[Ed. – The following is adapted from Glenn C. Loury’s testimony to the Senate Banking Committee on March 4, 2021.]
Thank you for this opportunity. In speaking about black American disadvantage and its implications for American democracy, I draw on many years of study as economic theorist and public intellectual.
My testimony rests on two observations — about the dynamics of human development and the foundations of racial identity. I will conclude by expressing reservations about government pursuing a program to equalize group outcomes — rather than a program to provide equality of opportunity for all.
First, two statements of principle:
(a) Persistent black disadvantage is an American tragedy — a national, not merely communal, disgrace.
(b) Wherever inequality is a problem, we should address it forthrightly. But we should do so on behalf of a program of human decency, not of racial equity.