Economics of Racism

Purpose: To discuss issues surrounding the economics of racism

Comments & Proposals
by Peter J. Jessen
December 8, 1992

Refered to in August 10, 2001 letter (Copy sent to MN legislature House Speaker, Steve Sviggum and Senate President Roger Moe and others: Roy Terwilliger, Larry Fitzgerald, John Marty, David Jennings, Otis Courtney, Sarah Psick, Victor Moore, Tom Hanson)

With editing and Appendix of 12/16/92 on "Forum on The Economics of Racism"
Held by the Metropolitan Council
at Earle Brown Continuing Education Center
1890 Buford Avenue, St. Paul Campus
University of Minnesota
Wednesday, December 9, 1992

Forum for: Decisions makers in private, public, and nonprofit sectors

1st question: what does racism have to do with the economy of the Twin City Metro area?

2nd question: why the enormous income gap (census figures) between whites and nonwhites?

Brochure's Proposed solution: education, training, expanded opportunities in the workplace"

Brief Reponse to Forum Brochure

Yes, this could work IF: you don't kill the geese (industrial capitalism, political democracy, and carefulness/respect for values and tradition) that lay the golden eggs (prosperity, the benefits of material production; equality as access to the ladder of social mobility: to succeed or fail, and if fail, to have a floor below which one doesn't fall; and liberty, in both institutional/political terms and in personal autonomy terms) , all of which contribute to the "of courseness" of the "Multiple Realities of the Everyday World" In The "Contestations" of Social World Building Which Last "Until Further Notice," and if this key truth is recognized: racism exists (statistically provable) in both directions, and it is very damaging to our economy, as noted below (and, therefore, it is also damaging to society as a whole, to our sense of shared community and moral standards, and to posterity, the future in which our children and grandchildren will live). Racism works several ways: whites vs. blacks; blacks vs. whites; white ethnics against other white ethnics; different black groups against other black groups; all of which results in a racist culture war in which both white skin heads and black culturalists fight together against the classic liberal, European ideal of tolerance, of people who want to be in the USA in terms of geography, but who are really part of either white or black semi-separatist groups, fighting against being American by culture, and if change can be facilitated with civility (also known as what the brochure calls "Minnesota Nice"), upholding both the secular ideals of the enlightenment (of which the minimum is the tolerance of difference, the tolerance of different ideas, and the tolerance of behavior not hurtful of others, where "objectivity" in the analysis of people and their societies is its own reward and the religious ideals of the love and justice teachings of the Judeo-Christian traditions, where the question "who is my brother" is answered by the parable of the "Good Samaritan," itself the answer to the question "who is my neighbor?" And finally, if it is understood that by being truly capitalistic, economic activity must be color (and gender) blind, and that civil approaches must not be "Minnesota ICE," in which non whites (and non-males) are frozen out of the system, out of the process, out of developing, out of managing, and out of owning, often in polite and subtle ways which, nonetheless, are discriminatory due to racism (or gender). In other words, nonwhites (and women) must be allowed to own, must be part of any venue of the powerful and wealthy, including athletic clubs, and must be networked in and elected to political offices as well, if the economy is to truly succeed in the global environment in which it must now work.


(I)  pp. 2-6: background comments;

(II)  pp. 6-7: a proposed process and a program for extending the forum on the economics of racism in the metropolitan Twin Cities area;

(III) pp. 7-8: an action program to combine collaboratively the private sector, the public sector, the not-for profit sector, and the education/ training sector in economic activity/construction/business/ manufacturing/services that will create growth and development, the training and opportunities to make it happen, and the profits and jobs that will come as a result;

(IV) newly added after the Forum is An appendix of references (p. 9-10) , as well as a short contextual Bo of the author (p. 11). Also new: a 4th "irony" on page 2; the 20 points expanded to 22 on pp. 3-5; II. 2 and II. 3 on pp. 6-7.


Comments About the Contemporary World and USA Scene

World irony #1: Even though racism is being questioned and ended on economic, not moral grounds, racism is being fought in countries only where enlightenment goals are considered valid.

Case in point #1: S. Africa: can't be a modern industrial nation without a mobile, educated work force; ending apartheid is being done on economic grounds first, moral grounds second. This should open our eyes to the need to bring all of our non-white citizens into the ball game as well. Apartheid (racism) is bad for business.

Case in point #2: this conference: the brochure accurately states that the costs of racism include "nonproductivedeclining tax bases, rising demand for subsidies and serviceshigher numbers of single-parent families, school drop-outs and crimespay more for ineffectual remedies. "But, the brochure leaves out the use of "moral"

Case in point #3: the key to economics is knowledge; the key to knowledge is education; the key to good education is dollars available for equipment and resources and qualified, experienced teachers; school bussing needs to be seen as a racist victory of those willing to give a little to keep a lot: the unwillingness to give control of the money for education to the non-whites.

World irony #2: racism is now the solution of choice where Communism and the Enlightenment (or just the enlightenment in countries which were not communist) are/ is being repealed by the new convergence of religion and nationalism. Our continued "do nothing response" (until CNN forces otherwise) reflects an acceptance of racism in the political calculations of others and, therefore, in our own, and worse, legitimating it with religion.

