Friday, December 18, 2009

Progressive Trickle Down?

"The issue of equity has cast a cloud over the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act in recent weeks as various reports appear to confirm what minority advocates and some economists have been saying:that the fruits of the stimulus may not be reaching groups who are suffering the most in the worst recession of decades."

Tony Pugh, "Obama wants stimulus projects to hire more minorities," McClatchy Newspapers, December 11, 2009.

No surprise. ARRA architects specifically left out targeting to low income, disadvantaged groups in the original legislation and then backed off various kinds of executive orders. Belief in progressive trickle down is stronger than lessons learned over fifty years of advocacy. Setting goals, etc is not sufficient; mechanisms with some teeth are needed to ensure fair access to jobs and business opportunities.

Let's hope we get it right, or at least better, on the next round.

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