From my new column in Taki’s Magazine:
But now in 2018, Stanford economist Raj Chetty is more or less admitting he got it wrong: instead, race matters. …
Now that Chetty has race data, he admits that the real main reason behind America’s long-running social problems is mostly just what I’ve been telling him for the past half decade: It’s race. Specifically, blacks and American Indians just don’t earn much money. Chetty writes in his new paper:
…blacks and American Indians are currently close to their steady-state income distributions.
Chetty has pretty much given up on finding magic municipalities where they do things right that can be studied to close America’s gaps. As I’ve always argued, and Chetty now agrees, instead the race gap is geographically pervasive and consistent:
Among children with parents at the 25th percentile, black boys have lower incomes in adulthood than white boys in 99% of Census tracts.
The few exceptions tend to be neighborhoods in Queens or in the D.C. suburbs that have many high-achieving black immigrants.
It’s almost as if whites and blacks, on average, tend to have somewhat different cultures, ancestors, and genes.
Interestingly, Chetty argues that increased welfare wouldn’t do much good in the long run for closing racial gaps:
Transient programs that do not affect intergenerational mobility directly, such as temporary cash transfers, are insufficient to reduce black-white gaps in income ranks because income distributions will revert back to their steady-states in future generations.
In fact, Chetty is beginning to admit that his whole obsession with income mobility was a distraction:
Mobility by itself is not the solution when it results in movement only within the lowest parts of the respective income distribution.
It’s time for academics to consider my point that we simply don’t know how to fix a lot of things, such as blacks and American Indians not earning much money, so let’s at least try not to make things worse for them through massive immigration.
Read the whole thing there.
From the Washington Post:
Same family income, same street, but the black boy still grows up to earn less
By Tracy Jan March 19
… “Race matters,” said Nathaniel Hendren, a Harvard economist who co-authored the paper with Raj Chetty at Stanford and two researchers with the U.S. Census Bureau. “Parent income and neighborhoods cannot explain the entirety of the black-white gap. Even when your parents get rich, the gaps don’t go away.” …
“The racial divide is something that permeates the backyards of every community in America, in both affluent and poorer neighborhoods,” Hendren said. “In fact, the gap is even larger in affluent neighborhoods with better schools.”