Case in point #1: Ethnic cleansing in what used to be called Yugoslavia

Case in point #2: An Azerbaijani leader on the Armenian question: "emulate Stalin and Hitler"

Case in point #3: A Bulgarian scholar: "new forms of backwardness," due to the alliance of Bulgarian chauvinism with restored authority of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church

Case in point #4: In Tadjikistan and Soviet Central Asia, "Islamic fundamentalists are forcing educated Westernized women to resume their proper place within the Shari'a, total submission to patriarchal authority, confinement to the home, wearing of special dress, dictated by men.

Case in point #5: The Hindus vs. the Muslims in India

Case in point #6: The Protestant Christians vs. the Roman Catholic Christians in Ireland

Case in point #7: The right wing Christians in the U. S. vs. all other non-agreeing U. S. Christians

Case in point #8: The South in the U. S. before WWII, and added in the North after WWII, and the continued difficulties in passing civil rights laws in the post-cold war era.

Case in point #9: "The white separatist movement will not be stopped in the puny town of Portland. We're in your colleges, we're in your armies, we're in your police forces, we're in your technical areas. We've planted the seeds. "Tom Metzger, White Aryan Resistance.

World irony #3: Anti-communists of Eastern Europe have had to help us revive our faith in democracy in the late 80's after many lost faith in the U. S. and democracy in the 1970's.

Case in point #1: William Ophuls: "Leviathan or Oblivion?"

Case in point #2: Robert Heilbroner: we need "iron government"

Case in point #3: Garrett Harden: we need "mutual coercion mutually agreed upon"

Case in point #4: Samuel Huntington: "democracy is too expensive"

Case in point #5: Arnold Toynbee: "In all developed countries, a new way of life, a severely regimented way of life, will have to be imposed by a ruthless authoritarian government."

Case in point #6: Wallerstein: The solution is to replace capitalism with "world wide democratic socialism"

Case in point #7: Headline: "A crowded world: can mankind survive in freedom?"

Case in point #8: India, 1975: democracy as "a threat to human rights everywhere; authoritarianism: "necessary to preserve freedom and democracy"

World irony #4: The global economy idea is no joke: it is a vast reality; and in the quest for corporate profits, companies, not governments, are bringing higher standards of living to the poorest places in the world, as they raise standards in one country they leave to find a poorer place, and begin to raise their standards as well (so: why not in the poor areas of the Twin Cities or any other urban poor area?).

Case in point #1: Few major products, regardless of where assembled, have their components made 100% in the same country, even those "made in America".

Case in point #2: When labor costs were too high in the USA, US companies sent manufacturing abroad to Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, etc. Now, because of high labors costs there, they are sending their manufacturing to Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Mexico, Latin America, etc.

Case in point #3: Twin city workers in some manufacturing are making $5/hour. Some who make $7 or more/hour feel they are doing great, given the reality of their low education and the recession. With the appropriate mix of tax laws, incentives for production and manufacturing using the latest in technology and total control management, disincentives for polluting, and incentives for training (all of which could reduce the cost of manufacturing and even provide for some wage increases) , this same dynamic can be used to raise people out of poverty in the inner cities and other low value land areas/neighborhoods of the cities.

Case in point #4: Los Angeles! (two of the four corners at Pico and Alvarado where I used to sell newspapers as a teenager are burned to the ground). To keep L. A. from becoming the "ghost of Christmas future," a different approach is needed to deal with the Twin Cities' version of the urban crisis. Given the high proportion of nonwhites in poorer urban areas, non-white communities have both a right and a responsibility to attempt to bring the problem to resolution. BUT, to be truly effective, it must be done on the basis of the geography-poverty level, not on the basis of race. The economics of racism for L. A. has spawned "Shining Path" (Peru's guerrilla organization, one of the bloodiest in the world) "wannabees" among gangs (note that in closed, non-English speaking communities, revolution and communism lack the sigma they carry elsewhere in the United States).

Consider this truth: "You become what you hate. "

Case in point #1: Serbs, killed by Croats in WWII, are now killing the Croats.

Case in point #2: Jews, as 2nd class citizens prior to the establishment of the state of Israel, have made Palestinians second class citizens.

Case in point #3: Prior oppressed U. S. A. minorities now want other minorities oppressed in their favor.

Case in point #4: Reliance on the Plantation shifted to reliance on the government.

Case in point #5: Conservatives disliking government "personal welfare" payments don't mind receiving government "corporate welfare" payments.

Case in point #6: People who have "made it" to the suburbs are now practicing drawbridge ethics against both people and societal services: NIMBY: not in my backyard.

Case in point #7: The Twin Cities should be looking to set the example of developing a national urban agenda which would include the twin investment themes of the President-elect: infrastructure investment (roads, bridges, sewers, etc. ) and human capital investment (Head-Start, including pre-and post-, pre-natal care, health care program, etc.)

