Illinois Republican candidate Alan Keyes recently proposed exempting blacks — for a generation or two — from paying federal income taxes!
Slavery, argues Keyes, “was an egregious failure on the part of the federal establishment.” Who argues with that? But despite slavery, Jim Crow and racism, the progress of American blacks is simply astounding. Black America, if divided into a separate country, ranks No. 16 in Gross Domestic Product, ahead of
Black economic progress increased tremendously, says economist Thomas Sowell, well before so-called “level the playing field” government policies and programs. In fact, on this 40th anniversary of Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty,” Sowell says the income gap between blacks and whites closed faster “pre-war” than “post-war.” “The economic rise of blacks began decades earlier,” Sowell stated, “before any of the legislation and policies that are credited with producing that rise. The continuation of the rise of blacks out of poverty did not — repeat, did not — accelerate during the 1960s.
“The poverty rate among black families fell from 87 percent in 1940 to 47 percent in 1960, during an era of virtually no major civil rights legislation or anti-poverty programs. It dropped another 17 percentage points during the decade of the 1960s and one percentage point during the 1970s, but this continuation of the previous trend was neither unprecedented nor something to be arbitrarily attributed to the programs like the War on Poverty.
“In various skilled trades, the incomes of blacks relative to whites more than doubled between 1936 and 1959 — that is, before the magic 1960s decade when supposedly all progress began. The rise of blacks in professional and other high-level occupations was greater in the five years preceding the Civil Rights Act of 1964 than in the five years afterwards.”
Under Ronald Reagan — who cut the top tax rate from 70 percent to 28 percent — black income, business development and business growth exploded. According to National Review, “From the end of 1982 to 1989, black unemployment dropped 9 percentage points (from 20.4 percent to 11.4 percent), Hispanic unemployment dropped 7.3 percentage points (from 15.3 percent to 8.0 percent), while white unemployment dropped by only 4.0 percentage points. . . . A black entrepreneurial class flourished. According to the Census Bureau, the number of black-owned businesses increased from 308,000 in 1982 to 424,000 in 1987, a 38 percent rise. At the same time, the total number of firms in the
Under President Clinton, despite a tax increase, the black middle class continued its expansion. Between 1992 and 1997, there was a 25.7 percent increase in black-owned firms and a 32.5 percent increase in their gross sales.
The NAACP periodically accuses “
Back in 1963, Ebony magazine, a black monthly, ran a series called, “If I Were Young Today.” Each month, a black high-achiever offered his or her advice to young blacks. Paul Williams, the “architect to the stars” who designed
None of those offering advice even hinted at a need for race-based preferences.
The road to success is simple, if not easily applied — hard work, sacrifice, and above all, the refusal to think like a victicrat.