, Volume 37, Issue 3-4, pp 207-216
Date: 19 Oct 2010

Can ‘Baby Bonds’ Eliminate the Racial Wealth Gap in Putative Post-Racial America?

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Abstract

Despite an enormous and persistent black-white wealth gap, the ascendant American narrative is one that proclaims that our society has transcended the racial divide. The proclamation often is coupled with the claim that remaining disparities are due primarily to dysfunctional behavior on the part of blacks. In such a climate it appears the only acceptable remedial social policies are those that are facially race neutral. However, even without the capacity to redistribute assets directly on the basis of race, our nation still can do so indirectly by judiciously using wealth as the standard for redistributive measures. We offer a bold progressive child development account type program that could go a long way towards eliminating the racial wealth gap.

African American Economic Summit, Duke University and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill