Snubbering white male business owners in COVID aid doesn’t help anyone
America’s small business owners are struggling to survive the pandemic and government lockdowns. And white male business owners have an additional problem: while politicians offer loans and grants to minority and women owned companies, they do might care less about helping those who are guilty of “sin” are born white and male.
What’s next? Tax breaks for women and minorities and higher tax rates for white men? Criminal laws that only apply to white men? Government programs should not discriminate. We are all guaranteed equal legal treatment.
President Biden does not appear to have received this memo. He won the election with a promise to unite a divided nation. Yet its 27-page plan to “Build Better By Promoting Racial Justice” suggests dozen of taxpayer-funded programs for businesses owned by “black and brown people”; There is no mention of white owned companies.
That will certainly provoke resentment. Racism cannot cure more racism.
Biden promises to close the wealth and income gaps between whites and minorities. Bravo. Who can argue that all Americans should be successful? The question is how. Former President Donald Trump narrowed the gap and raised the wages of the working class of all races. And he did it by promoting growth and tight labor markets, not with racist bias.
In 2019, before the pandemic broke out, the income gap between whites and minorities narrowed and poverty among blacks and Hispanics fell to the lowest ever recorded. Home ownership and net worth for blacks and Hispanics rose. All without government help based on skin color and ethnicity.
Biden’s plan, however hardly mentions growth. His approach is about manipulating the system in order to gain advantages for beneficiary groups.
Several Democratic-controlled states also put race and gender before fairness. Last May, Governor Andrew Cuomo launched the New York Forward Loan Fund, “which focuses on small businesses owned by minorities and women.” The program requires that 60 percent of taxpayer-funded loans go to minority and women-owned companies, doubling their stake in state-owned companies. This puts white, male entrepreneurs at a disadvantage. It is likely unconstitutional and violates the 14th Amendment guarantee that we will all be treated equally.
When Oregon state politicians reserved a pot of COVID-19 aid funds only for black residents and black business owners, a white logging company owner who lost money to lockdowns sued the state and managed to stop the discriminatory program until the Case closed is decided.
After Colorado only distributed COVID-19 supplies to minority businesses, a white hair salon owner sued and insisted on his right to be treated equally under the law.
New Jersey is considering billing $ 50 million to support minority businesses while rejecting support for non-minority businesses. If that passes, the Garden State should be sued too.
Minority-owned businesses have been particularly hard hit during the pandemic, but there are ways to help without yelling “Whites don’t have to apply”.
When the Paycheck Protection Program’s first round of loans rolled out last spring, small businesses that didn’t have an existing relationship with a bank struggled to apply. including many minority-owned companies. But in late summer this problem was largely resolved through public relations. Federal data shows that as of December 1, more than half of all paycheck protection funding went to businesses in distress or low-to-middle-income neighborhoods.
Vice President Kamala Harris has proposed “navigators” to guide business owners least familiar with banking through the loan application process. That’s a good idea too.
The aid should primarily go to businesses that promote jobs, regardless of the race of the owner. The COVID relief is supposed to protect the paychecks. A staggering 2.1 million of the 2.6 million black-owned businesses in the country have no employees and only one owner, according to Black Chambers.
It is foolish to prop up companies without employees because they are minority owned and to prefer companies with employees. Cuomo’s minority loan program suffers from this problem.
Congress is now drafting the next draft law on COVID relief. To promote unity and treat all Americans equally, lawmakers must support companies regardless of race or gender. Companies that are hardest hit should get the relief. Yes, even companies belonging to that despised and politically disadvantaged group: white men.
Betsy McCaughey is a former lieutenant governor of New York.