates that the US promised 40 million acres of land to former slaves and that, that land, is worth about 3-4 Trillion based on the present value.  That should be the lower bound of the reparations payments. The authors also calculate it would take 10-12 trillion dollars to close the racial wealth gap.

He then answered some common questions.

What type of reparations should be made?

We must provide direct payments. Indirect methods don’t work. Community based efforts don’t work in gentrifying neighborhoods. Reparations must be separate from funding educations and social services.  No social program will close the Black / White wealth gap. Sadly, education will not work to eliminate the Black/White wealth gap.  However, funding HBCUs as part of reparations might make sense.

Reparations would be paid out like a trust account.  The money would be paid over a long time horizon as an income stream. Or they could be structured like a long-term bond with a fixed maturity.

Editor’s Note: Don’t expect to get rich, but you might get a down payment on a house. If you do some quick back of the envelop calculations: There are 47 Million Black People in the US and they divide up 4 Trillion dollars then each person would get about $85,000.  Not really that much money.

Editor’s Note: Another problem is there is no Black business or investment infrastructure, so any money spent would quickly go back to the larger society..

Should rich people, like Oprah Winfrey get reparations?

Reparations are an act of justice not anti-poverty program.  There is no criteria related to current wealth regarding who can receive reparations.  If they want to give away the money, that’s fine. Holocaust and Japanese American reparations had no wealth stipulation.

Who is eligible?

Everyone who can prove they descended from a US slave. This specific reparation is for the formerly enslaved.  It is the cost of the failure to fix reconstruction at the end of civil war. In addition a person must have self identified as Black for 12 years before a reparations bill is passed.

Recent immigrants are not eligible.  Anyone who arrived after the end of the Jim Crow era (post 1960’s) would not be eligible.

Just want to mention another great discussion with Darity and Mullen is available from Economic Policy Institute. They are interviewed by Valarie Wilson from EPI who is a former student of professor Darity.

Finally, NPR has a quick, seven minute interview with professor Darity.

“From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century” by William A. Darity and A. Kirsten Mullen.

Reparations Again

  • Ashville NC city council approves reparations for Black residents (Ashville Citizen Times) – The resolution apologizes but makes no direct payments. It will fund a host of programs beneficial to minorities. It’s not clear if they even have any money.
  • Evanston, Illinois, finds innovative solution to funding reparations: Marijuana sales taxes (CBS News)

Black Business

  • Why are there so few Black owners and workers in central Pennsylvania’s construction industry? (Harrisburg Patriot-News)

Big Business

Discrimination

  • To Make Orchestras More Diverse, End Blind Auditions (NY Times) – A transparent metaphor for society with no right answer. But there is also a warning that classical music may die off, if it does not diversify.
  • Analytics and AI probably won’t help with Hiring Bias (Datanami)
  • My struggles to get loans despite sterling credentials illustrate how economic systems suppress Black Americans (Des Moines Register) – Flavored popcorn maker describes banking discrimination.
  • Netflix loses move to kill Mo’Nique’s discrimination suit (Deadline). Monique Hicks original suit is described in Hollywood Reporter.

Affirmative Action

  • Equal opportunity is not enough. Equality is in outcomes (Minneapolis Star Tribune) — It’s when success and failure among groups are proportional. Nice recap of recent racial inequality.

Careers / If I can see it, I can be it

  • The 15 white coats provides an example for K-12 student about medical career success (the15whitecoats.org)
  • The 15 white coats promotes Medicine as a career choice (Cancer Health)

Interesting People

Stacy Brown-Philpot, TaskRabbit C.E.O. to Step Down, a Blow for Silicon Valley Diversity (NY Times) – a little old but important.

Finance / Investments / Wall Street

  • Racial inequality could hurt U.S. credit rating, Moody’s warns (CBS News)
  • 5 steps the business community can take to better the lives of Black Americans (MarketWatch) – John Rodgers of Ariel Investments

Real Estate / Housing Discrimination

  • LendingTree Study: Black Homebuyers More Likely to Be Denied Mortgages Than Other Homebuyers (Lending Tree)
  • D.C. Releases New Development RFP With Emphasis On ‘Disadvantaged’ Bidders (Bisnow) – Bisnow covers the commercial real estate industry.

Health and Medicines

Finance / Investing / Wealth management

  • Black investment managers address asset management’s diversity problem (CityWire)

Education

  • How racially representative is your college / university (Urban Institute)
  • Doctor diversity matters: Having more black physicians could lead to better health among black men. (AEA)

Cultural Stuff / Conservative Stuff

  • African American museum accused of ‘racism’ over whiteness chart linking hard work and nuclear family to white culture (The Sun UK) – Does hard work really payoff for Black people?

Straight up Econ

  • 19 Black economists to celebrate and know, this Juneteenth and beyond (Fortune) – Worth repeating.

New / Interesting / Innovative

  • This discount card offers shoppers up to 40% off products from black-owned businesses (Glamour UK)

Apps / Technology / Websites

  • Jamii – Discounts for Black Businesses in the United Kingdom (Jamii)
  • Jumia – African internet site for on-line shopping and home delivery. (Jumia)

Travel

Old but good

Redlining Maps

  • Redlining maps from Home Owners Loan Corporation (DSL.Richmond.edu) – Original redlining maps from HOLC. The maps were commission by the federal government and used by banks to decided where to make loans for home purchases.
  • The World Economic Forum also has maps that compare the redlining maps to current segregated housing populations (WEF)

Leave a Comment