Also consider these "truths":

(1) human nature is a social construction (a clue for sociobiologists: self reflection);

(2) without a moral consensus, society will swing wildly between anarchy and despotism;

(3) no positive change can happen without choice (choice comes from the word that means "heresy") : the future = choice = policy options;

(4) all social/political actions lead to unintended consequences;

(5) racism is empirically verifiable statistically (ditto prejudice against women, others)

(6) Christianity is about love. Racism is not about love. Many of "World Ironies 1 & 2" above are Christian. Yet: 70% of Christians in the world today live in 3rd world countries. White Christians "don't get it" that the "European Captivity" of Christianity has long been over and that their Christian brothers and sisters are third worlders. Racism by Christians is untenable on all grounds. The historical Jesus, whatever else he was, put his accent on compassion for the poor and oppressed and stressed that the Kingdom of God was an alternative to what we, in our words, would call "the idolization of wealth, prestige, group loyalty, and power," as he exercised his "rude, raw, and authentic" honesty and fearlessness. "Hence, a "Christian nation" would elect preferential options for the poor minorities of the inner cities.

An alternative perspective: the issue is, thus, more than race: it is the clash between group identities and individual identities and classes and cultures/sub-cultures, due to the dread and fear of diversity and difference, resulting in the tolerance of poverty (the price willing to be paid to prevent diversity) , because of faulty (at best) and evil (at worst) visions of the nature of humans and of society and the responses as to what to do about both. We need to move beyond the false reality of "multi-culturalism" to the empirical reality of "interculturalism," of the constant "cognitive contamination" that takes place despite efforts, by whoever, at retaining "purity," and recognize and celebrate the contributions of both dead white males on one hand and live black males and live black and white females on the other. Objectively and historically speaking, either/or is incorrect, both/and is correct.

Alternative discussion points that impact on racism:

(1) seek an understanding of the relationship between economic development and sociocultural change that occurs regardless of race, recognizing that the key phenomenon, therefore, is not the concepts of "race" or "racism," but the concept of "modernity," and the relationship between cultural values (which includes racism) and economics, and the understanding of what is intrinsic to modernity and not changeable, and extrinsic, and therefore changeable;

(2) seek a balance between the formulation and application of what almost everyone and every group wants at least for themselves and/or their group: "love" and "justice", "peace" and "freedom", and seek to understand how an imbalance in these creates the imbalance in economics;

(3) view the causal sequence in reverse order: you can't have freedom for all without peace for all; you can't have peace for all without justice for all; you can't have justice for all without love for all; and, as racism is antagonistic to all of these, racism creates an economic imbalance in the key business areas of survival and profits.

(4) deal with the different ideologies promoting their own visions and versions of the "race problem":

(1) whites who say it is the problem of lazy, irresponsible blacks;

(2) blacks who say it is the problem of greedy and power hungry whites,

(3) those insensitive to others;

(4) the belief debate over whether or not "principled toleration" and "principled pluralism is possible, and if so, whether they are desirable; and

(5) it really doesn"t make a difference, as whites or blacks, once elected, turn their backs on their people, and become corrupt.

(5) consider whether a nation can distribute wealth without first generating wealth (always an inherent problem with socialism and the socialistic who attempt to distribute something, wealth, that can"t be built under those systems);

(6) consider whether you can really get people off the end of the welfare distribution line without first enabling them to at least think that they at least have a chance at wealth, and then secondly to give that chance (to succeed or fail on their own) : how to continue doing the good capitalism has done yet changing the investment and entrepreneurial rules and activity so they are for others than just whites (which is affirmative perseverance, not affirmative action);

(7) understand that you can have capitalism without democracy, but you cannot have democracy without capitalism;

(8) rethink the pessimistic and empirically false "two nations" thesis of the Kerner Commission Report regarding the USA , an idea based on race: one black nation, one white nation. The report incorrectly stated that immigrants pulling themselves up by their bootstrap could no longer be done in this country, and that poor blacks would have to be taken care of by the state. While the government programs set in, the Koreans, Vietnamese and a whole host of other immigrants, who didn't know this, came in and demonstrated that people could indeed do so, if the entrepreneurial spirit was allowed to be turned loose. Instead a two nation idea based on race substitutes the more empirically verifiable reality of economics: one poor and one affluent, regardless of race.

(9) end the false dichotomy of conservative vs. liberal and recognize that both the radical right and radical left are "historically specific conservatives," with the far right seeking to reestablish a past golden age which it wishes to enshrine as its everlasting old status quo, while the far left seeks to establish a new golden age in the future which it wishes to enshrine as its everlasting new status quo;

(10) consider Peter L. Berger"s concept above and its counter: an "historically non-specific conservative" approach, which continually blends the best of the old with the best of the new, which reflects the new alignment taking place, a symbiosis in the making , an "historic compromise" of a new constellation of values and behavior patterns that combine bothtraits of the "old bourgeois culture" (the politics and culture of the business-based middle class which produces tangible products and things) and the new politics and culture themes of the "new class" (the knowledge industry", which produces intangible words and ideas) , resulting in a New Capitalism that is "kinder," "gentler," "sensitized," and even "feminized," meaning "a strategically important change in the ideology and the social psychology of contemporary capitalism in the North Atlantic" (as opposed to capitalism elsewhere, especially East Asia) , which some will view as "humanitarian capitalism" and others as "capitalism gone soft in the head";

(11) consider that Social (In) equality and the (In) Justice(s) of "Life Chances" exist at the macro level of community and society (the world and its interdependent institutions: politics, democracy,-various-isms, and economics) and at the micro level of community and society (the world & its interdependent individuals: characteristics of people and small groups);

