Friday, January 13, 2012

Report: U.S. Moves Toward Minority-Majority, But Racial Economic Inequalities Will Persist

Martin Luther King, Jr. Image: Library of Congress
Boston, MA In 2042, thirty years from now, the United States will be a majority minority country. However, if we continue on the same path that we've taken for the last thirty years, the economic divide between races won't be significantly reduced by 2042. In many regards, it will be considerably worse.

United for a Fair Economy’s ninth annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day report, State of the Dream 2012: The Emerging Majority, assesses the state of the racial economic divide since the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980, and uses the trends of the last thirty years to project thirty years forward to 2042.

The report finds that the past thirty years of public policy has done little to address racial economic disparities. If the current trends continue, the racial economic divide will be immense in 2042 across a wide variety of indicators. Progress toward economic parity between Black and White is slow and inconsistent and, in some cases, inequality is increasing. Latinos who account for most of the growth of the population are, in most cases, experiencing a decrease in economic well being relative to Whites.

If the current trends continue:

Income: Black and Latino median incomes will be 61 cents 45 cents, respectively, for every dollar of median White income in 2042. Blacks will have gained only 4 cents while Latinos will have lost 15 cents of median income relative to Whites from 2010 to 2042.

Poverty: In 2010, poverty rates among Blacks (25.7%) and Latinos (25.4%) were more than two and a half times the White poverty rate. By 2042, the Black and Latino poverty rates will remain 1.9 times and 2.6 times that of the White poverty rate.

Jobs: The current unemployment rates stand at 7.5 percent for Whites, 15.8 percent for Blacks and 11 percent for Latinos. In 2042, Black and Latino unemployment will be 1.8 times and 1.5 times higher than White unemployment, respectively.

Wealth: By 2042, Blacks and Latinos will both have lost ground in average wealth, holding only 19 cents and 25 cents for each dollar of White wealth. The average net worth of Black and Latino families in 2007 was 20 cents and 27 cents, respectively, for every dollar of White net worth.

Higher Education: Black adults were 60 percent as likely to have a college degree as White adults in 2010, while Latino adults were only 42 percent as likely as Whites to have a college degree. By 2042, Black will be 76 percent as likely as Whites to have earned a college degree; Latinos will have become even less likely (37 percent) than Whites to have a college degree.

Incarceration: In 2010, Blacks were a staggering 6.1 times more likely to be incarcerated than Whites. Latinos were 2.5 times more likely than Whites to be incarcerated, and this figure does not include the disproportionately Latino population being held in immigration detention centers. In 2042, Blacks will still be six times and Latinos two times as likely as Whites to be incarcerated.

It does not have to be this way

Public policy does not have to follow the course that it has been on since Reagan. The growing share of the non-White population presents an opportunity for Blacks and Latinos to build political power. In the current era of extraordinary economic inequality, the fate of the vast majority of the White population is more connected with the economic interests of Blacks and Latinos than with the ruling political elite.

Shifting from the dominant conservative public policy direction of the last thirty years that has not addressed racial equality will require a broad coalition dedicated to eliminating the racial economic divide.

The report proposes policy solutions to significantly reduce the racial divide. Foreclosure relief, federal aid to states and targeted job creation programs are needed to both combat the economic slump and to reduce racial economic disparities. Longer-term strategies including wealth-building programs, increasing taxes on the rich, strengthening safety net programs, ending the war on drugs, and humane immigration reform are needed in order to substantially reduce the racial inequality.

The racial economic divide is the legacy of centuries of White supremacy practiced as national policy. As a nation, we honor Martin Luther King Jr. with a holiday, but we tolerate the perpetuation of racial inequality that he dedicated his life to fighting. 

If we don't change course, our economy won't be able to bear the swelling numbers of Blacks and Latinos out of work, in poverty and in prison. Without a powerful and sustained political movement aligned not just along the lines of race but by economic interests, Whites will still make a disproportionate share of the national income and hold an overwhelming majority of the nation’s wealth and power in 2042.

Source: United for a Fair Economy


Vicente Duque said...

Arizona : Organizations and groups who have ve been fighting on a grassroots level against SB 1070 are now turning their attention to voter registration, get out the vote, and throwing their support behind political candidates, on every level, from city council to U.S. Congres

The genie is out of the bottle now, Latinos in Arizona realize that Republicans are against them. SB 1070-inspired a big protest movement that was very intense, but that level of intensity is not sustainable forever. That’s when people began to run for city council and school board and the state legislature and Congress. The idea was to take the ethos of the grassroots movement to the establishment.
Anti-Latino Politics in Arizona spurs New Political Leadership
By Sara Inés Calderón
January 18, 2012

Some excerpts :

The anti-Latino political environment that has characterized Arizona’s state politics for the past several years is beginning to have it unintended consequence: empowering Latinos in that state to run for public office. What it comes down to is that organizations and groups of people who’ve been fighting on a grassroots level to combat the policies of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and SB 1070 are now turning their attention to voter registration, get out the vote, and throwing their support behind political candidates, on every level, from city council to U.S. Congress.

NewsTaco spoke to a couple beneficiaries of this political environment, as well as the state Democratic Party. As Arpaio is a Republican, and SB 1070 was proposed and signed by Republican politicians, the Democratic Party in Arizona has emerged as the party of choice for Latinos looking to shake up the state of affairs there. And, we’ve been told that the Barack Obama campaign, as well as the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, are investing in these young Latino leaders and organizers in hopes of boosting registration and voter turnout.

Currently there are about 500,000 registered Latino voters in Arizona; 47% are registered as Democrats, 15% as Republicans and 37% as independents.

“SB 1070 certainly served as a rallying point, and we’ve seen consistent evidence of that with an exciting level of enthusiasm across the party heading into 2012,” Arizona Democratic Party Communications Director Andy Barr told NewsTaco. “All the new leaders and organizers who we’ve had step up in the party has already led to electoral success – helping boost turnout for our recent victories in Phoenix and Tucson, as well as in the recall of the bill’s author, Russell Pearce.”


Billie Greenwood said...

That sounds great, Vicente. Where oppression is worst, resistance is greatest. You're aware, no doubt, of the Tucson controversy over cancellation of Mexican-American Studies? I need to post about that. It really bothers me: sleepless night last night.

Vicente Duque said...

Thanks Billie - I am super optimistic that Arizona is going to change. American History is a progress to better things.


I have to take my medications against craziness, because I am a super Obama Fan, and all the polls, bets, stars, tarots, and crystall balls are telling me that Obama is going to win by a Big Landslide

Even the flight of birds and patterns of lightning announce a Big Obama Win in November 6, 2012

Obama attracts 44% of whites (compared to 43% in 2008) and 79% of non-whites (compared to 80% in 2008). Obama attracts 49% of whites with at least a four year college degree (compared to 47% against McCain) and 41% of whites without one (compared to 40% in 2008)

Against McCain, Obama won 56 percent of women; Pew finds him drawing 59 percent against Romney. Obama is starting to advance in the white working-class "waitress moms" who strongly preferred McCain. Romney's image among independents has sharply deteriorated.

No wonder that Casinos, Gamblers, Bettors and Bookies are betting at a rate of 60% for President Obama. Bet 60 dollars to win 100 minus taxes and fees ( in case that Obama wins reelection ).