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[Readings]

System of a Clown

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From an interview of Larry Kudlow, the director of the National Economic Council, by Sara Eisen, the cohost of Closing Bell on CNBC, conducted in June.

sara eisen: Larry, I just wanted to follow up on something you told reporters last week. You said, “I don’t believe there’s systemic racism in the U.S.,” which I found surprising given the moment that we’re in.

larry kudlow: Well, I don’t believe in systemic racism. I think the American system is the best system ever devised for mankind. Here’s a thought: the first black president was elected twice and he got seventy-nine million white votes. Therefore I find it hard to understand something called “systemic racism.” You know, I’m old enough to remember the Fifties.

eisen: Larry—

kudlow: You gotta watch this PBS documentary about the great black jurist and Supreme Court justice—um, uh—whose name I’ve forgotten. Sorry, I’ve forgotten him. My point is this: we can learn from our history.

eisen: Larry—

kudlow: Is this a systemic problem? No. Systemic means America is bad. America is wrong.

eisen: Larry, I think you have to look at the explanations for why the net worth of a white family is ten times more than the net worth of a black family. Or why a black family led by a household with an advanced degree doesn’t make as much as a white family led by a household member with a high school degree. The statistics are endless. That’s what people are referring to when they talk about systemic racism in society.

kudlow: Number one, I’m not sure what systemic means. But I do not believe in whatever it may mean.

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September 2020