12) consider whether or not to advocate policies which will foster access to the ladder of social mobility, the rungs of which are education, marriage, wealth, political power, and impression management (racism takes a way the rungs for those races out of favor);

(13) consider how to achieve a more equitable (fair) access to the opportunities and resources of society by changing the rules regarding who is to get and who is to give the "3 P's" of privilege, prestige and power (which include wealth, status, and position) , using various moral criteria, not determinable by social science, but which social science can "inform", such as a "Calculus of Pain"/Human Suffering; "a Calculus of Meaning"/"Cognitive Respect", a "Postulate of Ignorance", political liberties and human rights vis a vis limits, of responsible self-government and civility, and a calculus of (in) justice) to determine whether or not to advocate or not advocate a "preferential option for the poor" (as opposed to a preferential option for a race or ethnic group) , as a first step toward the public duty to sufficiently ensure present and subsequent generations a posterity worth preserving and continuing;[all terms of Peter L. Berger]

(14) consider the fact that the reason we can meet like this in the first place is due to the continuing acceptance of the liberal ideals of the enlightenment, and that the U. S. A. is the only nation with its degree of freedom of speech;

(15) engage in a new reconstruction (reconstruction = correcting) to bring the historic strands of reconstruction and their aligned social movements full circle: first, that of a third reconstruction: the first reconstruction was after the civil war, the second was the civil rights movement of the 1960's; we now need a third, based on the notion of a civil society; second, that of dealing with minimal rights: the labor movement was for the working and wage rights of white males, the civil rights movement was for the working, wage, and voting rights of black males; the old women's movement was for the voting rights of white women; the new women's movement is about working and wage rights of all women (not just the educated professional women); third, dealing with economic and power "rights," to close the loop to include access to economic and political power (entree to the field of play, the freedom to succeed or fail on merit and perseverance) for all, regardless of color, gender or income; and fourth, "rights" of entitlements of both ends of the spectrum: discuss entitlement "rights" in terms of both categorical and incremental entitlements of both the poor and the affluent, for if one group's entitlements are at the expense of one or more other groups (such as the less affluent who are dependent upon subsidies of welfare, Social Security and Medicare, etc. , and more affluent, who are dependent upon subsidies for oil, crop land, forward military payments, dismantling and moving to other states or countries, not to mention that 80% of corporate training goes for executives in sunny "classroom" climes, or the tax breaks for the affluent related to tax credits, treasury bill and bond buying).

(16) consider ending the incremental "rights" of retirees on government retirement accounts (including the military) , and on Social Security, and putting all government workers on one retirement account, eliminating double and triple "dippers";

(17) consider "building community", not jails, for to solve the problem of the inner city is to also solve those of the suburbs, etc.;

(18) consider that much intellectual effort has gone into how to transform capitalism into socialism, not the empirically more accurate vice versa (due in part to the empirically false but ideologically seductive belief that authoritarian governments might change but totalitarian ones would not);

(19) consider extending the opportunity for the "happiness of business" to all, i. e. , "happiness as a positive cash flow!"

(20) consider extending the three keys to economic success to non whites as well as whites: (1) a truly level (not just rhetorically so) playing field in the pursuit of making money (a positive net left after expenses, also called profit) , (2) saving money (the opposite of debt based economies) , and (3) solving technical/management/ administrative problems (to cut costs, increase market share, and increase the value of shares for investors);

(21) recognize the value of the family and religion in providing moral frameworks and meanings for life and living, and

(22) be sure all policy, public and private, supports, not tears down family and religion.

SO: NUMBER ONE: recognize the need for a vision (especially of one for ending/reducing racism and its economic costs across the board) that will attract commitment, inspire people, revitalize organizations, and mobilize resources needed to turn vision into reality (perform "vision audits") : you lead people, you manage things. For both to work, you need vision. Every one of the reasons given for why Bush lost the election can be traced to his "I'm not into the vision thing. "That meant that none of his people could be either. Likewise, Carter had no vision while in office. Like Bush, both believed they should be President because they were capable, better than the others running, or fulfilling a destiny, not because they had any particular goal regarding society micro (the U. S. A. ) or macro (the world). Both Reagan and Clinton are into the vision thing. The debate in America today is not so much a culture war (although there are elements of one) as it is a clash regarding the model to follow for processing and acting in society for, governments and corporations, for families and individuals, for income gaining and wealth making. Whether and how that takes place will depend upon the model chosen (or, in the U. S. , the model that is "turned loose" when a new President is elected).

A realistic vision would be a "partnership model"; government as part of the solution, as a catalyst; a free market with rules; a culture of interdependence; invest and grow balance-ism; innovative pubic spending initiatives; moral civil/civic interest; public action and the public interest

SO: NUMBER TWO: recognize the validity of the vision of Martin Luther King, Jr. , recognizing that his dream for ending/reducing racism and its economic costs across the board in both social/political/citizenship terms and economic/wealth/entrepreneurship terms:

to remove the "manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. cash the promissory note of the Declaration of Independencemake real the promises of Democracylift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhoodnot be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty streamthe table of brotherhoodinjustice and oppression transformed into an oasis of freedom and justicejudged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their characterall transformed into sisters and brothershopefaith let freedom ring. "Micah 6: 8: "He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" I John 3: 17: "How does God's love abide in anyone who has the world's goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help?"Langston Hughes: "A long time ago, an enslaved people heading toward freedom made up a song: Keep Your Hand on the Plow!Hold On!That plow plowed a new furrow across the field of history. Into that furrow the freedom seed was dropped. From that seed a tree grew, is growing, will ever grow. That tree is for everybody, for all America, for all the world. May its branches spread and its shelter grow until all races and all peoples know its shade. "

