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Bold Policies for Economic Justice


The U.S. is characterized by a longstanding pattern of large structural racial inequality that deepens further as a result of economic downturn. Although there have been some improvements in the income gap up until around the mid 1970s, the employment gap, and the racial wealth gap - two dramatic indicators of economic security - remains exorbitant and stubbornly persistent. We offer two race-neutral programs that could go a long way towards eliminating racial inequality, while at the same time providing economic security, mobility and sustainability for all Americans. The first program, a federal job guarantee, would provide the economic security of a job and the removal of the threat of unemployment for all Americans. The second program, a substantial child development account that rises progressively based on the familial asset positioning of the child’s parents, would provide a pathways towards asset security for all Americans regardless of their economic position at birth.

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  1. Please see Harvey (1989, 2000), Wray and Forstater (2004), and Wray (2008) for examples of previous discussions of federal job guarantee programs.

  2. Please see the following link for reference:

  3. The 2009 ASCE report card on the nation’s infrastructure can be found at


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Correspondence to Darrick Hamilton.

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Much of the text in this paper are reprinted from FOCUS Magazine: November/December 2011, published by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, and related to views expressed by the authors in testimony before the Congressional Black Caucus (January, 2011), a webinar for the Joint Center for Economic and Political Studies (August, 2011), and in Darity (2010) and Hamilton and Darity (2010).

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Darity, W., Hamilton, D. Bold Policies for Economic Justice. Rev Black Polit Econ 39, 79–85 (2012).

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  • Recession
  • Post-racial
  • Child development accounts
  • Full-employment
  • Federal job guarantee
  • Racial wealth gap
  • Racial unemployment disparities