The New York Times devoted its entire "Sunday Review" section this weekend to an economic manifesto that lays out a radical left-wing vision for redesigning the American economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The manifesto, "The Economy We Need," is the third part of a Times opinion series "on emerging from this crisis with a fair, resilient society."
The Times focuses on redressing economic inequality as the main challenge - not economic growth, or job creation.
The lead editorial, among other ideas, calls for the Federal Reserve to target black unemployment instead of overall unemployment: "Instead of targeting overall unemployment, the Fed can correct its aim by targeting the Black unemployment rate. If the Fed provides enough stimulus to bring down Black unemployment, everyone benefits."
Other economic proposals in the manifesto include a plan for banks to pay reparations: "First, [banks] must apologize for their culpability for and complicity in structural racism. Next, they must commit to serving black people as they do whites." Four additional steps are proposed: "Cancel consumer debt for black customers"; "Eliminate banking fees for black customers"; "Provide interest-free mortgages to black home buyers"; "Provide interest-free loans to black-owned businesses."
Another proposal calls for raising the inheritance tax - what Republicans call the "death tax," because it is payable by the deceased (or their estates):
There are plenty of sensible options for increasing taxes on inheritances. Returning the estate tax to its 2009 levels would raise $270 billion over the next decade. Further increasing the rate so that it rises to 65 percent on estates over $1 billion would raise an additional $100 billion.
An even better approach would be to replace the estate tax with an inheritance tax. Under an inheritance tax, heirs would simply pay income and payroll taxes on their inheritance above a large exemption, just as others do on their wages.
The manifesto also calls for a 28th Amendment to the Constitution to enshrine something called "voter equality," which appears to mean a guarantee of high turnout among poorer voters. The amendment would grant "all adult citizens the right to vote in federal elections," with no exceptions.
Another heartfelt essay calls on wealthy Americans to "give up your privilege."
Prior to the coronavirus the U.S. economy was experiencing what President Donald Trump called a "blue-collar boom." Minority unemployment was at the lowest levels in history. Wages for the lowest-paid workers were rising faster than wages for the highest earners. Inequality was in retreat, as economic growth created new opportunities, and the enforcement of immigration laws gave working-class Americans a chance to compete.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, is available for pre-order. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.