Real discrimination and real integration are neither racial nor ethnic. Real discrimination is in the area of power and wealth. Monopolies and oligarchies discriminate on two things and two things only: power and wealth. The racial and ethnic questions depend on which country or nation or company or organization one is in. The history of the world is of discrimination of the powerful and wealthy against the non-powerful and non-wealthy. Here, they were "equal opportunity discriminators"equally against all others, regardless of race, religion, color, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc. , who were not in their circle who controlled power and wealth.



A Proposed Four Sector

(Including Inter-Sector-Joint-Venture)

Collaborative Solution:

1. Adopt a Process Model to follow to facilitate problem resolution: Several models are available. Recommended: the Evangelical Academies of Germany after World War II, in 1945. This was used to restore the democratic idea after the disaster of the Third Reich (see discussion of these in the book Confession, Conflict & Community.

2. Adopt an action Sequence:

A. Metropolitan Council makes decision to go forward from this forum.

1. Adopt a feedback process with which to deal with study and then action

2. Adopt a "reality-testing" process for dealing with people, their organizations, and their ideas (see Appendix 5 of A Future South Africa: Visions, Strategies, and Realities)

3. Adopt a mediating process for cultivating a political culture of dialogue, democratic exchange, economic development, and "mediating action."

B. Seek responses from all conferees regarding how to deal with this problem. In a mailing to them, solicit their views on the following, asking them to list:

1. The overall vision that should be in place.

2. Their view of the three most devastating consequences resulting from the problem.

3. Their view of the three biggest obstacles to solving the problem.

4. Their view of the three things that minimally have to be in any solution/resolution.

5. Their view of the three best things they have seen on the subject (books or magazine/journal articles or movies)

6. Their view of the goal to be sought, and their view of the tactics and strategies that should be used to attempt reaching that goal.

3. Put together a "Reader" to serve as the basis for the next forum or conference,consisting of the following:

A. Contents of Reader

1. A summary of the responses of the Conferees: visions, devastating results, obstacles, solutions, references.

2. A data analysis of the "sets of three" above

3. The report (or summary of the report) from the Economic Conference or "Teach-in" of Little Rock scheduled for December 14 and 15, 1992 (which should have lots of good ideas.

4. Discuss the "Two Nations (Black, White) Thesis" vis a vis correcting it and enabling inclusiveness (acceptance of nonwhite into the economic mainstream, and transition of government from main actor to referee of the process).

5. Propose, for discussion purposes, the action plan that is Part III of this paper, and include such tough policy agreement areas as transportation, wage structures, utility costs, work ethic of workers, availability of trainable employees, etc. (pp. 7-8)

6. An annotated bibliography of many of the books conferees submitted in II. 2. B. 5. above, the matically arranged.

7. Following the same theme of A. 4, above, include an annotated bibliography of the books appended to this paper, if they did not get into the list generated by III. 3. A. 4.

8. Have statements on the theme prepared by editors of the three major journals which have a fairly clear set of differing starting points to get to the same goal of doing "good" for all, especially as these approaches relate to resolving the economics of racism, dealing with capitalism, and how to approach the economy, people, and the culture:

a. The American Prospect, from the left/center left b. First Things, from the right/center right c. The Responsive Community, from the center/center right/center left

To get a perspective on US culture overall, with no political ax being swung, you might also consider the editors of the New York City basedValues and Visions, and add any others that are perceived as fitting into this proposal.

9. Have three short essays, point (from one end of the spectrum) , counterpoint (from the other end, and synthesis of reconciliation (written from the perspective of looking at both with an urgent concern for a strong economy and social justice, and doing so with a relentless intellectual integrity uncompromised by either ideology or the fact the writer is white or nonwhite, male or female.

B. Plan a Second Forum or Conference: Have Minnesota NICE meet Minnesota ICE to discuss the Reader and to its options, and proposals for moving forwardwith collaborative action, and to lay the groundwork for taking action. Invite a wide range of thinkers and doers to discuss the common ground and ways to bridge the differences.

4. Hold a 3rd Conference

And, if necessary, hold a 3rd conference, to hammer out the policy agreements by the stakeholders involved from all sectors, and a strategic plan for facilitating success in a real place, at a real site, in a collaborative, "on site" "joint venture".

5. Take Action (see"(3) An Action Program" below)


The following action program combines collaboratively the private sector, the public sector (government) , the not-for profit sector (tax exempt organizations, churches, charities, etc. ) , and the education/ training sector (public, private, not-for-profit) in economic activity/construction/business/ manufacturing/services that will create growth and development, and the training and opportunities to make it happen, and the profits and jobs that will come as a result

I am suggesting that the Metropolitan Council consider being either the catalyst or coordinator or "matchmaker" to bring into being a special planning and operating group charged with the task (comprised of representatives for appointees of, say, both the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs and the Center for the American Experiment, along with representatives of appointees of an inner city community development group) of getting this project of investment-production, service, training, and community activities off the ground, on a site which will have four types of institutional interaction, which would include (1) private sector investment, manufacturing production and related operations activities, service firms, (2) public sector and (3) not-for profitcommunity activities, and (4) joint ventures. These four sectors would be housed in a center, or in several connecting centers not far from each other, and from this would come the reinvigoration of this part (or part, if more than one site is established) of the city and its inhabitants, while at the same time addressing real economic and job needs of both the cities and the suburbs (some workers would be from the inner city, some would commute in from the suburbs.

