Liberalism has been an obstacle to black progress, not a help

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by John Goodman,

from NCPA,

Blogger Brad Plummer reminds us that:

The gap in household income between blacks and whites hasn’t really narrowed at all in the last 50 years.

The black unemployment rate has consistently been twice as high as the white unemployment rate for 50 years.

For the past 50 years, black unemployment has almost always been at recession levels.

This incongruity has given rise to two liberal myths — repeated frequently on television talk shows over the past week: (a) that the fall in racial barriers is the result of liberal legislation, designed to outlaw discrimination in the private sector and (b) that the lack of economic progress is evidence that liberals haven’t done enough — that still more intervention is needed to correct the effects of current and past discrimination.

The reality I believe is just the reverse.

The lack of economic progress by the black community as a whole is in many ways the result of the liberal economic policies. On balance, liberalism has been an obstacle to black progress, not a help.

The natural assumption is to believe that labor market regulations are preventing discrimination.

June O’Neill, an economist who used to direct the Congressional Budget Office, and her husband Dave O’Neill have produced a comprehensive study of this issue and they find that the natural assumption is wrong.

Liberal government promises them a pittance or two. But these are mere crumbs compared to the harm of facing artificial barriers to of huge portions of the labor market. Of being forced to send their children to bad schools because they cannot afford the price of an expensive house. Of being denied the right to choose better schools for their children because of counter promises made to the teacher’s unions. Of being forced to rely on public provision of housing, transportation, and medical care because government regulation has priced low-cost alternatives out of the market. Of being seduced by a welfare state that subsidizes and enables single black mothers who try to provide for the 73% of all black children who are born out of wedlock. Of watching traditional black culture disintegrate along with the black family.

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