What does it mean to be denied “access”?
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Statistics on the average credit ratings of people in different racial groups likewise seldom saw the light of day. The average credit ratings of whites were higher than the average credit ratings of blacks, and the average credit ratings of Asian Americans were higher than the average credit ratings of whites.
But to lay all these facts before the public and say, “We report, you decide” might well result in the public’s deciding that banks and other financial institutions prefer lending to individuals who were more likely to pay them back.
Also lost in media stories was the fact that many, if not most, of the financial officials who actually made loan approval decisions never laid eyes on the people who applied, but based their decisions on the paperwork sent by those who dealt directly with the applicants.
Equal “access” does not automatically lead to equal outcomes, either in lending institutions or in basketball, or anywhere else. But words like “access” have led to much political success and much economic disaster, the housing market being just one example.
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