Dr. Steven Gold, a professor in the Department of Sociology and Dr. Jeffrey Oliver, a visiting assistant professor and a recent graduate of the Department’s PhD program recently published an article in an issue of The Conversation dedicated to Black History Month. The Conversation is an independent channel of information, analysis and opinion – sourced from the rich expertise of the university and research sector. http://theconversation.com/ The title of the article is “Will Trump’s ‘Color-Blind’ Pro-Business Policies Will Help Black Entrepreneurs, Too?”
In the article, Gold and Oliver consider the fate of black entrepreneurship under the Trump Administration. They point out that at least since the late 1800s, black scholars, activists and entrepreneurs have looked to self-employment as a means of supporting their community and overcoming discriminatory treatment from members of the larger society. Responding to this aspiration, every presidential administration since that of Richard Nixon has maintained policies, currently termed affirmative action, that provide government assistance for the establishment and growth of minority owned businesses.
While rejecting affirmative action as a means of assisting the economic advancement of disadvantaged populations, the new administration highlights the creation of an environment conducive to business growth as a means of improving the US economy. This is to be achieved through the reduction of taxes and regulations, investing in infrastructure and via the revitalization of manufacturing industries.
Gold and Oliver reason that the impact of Trump administration economic policies on black businesses offers a natural experiment which will allow for the evaluation of pro-business policies on minority business growth. If the pro-business environment facilitates the expansion of black entrepreneurship, the benefits of these policies should be evident in due time. However, if entrepreneurial growth is negligible, then observers may conclude that the pro-business policies emphasized by the Trump administration are insufficient to allow for the fulfillment of African Americans’ longstanding desire to create a viable business community.
Also, congratulations to Jeffery Oliver for his recent placement at Brigham Young University- Idaho as an assistant professor of Sociology. He will be teaching Race and Ethnic Relations, and Research Methods in fall 2017.