No More Black Middle Class, Thanks Obama… : ThyBlackMan.com

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


No More Black Middle Class, Thanks Obama…

July 10, 2011 by  
Filed under Misc., Money, News, Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

(ThyBlackMan.com) 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.

Since the end of the recession, which lasted from 2007 to 2009, the overall unemployment rate has fallen from 9.4 to 9.1 percent, while the black unemployment rate has risen from 14.7 to 16.2 percent, according to the Department of Labor. Last April, black male unemployment hit the highest rate since the government began keeping track in 1972. Only 56.9 percent of black men over 20 were working, compared with 68.1 percent of white men.

Even college-educated blacks fared worse than their white counterparts in the recession. In 2007, unemployment for college-educated whites was 1.8 percent; for college-educated blacks it was 2.7 percent. Now, the college-educated unemployment rate is 3.9 percent for whites and 7 percent for blacks.

Nearly 8 percent of African Americans who bought homes from 2005 to 2008 have lost them to foreclosure, compared with 4.5 percent of whites, according to an estimate by the Center for Responsible Lending.

Some see a bitter irony in soaring black unemployment and the decline of the black middle class on the watch of the first black president.

“I thought Barack Obama could have provided some way out. But he lacks backbone,” Princeton Professor Cornel West told truthdig.com recently.

West said Obama sold out the poor to become “a black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black puppet of corporate plutocrats. . . . I don’t think in good conscience I could tell anybody to vote for Obama.”

Wiley said Obama should be applauded for several initiatives that have helped the black middle class, such as programs to modify certain mortgages and prevent foreclosure because of job loss. But she would like Obama to aggressively counter the suggestion that first black president would be showing favoritism if he specifically helped black people.

“It’s the right thing to do for the nation,” she said. “Black people are a huge segment of the population, they’re especially hard-hit, and the country cannot recover if the black community — as well as the white community and others — does not recover.”

 Written By Jesse Washington

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Comments

9 Responses to “No More Black Middle Class, Thanks Obama…”
  1. ulo media says:

    With or without Obama,black folks have been going backwards just a few years after the civil rights act. We lost community,some got rich and selfish, jobs outsourced, drug and gang culture took hold of our young men, now, it’ll be at least another 100 years of stupor for the black masses. The proof as They say, is in the Pudding.

  2. Mack says:

    The title of this article is kinda slanderous and misleading. Most of the stats quoted were pre-Obama. Lets take the blinders off and understand a few things:

    1. There has never been a ‘black’ middleclass. You would have to be on equal status and terms with the ‘white’ middleclass in order for that to happen. Middleclass people could determine where they wanted to live, work, worship. Can you honestly say blacks could ever do that in America? We still live in a nation where Sundown Towns are allowed to exist, and where most First Basptist churches look about as mixed as a bowl of rice…in 2012!

    2. There are 2 Americas: America the idea, and America the reality. One is a concept, the other is basically a corporation. Which leads me to number 3:

    3. America is a corporation; not a country.

    4. The President is basically the CEO of America the coporation. Therefore he/she doesn’t answer to the American people; but to the corporate interests who back their individual candidacies.

    5. You’re not really a citizen; you’re a resource. Ever hear of the term ‘HUMAN RESOURCE’…?
    You’re not a person; you’re a unit of production. Why do you think you were assigned a number at birth (social security)?

    6. Democrats and Republicans/Liberals and Conservatives…2 different sides of the same coin. Whether left wing or right wing, both wings work together to move the whole ‘bird’ in the same direction: towards One World Government. They basically play ‘good cop bad cop’ with us.

    7. Solutions are simple:

    -Own property. I’m talking real estate here
    -Wean yourselves off of consumerism. Teach your kids to do the same.
    -Turn off the TV set and rediscover the art of reading.
    -Eat healthier, more natural foods. This will help offset many unnecessary future healthcare costs
    -Always pay yourself first; even before you pay taxes. Save no less than 10% from every paycheck
    -Use your job as a means to entrepreneurship
    -The less you rely on government, the less you’ll be controlled by government. Consequently the more valuable you become to government. *The hand of the DILLIGENT shall bear rule (Proverbs 12:24)
    -Stop living FOR your religion. Your religion should be serving YOU. Use your religion to give you guiding principles to live by. And nothing more.
    -Whenever possible, direct young people AWAY from joining the military. Why fight and die for a nation that allows redlining to continue, racial profiling to go on, slavery to exist through mass incarcerations, and the existence of Sundown Towns? Let those who benefit the most from the system fight and die to preserve it.

    These are just a few solutions that I came up with off the top of my head. Imagine what we could come up with if we REALLY put our collective minds to it.

    Mack

  3. Steph says:

    Message to Hello:

    Your comment just confirms what I wrote in the past on this website. If you don’t provide solutions, you are part of the problem. In addition, it has been a while that I questionned why there is no job section on this website. As I can see the status quo remains, there is still no job section.

  4. Larry says:

    We as a people need to mobilize and declare our political independence. The only way we will be taken serious is if we stop blindly following the democratic party. Why do you think that both political parties pander to hispanics? Even though hispanics generally vote democratic, 40% voted for G W Bush.Politicians know that they will vote their interests – we must do the same if we ever hope to regain our political voice. Yes, we did out vote hispanics in 2008 as we have in every election but, we do not split our vote.

  5. Ron M. says:

    I’m of mixed heritage, if race really matters, and I’d like to point out that President has indeed sold out to crony “corporatism’. He panders to big corporations like Monsanto. Just check out the FDA and the appointees from the administration. Most have come from Big Pharma and Monsanto and rather than promoting health they are promoting profits in things like genetically engineered food, mercury amalgams which poison us, and so on. The biggest example is the Wall Street bail out and Euro Banks from the Federal Reserve Bank. We The People are the collateral of all this paper money spending. Obama says he’s anti-war yet he promoted the War on Libya and still has us in Afghanistan where americans of all color are dying and getting maimed for no reason. Of all the candidates only Ron Paul and Gov. Gary Johnson (New Mexico) are clean of crony corporatism. Just my opinion.

  6. Quit blaming says:

    The Devil is a damn liar…amongst this so called recession the Lord had blessed me and since I was homeless and a felon…you know I was poor but ever since Obama became President,.he inspired me to go bacl to school and now I wil be the first person in my family to, make $ 6 figures. I love my president he has inspired me!! I now work in the same poor communities, I lived in and let my brothers and sisters know…research your career because working for the government is not guaranteed!!.Thanks President Obama because his position isnt guaranteed but trust he is a bright man and will do excellent internet he is reelected or not!!!

  7. Keenan Pyror says:

    Maybe its time to start blaming the middle class for some of their own problems. I’ve seen many black, successful people, move away and never speak to the working classes again. I don’t see this kind of behavior within the latino or white/jewish communities. We need to come together and fix this mess. No one is going to help us, but ourselves.

  8. Sapphire says:

    Oh please get off the hate for Obama message!

    Cronel West needs to sit his backwards/has been behind down, and try instead to shed some light on solutions for the many issues we have to deal with.

    Mr. West is the biggest sell out of all by trying to hide his half white baby the white woman had for him!

    I have to wonder who would Mr. West vote for for President if not Mr. Obama!

    If he has no solutions to offer, then shut up!

  9. Hello says:

    These details have nothing to do with Obama. You wrote about how blacks have fared worse than whites in recent years, as if that is something new or novel to this country. Blacks in general have fared worse than whites in America since it was settled, no matter what the economic circumstances of the country are.

    Instead of posting about dismal problems 99.9% of the time, you should do our people some justice by posting solutions to these issues that we can all relate to.

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