Jul 10, 2011

The disappearing black middle class



Princeton Prof Cornell West
Eye Opener
Guest Editorial... Chi Sun Times

Millions of Americans endured financial calamities in the recession. But for many in the black community, job loss has knocked them out of the middle class and back into poverty. And some experts warn of a historic reversal of hard-won economic gains that took black people decades to achieve.

“History is going to say the black middle class was decimated” over the past few years, said Maya Wiley, director of the Center for Social Inclusion. “But we’re not done writing history.”

Adds Algernon Austin, director of the Economic Policy Institute’s Program on Race, Ethnicity and the Economy: “The recession is not over for black folks.”

In 2004, the median net worth of white households was $134,280, compared with $13,450 for black households, according to an analysis of Federal Reserve data by the Economic Policy Institute. By 2009, the median net worth for white households had fallen 24 percent to $97,860; the median net worth for black households had fallen 83 percent to $2,170, according to the institute.

Austin described the wealth gap this way: “In 2009, for every dollar of wealth the average white household had, black households only had two cents.”

Austin thinks more black people than ever before could fall out of the middle class because the unemployment rate for college-educated blacks recently peaked and blacks are overrepresented in state and local government jobs. Those are jobs that are being eliminated because of massive budget shortfalls.

  More from the Chicago Sun Times


-0-
 
Treasury Secretary says many Americans will face hard times for a long time to come.

Timothy Geithner says President Barack Obama rescued the United States from a second Great Depression and will keep working to strengthen the economy. But Geithner says will be some time before many people feel like the country is recovering.

Geithner tells NBC's "Meet the Press" that it's a very tough economy. He says that for a lot of people "it's going to feel very hard, harder than anything they've experienced in their lifetime now, for a long time to come."   More from Yahoo.com

-0-

Financial Times:  Obama learning the hard way about the GOP


Amid disturbing signs that the US recovery has stalled, President Barack Obama took a huge gamble in his approach to the debt-ceiling talks last week. Believing he had an understanding with John Boehner, leader of the Republicans in the House of Representatives, he declared he wanted a $4,000bn “grand bargain” on the budget. Barely a day later, Mr Boehner said the deal was off. By Sunday evening, with talks about to resume at the White House, the president’s gambit appeared to have failed.   Read MUCH MORE from FT...

No comments: