Economic justice

Promoting economic justice | Regulatory Review

Experts examine how regulators and lawmakers can support low-income communities.

The United States is do the experience unprecedented economic inequalities.

As the gap between low-income and affluent communities widens, the socio-economic characteristics of these groups also diverge. Low-income people are more likely to to be people of color, to have less education, inhabit in segregated neighborhoods, experience financial exclusion and interact with law enforcement. Therefore, members of low-income communities face overlapping systemic disadvantages affecting almost every aspect of life.

While regulators and legislators across the country can address the breadth of issues affecting low-income communities, those who focus on consumer law play a distinct role in promoting economic mobility for people from vulnerable communities. Rather than examining the problems associated with low income, they can address issues such as disparities in credit and debt markets that affect how members of low-income communities achieve financial stability and build wealth.

Regulatory Review invited scholars and advocates to discuss issues affecting low-income communities and the role regulation can play in promoting economic justice. Regulatory Review hopes this series will inspire our readers to think about the issues that affect the daily lives of the most vulnerable members of society.

The contributors to this series are: Zacharie BestRelman Colfax; Kate DuganPhiladelphia Community Legal Services; Remington A. GreggAirbnb; Stephen F HayesRelman Colfax; Lynn LuCity University of New York School of Law; Manisha Padi, University of California, Berkeley, School of Law; and Karuna PatelFeerick Center for Social Justice at Fordham University Law School.


March 28, 2022 | Remington A. Gregg, Airbnb

The CFPB can promote consumer access to justice by reinstating limits on the use of forced arbitration clauses.


March 29, 2022 | Manisha Padi, University of California, Berkeley, School of Law

Policymakers should address situations in which companies use their discretion to apply standardized contracts differently for people from vulnerable communities.


March 30, 2022 | Karuna Patel, Feerick Center for Social Justice at Fordham University Law School

New York lawmakers provide an example of how states can reduce high interest rates on unpaid debts that disproportionately hurt low-income consumers.


SBA should change its criminal history rules

April 4, 2022 | Zachary Best and Stephen Hayes, Relman Colfax

Federal loan programs for small businesses likely violate anti-discrimination laws because of the disparate impact these programs have on people of color.


Increase protections for low-income homeowners

April 5, 2022 | Kate Dugan, Community Legal Services of Philadelphia

philadelphia cream passed legislation to prevent predatory home buying schemes by residential real estate wholesalers, helping low-income homeowners build intergenerational wealth.


Cash aid is not just fun and games

April 6, 2022 | Lynn Lu, City University of New York School of Law

Policy makers need to diversify the sources of information on which machine learning depends before using automated decision-making systems in cash assistance programs.