(p. A15) Hulu’s series “The 1619 Project” blames economic inequality between blacks and whites on “racial capitalism.” But almost every example presented is the result of government policies that, in purpose or effect, discriminated against African-Americans. “The 1619 Project” makes an unintentional case for capitalism.
The series gives many examples of government interventions that undercut free markets and property rights. Eminent domain, racial red lining of mortgages, and government support and enforcement of union monopolies figure prominently.
The final episode opens by telling how the federal government forcibly evicted black residents of Harris Neck, Ga., during World War II to build a military base. The Army gave residents three weeks to relocate before the bulldozers moved in, paying below-market rates through eminent domain. After the war, the government refused to let the former residents return. Violation of property rights is the opposite of capitalism.
For the full commentary, see:
David R. Henderson and Phillip W. Magness. “‘The 1619 Project’ Vindicates Capitalism.” The Wall Street Journal (Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023): A15.
(Note: the online version of the commentary has the date February 20, 2023, and has the title “‘The 1619 Project’ on Hulu Vindicates Capitalism.”)
The commentary quoted above is related to Magness’s book:
Magness, Phillip W. The 1619 Project: A Critique. Great Barrington, Massachusetts: American Institute for Economic Research, 2020.