Before the pandemic, the economy grew in ways that mostly benefited low-income and middle-class households. Jason Riley writes:
Joe Biden began his presidency with a promise to advance equity, which means favoring some races and ethnicities over others to shrink outcome disparities. Like many of his fellow liberal Democrats, Mr. Biden is tethered to the belief that black upward mobility won’t happen without coddling and special treatment from the government. Donald Trump’s record complicates such claims.
One of the most underreported stories of the Trump presidency is the extent to which black economic fortunes improved. The mainstream media presented Mr. Trump daily as a bigot whose policies would harm the interests of racial and ethnic minorities. Meantime, black economic advancement occurred to an extent unseen not only under Barack Obama but going back several generations—until the pandemic shutdowns brought progress to a halt.
Over the first three years of Mr. Trump’s presidency, blacks (and Hispanics) experienced record-low rates of unemployment and poverty, while wages for workers at the bottom of the income scale rose faster than they did for management. Whether that was the goal of the Trump administration or an unintended consequence is a debate I’ll leave to others. But there is no doubting that the financial situation of millions of working-class black Americans improved significantly under Mr. Trump’s policies.