1. Multi-economic enterprises: the private sector. This could be part of the 3rd Reconstruction. Instead of shipping factories and jobs overseas, use investment and other credits along with labor and wage agreements to facilitate such "off shore-like" and "overseas-like expansion" to take place poverty areas, so that the investment, jobs, training, etc. , go into the economic hell holes of our cities, not the cities overseas. This goes beyond the mere "enterprise zones" concept which is exclusive, which again ghettoizes the inner cities, making them enterprises for outside owners, and facilitates making neighborhoods dependent on the enterprises, not interdependent with their people moving toward self sufficiency. Another mechanism would be to have joint ventures, so that outsiders could start slowly to test the waters, but do so with the local population behind the project.

2. Multi-services: the government sector. Build on the very successful and expanded Section 703 of the House and Urban Development Act of 1965 (Neighborhood Facilities Grant Program) , authorizing the establishment of neighborhood Multi-Service Centers (New York City is successfully involved in this program).

3. Multi-training enterprises/services/activities: a joint venture/partnership between the government, private, and not-for-profit sectors. What better place to bring together those involved in training, particularly job training, than these new inner city areas of investment?In one location you have the enterprises, the workers, the housing, the schools, and the training. This could include public schools, GED, vocational-technical schools, community colleges, other adult training, etc.

4.  Multi-activities: the not-for-profit world of community organizations, community development organizations, neighborhood groups, charities, foundations, churches (with different religions and/or denominations sharing spaces) , etc. We know, historically, every society needs strong communities which support families and allow freedom of worship. Thus, with this suggestion, these needs are addressed as well.

5. Existing Programs: Inner city development and business

Proposed National Service Corps

City Year Program now in place in Boston

Enterprise Zones which are inclusive, not exclusive

Just as Lincoln "corrected" the constitution (which allowed slavery) by re-interpreting it through the lens of the Declaration of Independence (Gettysburg address: "all are created equal") , which corrected the social side of things, this type of approach, using the same technique, can use Lincoln's notions of unity and nationhood to "correct" the reconstruction of the 19th century which did not follow his outline once he was assassinated (part of that "correction came during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960's; now we have to complete that "correction") by now adding to the social side the economic side.

It behooves us in the Twin Cities to establish our own project before one is established for us. The above adds good new ideas to good old ones, and is inclusive on all fronts: investment and development, business and government, jobs and training, non-profits and not-for-profits, race and ethnicity, income and class, while still taking a "lets make haste slowly" approach to test them out. Lets test them out to show they will work. The suburbs won't be safe until the cities are. And the country has no real future until all the citizens have a future. You can't have growth and development and be an industrial super power for long (let alone "at all") , unless all of the population is engaged, a population that is educated and mobile. Doing so would end the negative economics of racism, and include all into the American Dream.

(IV) An appendix of references

(and a short "in context" bio of the author)

There is no shortage of ideas regarding "what to do" to "reconstruct" society, to improve upon Jefferson's project of "Inventing America," as the books listed below clearly demonstrate. It is important to note that most of these are very recent. The Metropolitan Council can lead the way to this reconstruction n the Twin Cities. These titles also demonstrate the nuances and shades of meaning and honest differences of opinion or perspective of honorable people. They also reflect what happens when our social cohesion is lessened when civility, morals, common sense, and law order either dissolve or are abandoned.

We need the will (political will, economic will, corporate will, personal will) to deal with both the ideas and the empirical facts, to extract from them what we need, and to use them as our building blocks for building the economic powerhouse and social peace in the minds of all of us, doing so "objectively" on clearly understood values, not in some blind ideological manner. During our first hundred years, we saw ourselves the opposite of the old world and its sins. In the second hundred years we became an advanced model of the old world. In our third century, will we generate the inner resolve to see ourselves as different from the Third World and its sins, or will we become an advanced model of them as well?

Ideas and programs should be approached like manufacturing, seeking a balance between TQM, JIT, and ZDM (Total Quality Management, Just In Time delivery, and Zero Defects Management). The following list is by no means exhaustive; but it certainly is instructive. The reader could add from his or her favorites. Finally, most of these are not scholarly works, but rather popular works based on scholarly undertakings.

