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Reparations? Maybe Private Sector Virtue Signalers Should Step Up

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Reparations? Maybe Private Sector Virtue Signalers Should Step Up

The question of reparations is one of the chief discussions occurring at the federal and state level of government. California is moving forward with a task force, while Democratic leaders want Congress to study the proposal. Liberty Nation has explored the challenges and exposed the fallacies behind this feel-good measure. So, instead of penalizing 300 million people who were not around during slavery, or had any connection to the black eye on America’s history, why not let the free market do it? Some businesses are stepping up to the plate and going beyond uttering talking points, whether it is in the form of donating to underserved communities or investing in minority-owned businesses. Voluntarism is superior to mandates anyway.

J. P. Morgan’s Wall Street building

Banking on Minority Communities

JPMorgan Chase announced that it is committing $30 billion over the next five years to empower America’s black and Hispanic families. The financial institution, which possesses more than $3.2 trillion in assets, wants to address systemic racism by trying to “do more and do better” to defeat “widespread economic inequality.” According to CEO Jamie Dimon, the company plans to do the following:

  • Finance 40,000 additional mortgages for minority households.
  • Offer 20,000 loans to refinance mortgages.
  • Invest in building 100,000 affordable rental units.
  • Give 15,000 small-business loans to black and Latino-owned businesses.
  • Donate $2 billion in “philanthropic capital” to underserved communities.

The financial institution also intends to transfer one million customers to low-cost checking and savings accounts. It plans to achieve this objective by establishing new branches in minority neighborhoods across the country. The Wall Street titan will monitor, track, and report its progress with senior officials, as well as the Chase Advisory Panel.

Cashing the Virtue Signaling Check?

Corporate America’s marketing departments have been working overtime to produce virtue-signaling advertising campaigns. Since the death of George Floyd, some of America’s wealthiest companies are groveling to the wokerati, whether it is in the digital cesspool of social media or the insipid and toxic mainstream media. But while most corporations are talking about the need to engage and speak up for blacks and Hispanics (no word on whether Asians are classified as victims), some are doing more than just conversing.

Indeed, $30 billion is a drop in the bucket for an entity like JPMorgan Chase, one of the best-managed finance sector firms. But it is better than feigning outrage, displaying hollow logos, and participating in empty gestures. The company is taking its own money – albeit many funds supplied by the Federal Reserve System’s ultra-aggressive money-printing blitzkrieg – and doing what it thinks would help black and Latino communities. It is a case of the big bad capitalist wolf – right, Pope Francis? – satisfying demand.

Despite being considered iniquitous institutions, private institutions are doing more than militant leftists in the Twitterverse. The political left is quick to hop on the moral crusade, dictating appropriate levels of justice – economic or political – without putting any skin in the game. Others must act before they do. This ethical exculpation, leftists claim, is justified because they represent communities that they think are too fragile to speak on their behalf. This is prevalent in the marketplace, too.

Yelp, the crowd-sourced review website, thought it solved racism by adding alerts for businesses accused of racism. The company ostensibly believes it would be a bright idea to install this feature whenever a first-hand party thinks it has been a victim of racism. Yelp obviously did not think things through, or perhaps it is too naïve not to consider that this feature would be abused. It is an example of how not to fight racial inequality in America.

That said, you cannot help but cringe when you read JPMorgan’s press release as the firm uses terms like “Latinx” and capitalizes “Black.”

Wokenomics in Practice

Struggling blacks and Hispanics probably appreciate JPMorgan’s financial assistance and investment more than some inane social justice messaging on a $200 NBA jersey or from the mouth of a random Hollywood celebrity. All these famous people who think they are changing the world by retweeting hashtags and accusing President Donald Trump of being a racist are making fools of themselves by not emulating JPMorgan’s actions.

Whether it is bequeathing their $15 million ten-bedroom mansions to poor Hispanic families or stepping down from a high-profile position to give it to a black person, those attention-seeking individuals and companies could do something comparable to the big bank. Actions speak louder than words. The entrepreneurs and residents of underserved communities abandoned by Democrats are far more ecstatic over community investment than millionaire pseudo-activist athletes espousing vacuous polemics.


Read more from Andrew Moran.

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