Economists William Darity Jr. And Darrick Hamilton Fuel Democratic Debate On How Far Left To Go

Isheka N. Harrison
Written by Isheka N. Harrison
William Darity Jr. and Darrick Hamilton
Photo By Autumn Keiko

William Darity Jr. and Darrick Hamilton have been raging against the “economics as usual” machine that’s excluded racial inequity for years. Now the brilliant economists have become the go-to sources for many Democratic candidates on the subject, reported the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

Known for their work in what they’ve coined “stratification economics,” Darity and Hamilton focus on economic gaps between whites and Blacks. Though they collaborate frequently, both men are esteemed in their own right.

Darity is the Samuel DuBois Cooke Professor of Public Policy as well as a professor of African and African American Studies and economics at Duke University, while Hamilton is the executive director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at The Ohio State University.

According to WSJ, Senators Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and former Texas Congressman Beto O’ Rourke have all either quoted or been advised by Darity and/or Hamilton.

Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 64: Tunde Ogunlana

Part 1: Jamarlin talks to Tunde Ogunlana, the CEO of Axial Family Advisors, a wealth planning firm. We discuss what an inverted yield curve usually means in the bond market.

Darity and Hamilton argue that the consequences of America’s history of slavery, racism and oppressive policies are so entrenched, they are still affecting Black people’s economic position and account for the large racial wealth gap today.

To remedy the huge inequity Black people experience in poverty, homeownership, and other economic issues, Darity and Hamilton tout creating policies that focus more on family wealth across generations than education, employment and income.

Their ideas aren’t just catching on with law-makers, but also other white Democrats. According to WSJ, a Pew Research survey conducted earlier this year “found nearly two-thirds of white Democrats said the U.S. hadn’t done enough to give blacks equal rights, while about 80% said the legacy of slavery ‘affects the position of black people in American society today.’”

Darity and Hamilton are even changing the minds of fellow economists on the subject. Yet, Democrats remain in a debate on how left is too far. Darity and Hamilton are more concerned with how far the government will go to right America’s wrongs.

Stay tuned. This should be an interesting ride.