Congrats on the very sound decision to rename the public policy school. Besides the well-researched segregation stances of Woodrow Wilson, an incremental reason for removing Wilson’s name is his legacy as a founder of the Federal Reserve system, which continues to deprive millions of low-income people from owning real property. The Federal Reserve’s near constant bailout tendencies and inflation-prone policy leanings increase nominal real property prices and enrich existing real property owners, steadily adding barriers to ownership for potential first generation real property owners. This impact is real and profound and especially drives massive inflation of real property prices in towns with strong public school systems. Real property owners in these towns benefit as nominal prices rise and so does their borrowing capacity against their appreciated real property values. In contrast, low-income members of society are increasingly locked out.

Wilson’s views on race were toxic at best, but his role in creating the modern banking system that widens the wealth gap by inflating nominal prices of real property might be the most persistent racist outcome of his presidency.

James (Jim) Lane ’92
Westfield, N.J.