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June 5, 2023

This is interesting, in light of all the claims that black people can’t get ahead because America is so racist. It’s an analysis of what lies behind a surprising fact: Idaho is the only state where blacks earn more than whites. Black weekly income on average is 106% of mean weekly white income. This despite the fact that blacks are only 1% of Idaho’s population, making them even more of a minority than in the US in general, where they’re 13% of the population.

The study looked at a number of factors, both historical and current. For instance, in its early years, Idaho needed workers so it didn’t have oppressive racist laws as other states did. Also, it is a very free market, low-regulation, pro-property rights state, where blacks could own businesses and farms and have the freedom to work hard and succeed.

But what’s most interesting is the current social situation. In Idaho, communities are cohesive, churches and religious beliefs are strong, families stay together (the number of single-parent black households headed by women is 6% in Idaho compared to 26% nationally), and black families are much more likely to have a positive male role model in the home.

As that article states, the study shows that a “culture of meritocracy based upon a level playing field, as evidenced by the black experience in Idaho, creates prosperity.” This is not to deny that racism is a problem, especially in places that don’t have Idaho’s history. But it does show just how much control anyone can exert over their own future success if they just make good personal choices.

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