Regarding Economics, Capitalism, and "Modernity" (our time in history) :

1. The Capitalist Revolution: Fifty Propositions About Prosperity, Equality, and Liberty, by Peter L. Berger

2. The Homeless Mind: Modernization and Consciousness, by Peter L. Berger, et al.

3. Hidden Technocrats: The New Class and New Capitalism, by Hansfried Kellner and Frank W. Heuberger

4. Doing Well and Doing Good: The Challenge to the Christian Capitalist, by Richard John Neuhaus

5. Hard Heads, Soft Hearts: Tough-Minded Economics for a Just Society," by Alan S. Blinder

6. The Moral Dimension: Toward a New Economics, by Amitai Etzioni

7. The Culture of Entrepreneurship, Edited by Brigitte Berger

8. The E Myth, by Michael D. Gerber

9. Adjusting to Reality: Beyond "State vs. Market" in Economic Development, by Robert Klitgaard

10. Free Enterprise Without Poverty: A bold plan. Full-fledged capitalism┘with economic security, by Leonard M. Greene

11. The Road to Serfdom: A classic warning against the dangers to freedom inherent in social planning, by Friedrich A. Hayek

12. The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism, by Michael Novak

13. With Liberty and Justice for Whom?The Recent Evangelical Debate over Capitalism, by Craig M. Gay.

14. The Disuniting of America: Reflections on A Multicultural Society, by Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.

15. A Far Glory: The Quest for Faith in an Age of Credulity, by Peter L. Berger

Regarding Critiques of the Present System

1. America: What Went Wrong?, by Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele

2. Who Will Tell the People: The Betrayal of American Democracy, by William Greider

3. Why Americans Hate Politics, by E. J. Dionne, Jr.

4. The Unraveling of America: A History of Liberalism in the 1960's, by Allen J. Matusow

5. The Truly Disadvantaged: The Inner City, the Underclass, and Public Policy, by William Julius Wilson

6. Rethinking Social Policy: Race, Poverty, and the Underclass, by Christopher Jencks

7. Beyond the Safety Net: Reviving the Promise of Opportunity in America, by Sar A. Levitan and Clifford M. Johnson

8. A Dream Deferred: America's Discontent and the Search for a New Democratic Ideal, by Philip Slater

9. The Rise of Selfishness in America, by James Lincoln Collier

10. The Politics of Rich and Poor: Wealth and the American Electorate in the Reagan Aftermath, by Kevin Philips

11. The Rich Get Richer: The Rise of Income Inequality in the United States and the World," by Denny Braun

12. The New Class War: Reagan's Attack on the Welfare State and its Consequences, by Frances Fox Piven & Richard A Cloward

13. Falling from Grace: The Experience of Downward Mobility in the American Middle Class, by Katherine S. Newman

Regarding collaborative solution candidates for the "economics of racism" vis a vis Social Policy: SPECIFIC SUGGESTIONS for Reconstructing our Society

1. Reinventing Government: How the Entrepreneurial Spirit is Transforming the Public Sector:

From Schoolhouse to Statehouse, City Hall to Pentagon, by David Osborn and Ted Gaebler

2. An Aristocracy of Everyone: The Politics of Education and the Future of America, by Benjamin R Barber.

3. Pyramids of Sacrifice: Political Ethics and Social Change, by Peter L. Berger

4. Inventing America: Jefferson's Declaration of Independence, by Garry Wills

5. Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words That Remade America, by Garry Wills

6. The Promise of the New South: Life After Reconstruction, by Edward L. Ayers

7. Rebuilding America: A Blueprint for the New Economy, by Gar Alperovitz and Jeff Faux

8. The Limits of Social Policy, by Nathan Glazer

9. Losing Ground: American Social Policy, 1950-1980, by Charles Murray

10. In Pursuit of Happiness and Good Government, by Charles Murray

11. The Meaning of American Federalism: Constituting a Self-Governing Society, by Vincent Ostrom

Regarding specific examples of grass roots collaborative solutions

1. How Neighbors Are Helping Neighbors, a report of the National Association of Neighborhoods

2. Citizens and Politics: A View from Main Street America, Prepared for the Kettering Foundation by the Harwood Group

3. The Altruistic Personality: Rescuers of Jews in Nazi Europe: What Led Ordinary Men and Women to Risk Their Lives on Behalf of Others? by Samuel P. Olinerand Pearl M. Oliner.

4. The Undeserving Poor: From the War on Poverty to the War on Welfare, by Michael B. Katz

5. Belonging in America: Reading Between the Lines, by Constance Perin

6. Commonwealth: A Return to Citizen Politics, by Harry C. Boyte

7. Free Spaces: The Sources of Democratic Change in America, by Sara M. Evans and Harry C. Boyte.

8. Community is Possible: Repairing America's Roots, by Harry C. Boyte

9. Making the Commons Work: Theory, Practice, and Policy, General Editor Danial W. Bromley

10. The Question of the Commons: The Culture and Ecology of Communal Resources, Editors Bonnie J. McCay and James M. Acheson

Regarding the concept of "community" and the "good society"

1. Self-Reliant Cities: Energy and the Transformation of Urban America, by David Morris

2. The Good Society, by Robert N. Bellah, et al.

3. The Quest for Community: A Study in the Ethics of Order and Freedom, by Robert Nisbet

Regarding Society, Civility, Democracy, and Civil Society (of which economics is a part)

