Thursday, January 21, 2010

Economic Structural Racism in the USA


State of the Dream 2010/ - Drained:
Jobless and Foreclosed in Communities of Color

The December 2009 unemployment rates for African Americans and Latinos jumped to a higher level than any annual rate in the past 27 years. Black unemployment is now 16.2% and Latino unemployment is at 12.9%, while white unemployment just fell for the second month in a row.

The 7th annual report for Martin Luther King Day contains data and analysis that shows how untargeted economic stimulus spending mostly reaches white people. African Americans and Latinos are continuing to disproportionately experience economic hardships.

Economic Rivers: Jobs and Unemployment

• Blacks earn 62 cents for every dollar of white income, and Latinos earn 68 cents for
every dollar of white income.

• Blacks and Latinos are 2.9 and 2.7 times as likely, respectively, to live in poverty than

• Black and Latino children are 3.3 and 2.9 times as likely, respectively, to live in poverty
than white children.

• In at least two states, Michigan and Ohio, African-American unemployment is expected
to exceed 20% in 2010.

• Unemployment disparities vary by region.
o In five Midwestern and Plains states, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and
Oklahoma, the unemployment rate for Blacks was at least 3 times that of whites.

- more -

o In another eight, Indiana, Louisiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Kansas, Colorado,
Mississippi, and New Jersey, the unemployment rate for Blacks was at least 2.5
times higher than that of whites.

o Among Latinos, the widest disparities were in Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South
Dakota, Connecticut, and Iowa, states where the unemployment rate among
Latinos was at least twice as high as whites.
Economic Reservoirs: Wealth and Assets

• Whites are 34 times more likely to have a median net wealth over $3.5 million than
African-Americans, based on new analysis of Survey of Consumer Finance data.
• An estimated 3.4 million families will have experienced foreclosure in 2009.
Policy Recommendations:

• Target job creation in high-unemployment communities.

• Tracking job creation efforts / equity assessments.

• Recommit to affirmative action policies.

• An immediate moratorium on foreclosures.

• Keep families in their homes through federal loan modification programs, and
modification of bankruptcy laws.

• Strengthen financial regulation to end predatory practices.

• Expand use of Individual Development Accounts (IDAs).

• Preserve the Estate Tax.

• Tax Capital Gains and Dividends the Same as Ordinary Income.

• Strengthening the Federal Income Tax / Let Bush Tax Cuts Expire.

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