Paul L. Caron

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Joint Economic Committee Hearing On The Racial Wealth Gap In The United States

The Joint Economic Committee held a hearing yesterday on Examining the Racial Wealth Gap in the United States:

  • Joint Economic Committee 2Mehrsa Baradaran (UC-Irvine) (testimony:  "Unless targeted by concentrated and effective public policy coordinated across federal, state, and local governments, historic injustices that created the racial wealth gap will compound the gap. This testimony suggests several steps that can be taken to close the gap, which include housing, jobs, and childcare programs. This testimony also proposes that these efforts be coordinated, tracked, and measured across government agencies through a dedicated task force or agency established for a limited amount of time for the sole purpose of closing the racial wealth gap. Such a task force can be built within the existing federal administrative state. For example, the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) can be used for such a coordinating purpose. ")
  • Dorothy A. Brown (Emory) (testimony:  "In my testimony today, I will discuss three ways that tax policies are increasing the racial wealth gap. The first looks at the tax breaks for marriage. The second looks at tax breaks for paying for college. The third looks at tax breaks for gifts and inheritances. But if there is one thing that I hope you take away from what I will be sharing with you is that the racial wealth gap will not be eliminated without a fundamental change in our tax laws.")
  • Darrick Hamilton (The New School) (testimony:  "Reparations provides a retrospective, direct, and parsimonious approach to address the black-white racial wealth gap; moreover, it is a racially just policy because it requires the U.S to take public responsibility and atone for its long history of racial injustice.")
  • Ian Rowe (American Enterprise Institute) (testimony:  Beyond pulling policy levers, we have a moral imperative to encourage young people of all races to adopt a new cultural norm around education, work, and responsible parenthood. This is particularly true given the new normal of nonmarital childbearing across race. My research focuses on non-marital births to women aged 24 and under. In 2019, for the tenth consecutive year, at least 70% of births to all women in that age group were outside of marriage, according to CDC Final Birth Data. By race, the nonmarital birth rate for black women 24 and under was 91% and it was 61% for white women aged 24 and under. )

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