By Peter Carbonara and Scott Reeves
October 19, 2020
ESTABLISH AN ECONOMIC BILL OF RIGHTS
William A. Darity, Jr.
Professor of Economics, Political Science and African American Studies
Darity urges the next president to focus on the middle and lower income people who have been hit hardest and often get left behind during recoveries. “I’m a longtime proponent of an economic bill of rights for the 21st century so that is what I’d propose,” says Darity, a pioneer in the field of “stratification economics,” which focuses on the role of class, race and caste in creating and maintaining wealth and income inequality in society. “The economic bill of rights is a series of policies that I wish had been in place before the start of the coronavirus crisis. I think it would have curbed a lot of the economic ramifications significantly.”
The legislation Darity has in mind would include a federal job guarantee (people who can’t find private sector work would get government jobs at salaries they could live on); a national health insurance program along the lines of Medicare for All (“No more pussyfooting around with ACA,” he says) and a public banking system to provide quality services to small depositors who are underserved by big banks now and are subject to predatory lending practices like reliance on payday loans.