Five Conservative Policies That Would Help Blacks

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At a time when protests continue following the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers in Minnesota,  there is a heightened national focus on issues in the black community.

As a whole, black Americans are among the most loyal Democrats in the country. Indeed, some link Democratic policies to the interests of blacks. Last month, Joe Biden, the Democratic Party’s 2020 presidential nominee went as far as telling black Americans, “‘If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”

If Biden thinks just because he has a D next to his name that black Americans should vote for him, he is misinformed. Here is a look at five policies conservatives support that help the black community.


1.  School Choice

If Biden wins the 2020 presidential election this November and has an opportunity to enact his education agenda in office, he would eliminate charter schools. He said so at an MSNBC Public Education forum in December 2019.

That’s bad for black families.

Although black Americans make up about 13 percent of the population in the country, they comprise 26 percent of public charter school students.

The Reason Foundation analyzed 16 studies on private school choice, and found overwhelmingly positive results. Six studies looked at the impact school choice had on student safety; it found that school choice made students more safe than they would have been at their respective regular public schools. And all 16 looked at test scores; 10 saw positive results there as well.

School choice is one of the biggest issues where black Democrats are in disagreement with the party. According to 2019 poll from Education Next, 70 percent of black Democrats support targeted school voucher programs, 60 percent support universal voucher programs, and 55 percent support charter schools.


2.  Borders

It’s hard to find a person that prominent Democratic politicians would not want to let into the country, legally or illegally.

Most do not say they support open borders. But there are municipalities where noncitizens vote, and some members of the Massachusetts Legislature want to provide government coronavirus stimulus checks for illegal immigrants.

Open immigration is bad news for black workers, who are more likely than white Americans to work positions that require manual labor, according to the DC Fiscal Policy Institute.

Many such jobs can be performed by first-generation immigrants, including illegal immigrants. That puts a downward pressure on wages in these fields. Harvard economist George Borjas wrote in 2013 that a 10 percent increase to the labor pool depresses wages of native born workers by 2.5 percent. For men, that wage decrease percentage is even higher (3.7 percent). Borjas also found that it reduced the chances of native-born blacks holding a job in the industry by 5.1 percentage points.

In addition to building physical barriers across the U.S.-Mexico border, many conservatives support federally mandated E-Verify for all employers. It is a database for employers to check to make sure someone is legally authorized to work in the United States before the person is hired.


3.  Limiting the Power of Public-Employee Unions

Many conservatives do not favor tipping the balance of power to unions, which surprisingly lines up with some who support criminal justice reform when it comes to the police.

One of many frequent complaints that conservatives have about unions is that they protect bad workers and make it more difficult to fire them, as National Review points out. In unions, priority tends to go to workers with seniority, not necessarily the best workers. When layoffs come, the newest hires tend to be the first to go.

There are bad police officers.  In some places, it’s hard to get rid of them because collective bargaining agreements favor the individual police union member over public safety and common sense.


4.  Child Tax Credit

Childhood poverty is a major problem in the United States, and it is worst among black children. While 18 percent of all children lived in poverty in the United States in 2018, that number was 32 percent for black children, according to the KIDS COUNT Data Center from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

The Trump tax cut bill (formally called the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017) has a provision doubling the child tax credit for families, pushed by U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida). It increased the tax credit from $1,000 to $2,000 per year per child under 17 years old.

Only Republicans voted for the bill, which was able to pass because the GOP controlled both chambers of the Congress at the time.

The tax credit increase won’t eradicate poverty, but it has a modest impact on the cost of raising children. Among other things, it lowers the tax burden of taxpaying black families.


5.  Pro-Life

The Democratic Party has it their way on abortion law, and it has a disproportionately negative impact on blacks.

Millions of babies have been denied the opportunity to live as a result of abortion.

Black women made up 14 percent of the women of childbearing age in the country in 2011, according to The Center for Urban Renewal and Education. But black women got 36.2 percent of the reported abortions that year, according to 2011 Abortion Surveillance Report issued by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Center for Urban Renewal and Education estimates that more than 19 million black babies were aborted from 1973 (the year the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion nationwide) to 2011.

More recently, black women got 38 percent of the abortions in 2016, according to the 2016 Abortion Surveillance Report issued by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (That report was issued in November 2019.)

No government policy can bring those babies back. But if conservatives have their way, many more black babies will get the opportunity to live their lives.