As a black man, this bothers me, and I hope anyone who loves freedom and liberty feels the same.
Last week, in celebration of Black History Month CNBC continued with its “Invest in You” series:
featuring weekly stories from CNBC contributors and members of the Financial Wellness Council, including the lessons they’ve learned growing up, their advice to Black youth, their inspirations and how they are working to close the racial wealth gap.
The definition of the “racial wealth gap” is not provided, but they share a stat from a Federal Reserve study to provide an idea:
The median wealth for a White family was $188,200 in 2019, compared to $24,100 for Black families and $36,100 for Hispanic families.
No one can reasonably say what median wealth should be. However, we can say the median wealth of white families is many more times the median wealth of black families. We are offered solutions as to how to bridge the gap, recommended by several African Americans, presumably experts, whose opinion we should listen to because they are either famous or rich:
Quoting Akbar Gbajabiamila, former NFL Player turned cohost of American Ninja Warrior, who believes financial literacy can help lessen the gap. His solution is:
People in power need to step up and help open up financial advising for everyone.
Higher up the wealth bracket we hear from the first black billionaire, Robert Johnson, who sold Black Entertainment Television (BET) in 2001. He believes powerful business people should be called upon to help black Americans advance. It’s unclear if he means powerful blacks or all powerful people. Either way, the successful people “achieved their success by having opportunity.” He goes on to say that these powerful people should tell black Americans:
“We’re gonna give you equal opportunity that we had, we’re gonna give you access to capital that we had, and we’re gonna ensure that you have a chance and a fair shot at participating in the American dream.”
There were even more people who weighed in on the issue. But the flavor of the article should be apparent by now. Time after time, whether from the mainstream media, politicians, or central bankers, we are told that the answer to our economic problems is for those in power to simply take the right action to help those in need. According to the quote above, if powerful people simply decided to grant more opportunities to those in need, it would allow the marginalized to get their fair shot, therefore achieving The American Dream…
Unfortunately, the opportunity to provide something useful to the black community and anyone else experiencing hardship is lost on CNBC. When we talk of opportunity, many forget it is the government and their central banks that are at the forefront of limiting our ability to succeed. Consider the effect of regulations, free market intervention, and inflationism and refraining from them would help better close this gap between all races.
Regulations. The list is long: the war on drugs, prohibitions on selling goods and/or services, import tariffs, minimum wage laws… to name a few. There are countless rules which govern our lives. Yet these rules are involuntary restrictions placed by the powerful over the masses. Society could find positive economic outcomes if we simply removed laws which limit economic freedom.
Interventionism. Remember, it is the Fed that creates over $100 billion a month to buy government debt, tinkers with interest rates, and creates special programs to assist certain members of society at the expense of other members of society. The powerful tell us these programs are for our own good and that if it weren’t for them society would be much worse.
Inflationism. The long-standing fallacy of money creation for the purpose of wealth creation. However, the same money supply expansion benefits the most powerful members of society first. Ironic how so many people turn to those same powerful people for help when their priority is to preserve their own advantages.
This month, many were given a chance to talk about issues facing African Americans. Sadly, without understanding ideas of liberty and freedom, those who would benefit most from capitalism will continually seek socialism. When most people talk about opportunity, it’s often in the context of getting a handout or a leg up from another. Perhaps the best opportunity is to not limit someone’s opportunity from the start.