1. Strong Democracy: Participatory Politics for a New Age, by Benjamin Barber

2. The Idea of a Civil Society, National Humanities Center publication

3. Gratitude: Reflections on What We Owe to Our Country, by William F. Buckley, Jr.

4. The Ordeal of Civility: Freud, Marx, Levi-Strauss, and the Jewish Struggle with Modernity, by John Murray Cuddihy

5. The Work of Nations: Preparing Ourselves for 21st Century Capitalism, by Robert B. Reich

6. The Next American Frontier, by Robert B. Reich

7. Tales of a New America: The Anxious Liberal's Guide to the Future, by Robert B. Reich

8. The Resurgent Liberal and Other Unfashionalbel Prophecies, by Robert B. Reich

9. A Responsive Society: Collected Essays on Guiding Deliberate Social Change, by Amitai Etzioni

10. Beyond Race and Gender, by R. Roosevelt Thomas, Jr.

Regarding the Cities and Population Clusters in the U. S. A. , as well as Clusters in terms of Race, Poverty, and the Underclass

1. City: Rediscovering the Center, by Willam H. Whyte

2. Where we Live, by Irving Welfeld

3. Edge City: Life on the New Frontier, by Joel Garreau

4. The Nine Nations of North America, by Joel Garreau

5. The Clustering of America, by Michael J. Weiss

6. Commonwealth: A Return to Citizen Politics, by Harry C. Boyte

7. Free Spaces: The Sources of Democratic Change in America, by Sara M. Evans and Harry C. Boyte.

Regarding Management, Leadership, and Perspectives on the Future of Collaborative Solutions

1. Liberation Management: Necessary Disorganization for the Nanosecond Nineties, by Tom Peters

2. Visionary Leadership, by Burt Nanus

3. How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie

4. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey

5. Principle-Centered Leadership, by Stephen R. Covey

6. Leaders: The Strategies for Taking Charge, by Warren Bennis & Burt Nanus

7. The Deming Managment Method, by Mary Walton

8. Managing for the Future: The 1990's and Beyond, by Peter F. Drucker

9. Teaching the Elephant to Dance: Empowering Change in Your Organization, by James A. Belasco

10. The Next Century, by David Halberstam

11. Crystal Globe: The Haves and Have-Nots of The New World Order, by Marvin Cetron and Owen Davies

12. Encounters with the Future: A Forecast of Life into the 21st Century, by Marvin Cetron and Thomas O/Toole.

13. The Lighting of Empowerment: How to Improave Quality, Productivity, and EmployeeSatisfaction, by William C. Byham

Regarding Values Related to the Economics of Racism and the Debates and Conflicts in the Efforts to Define "America" and "American"

1. The Content of Our Character: A New Vision of Race in Amerfica, by Shelby Steele

2. Beyond Black or White: An Alternate America, Edited by Vernon J. Dixon and Badi Foster.

3. They and We: Racial and Ethnic Relations in the United States, by Peter I. Rose

4. Cities on a Hill: A Journey Through Contemporary American Cultures, by Frances Fitzgerald

5. America Revised: History Schoolbooks in the Twentieth Century, by Frances Fitzgerald

6. A Dream Deferred: America's Discontent and the Search for a New Democratic Ideal, by Philip Slater

7. The Passion of the Western Mind: Understanding the Ideas That Have Shaped our World View, by Richard Tarnas

8. Educating for Character: How Our Schools Can Teach Respect and Responsibility, by Thomas Lickona

9. American Social Character: Modern Interpretations, Edited by Rupert Wilkinson

10. Within Our Reach: Breaking the Cycle of Disadvantage, by Lisbeth B. Schorr

Regarding Relevant History Relating to the "Economics of Racism"

1. We the People: Foundations, by Bruce Ackerman

2. Freedom in the Making of Western Culture, by Orlando Patterson

3. Let Freedom Ring: A Documentary History of the Modern Civil Rights Movement, by Peter B. Levy

4. The Crooked Timber of Humanity: Chapters in the History of Ideas, by Isaiah Berlin

5. The Quantum Self: Human Nature and Consciousness Defined by the New Physics, by Danah Zohar

6. Childhood's Future, by Richard Louv

7. The Meaning of American Federalism: Consituting a Self-Governing Society," by Vincent Ostrom

8. The Common Good: Its Politics, Policies and Philosophy, by Marcus G. Raskin

9. Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965, by Juan Williams.

10. Voices of Freedom: An Oral History of the Civil Rights Movement from the 1950's through the1980's, by Henry Hampton and Steve Fayer

11. Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life, by Robert N. Bellah, et al.

12. Individualism and Commitment in American Life: Readings on the Themes of Habits of the Heart, Edited by Robert N. Bellah, et. al.

13. Culture Wars: The Struggle to Define America: Making sense of the battles over the family, art, education, law, and politics, by James Davison Hunter

14. The Closing of the American Mind, by Alan Bloom

15. Inquiry and Change: The Troubled Attempt to Understand and Shape Society, by Charles E. Lindblom

Regarding the Question of Justice, especially as it relates to the "Economics of Racism"

1. A Theory of Justice, by John Rawls

2. Anarchy, State, and Utopia, by Robert Nozick

3. A Passion for Justice: Emotions and the Origins of the Social Contract, by Robert C. Solomon

4. With Justice for All, by John Perkins

5. The Faces of Injustice, by Judith N. Shklar

6. Six Theories of Justice: Perspectives fromPhilosophical and Theological Ethics, by Karen Lebacqz

7. Justice in an Unjust World: Foundations for a Christian Approach to Justice, by Karen Lebacqz

8. Struggles for Justice: Social Responsibility and the Liberal State, by Alan Dawley