Ro Khanna Intros Coretta Scott King Bill to Address Income Inequality
The gap between productivity growth and hourly compensation growth has increased dramatically since 1973 and contributed to worsening income inequality, according to the Economic Policy Institute. As communities of color are the last to see jobs growth during an economic recovery, many argue the Federal Reserve’s moves to slow the economy have contributed to the fact that the Black unemployment rate remains consistently about twice as high as the white rate. In an effort to address the issue, Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) on Friday introduced legislation to strengthen the Federal Reserve’s mandate to pursue a robust job and wage growth. Named after the Black woman activist who made full employment a hallmark of her civil rights efforts, the Coretta Scott King Full Employment Federal Reserve Act directs the Fed to target wages that keep pace worker productivity growth and to shrink discrepancies in unemployment due to race, gender, or geography. If enacted, among other things, the bill would require the Fed to issue regular reports on its own prior estimates of future employment and inflation, and on how its monetary policy has affected different demographic groups; consider racial, gender, class, and other forms of diversity in picking the regional bank presidents rather than its current overwhelmingly white, male, and financial sector-dominated leadership; and seek a job market where job seekers can find employment and minimize involuntary part-time employment. “Despite the progress made by Coretta Scott King’s campaign four decades ago, the Fed is still not adequately focused on the broad-based job creation and wage growth that our workers need to fully recover from the Great Recession,” Khanna said. “This legislation will help ensure that our nation’s central bankers are putting the livelihoods of American working families ahead of the Wall Street voices that are often in their ears.” More here.