Thursday, September 28, 2023

Black Wealth is No More…

November 30, 2011 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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( In June of 2009, the economic recession was officially declared over. Despite the fact that millions remained unemployed, families were still foreclosed upon in record numbers and more children went hungry than most of us could have ever imagined, many had us buy into the notion that the worst was behind us and things were on an upward trajectory. Well, for the African American community, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, Black layoffs have only skyrocketed since that time as the public sector – heavily comprised of a Black workforce – continues to slash jobs. And as a result, not only has Black wealth diminished, but so too has the existence of much of this nation’s Black middle class itself. Black, White or Brown – that is a startling reality that should have all of us deeply concerned.

According to a study released earlier this year by the Center for Labor  Research and Education at the University of California, Blacks were 30% more likely than other workers to be employed in the public sector. And while the private sector has added 1.6 million jobs as reported in a recent New York Times piece, public employment has seen massive layoffs across the board. Whether it’s teachers, firefighters, police officers, or any other form of municipal work, the public sector has been under attack from Wisconsin to NJ and everywhere in between. From losing their bargaining rights to bearing the brunt of city and state budget cuts, public service employees are watching their entire life savings disappear. And because about 1 in 5 Blacks work in civil service, we are disproportionately suffering yet again during these tough times.

In the U.S. postal service alone, about 25% of employees are Black. It is precisely because of work in this industry and in other government entities that we were finally able to climb the economic and societal ladder, and eventually begin to achieve the proverbial American dream of home ownership. An entire Black middle class emerged via civil service jobs, and we are now tragically close to witnessing the greatest stumbling block to progress that will literally set us back decades. But we can – and we must – do something to halt this injustice that so clearly threatens our immediate future.

On December 9th, my organization, National Action Network, will do its part to address this issue and more as we mobilize a 25-city simultaneous day-of-action around Jobs and Justice. A follow-up to our October 15th rally in Washington, D.C., the December 9th march will continue to focus on growing economic disparity, lack of employment, and equality issues surrounding our current economic state. We will call attention to disproportionate layoffs of Blacks, Latinos and other oppressed groups, attacks on the public sector and the ever-growing wealth gap. We will push for economic growth, job creation and concrete, substantive ideas that truly begin to get people back to work. And we will call out all those who stand in the way.

While doing nothing but obstructing every proposal put forth by the President and Democrats, Republicans have made it their mission to paint public workers – the ones that clean our streets, educate our children, deliver our mail, protect our streets and more – as the enemy. They continue to find ways to eliminate their organizing abilities, and blame them for all of our ills, while trying to protect the corporate cronies that got us all into this mess. And of course, they have openly stated that they are willing to let all of our lives hang in the balance while they play dirty politics. But we, the American people, will not remain silent and watch the very things we worked so hard to create fall apart before our eyes. It isn’t fair to the Black community that broke through impossible blockades to create a middle class; it isn’t fair to civil service employees who make life as we know it possible; and it isn’t fair to you and I.

Join us on December 9th as we raise our voices in unison across the country for Jobs and Justice.

Written By Rev. Al Sharpton

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3 Responses to “Black Wealth is No More…”
  1. SMH . Rev Sharpton, I dont know what to say about you ..

  2. Shame on U says:

    Sharpton stop pimping your community!

  3. James Davis says:

    Rev. Sharpton:
    What we are experiencing today, high unemployment, decimation of our wealth, and homelessness will not be resolved with a simple march. There must be a plan of action which accompanies the marches and protests which will result in a foreseeable resolution to our economic malaise. This Rev. Sharpton then would be marches and protests of purpose. Following is such a plan. This is A JOB CREATION PLAN WHICH EFFECTIVELY ENDS THIS RECESSION WITHOUT RAISING THE DEFICIT. It can be done cleanly and without adding to the deficit by putting money into the hands of retiring baby boomers, who are consumers. It’s a fact, consumers account for about 70% of our economic activity or GDP, (gross domestic product). Therefore put money into the hands of consumers. You just simply have to change how Social Security checks are paid. Let the boomers have partial distribution of their Social Security principal in the amount of $20,000.00 or $40,000.00 dollars, and issue them a monthly check on the remainder of their principal.

    Look, let’s say it takes $313,000.00 dollars in principal at 6.9 interest to send me a monthly Social Security check of $1800.00 dollars. So, I say to Social Security, I would like to have some of my money up front, say $40,000.00 dollars. Now pay me a monthly check on the remainder, which is in this instance $273,000.00 dollars, which amounts to a monthly check of $1569.00 dollars. That makes this plan (let’s call it the Davis Plan) deficit neutral. It’s their money, for heavens sake!! Presenting the option of taking a partial distribution of your retirement principal is common practice in the private sector. Yet we allow the largest payer of pensions, the Social Security Trust Fund, not to do it at a time when it will benefit our economy the most.

    The impact of allowing partial distributions, which is simply taking down a part of your pension principal and than rolling over the rest to be received monthly would pull, no, jerk this economy out of this recession. BOOMERS ARE RETIRING AT A RATE OF 10,000 PER DAY STARTING IN JANUARY, at the age of 66 and continuing for the next 18 years! (At 66, they receive full benefit payments) 10,000 x $20,000.00 = $200,000,000. million dollars. That’s right, that’s the amount they will dump into this faltering economy each day for the next 18 yrs.

    That amount in effect is really $400,000,000.00 million dollars per day because money handed directly to the consumer turns over 1 to 2 times. There are 68 to 72 million boomers depending on who’s counting. THIS IS A NO BRAINIER!! With $400,000,000. MILLION DOLLARS coursing through this economy every day, the recession ends!!! Add the incentive of waived or reduced taxes on the first $20,000.00 dollars taken down from any retirement fund, including Social Security and we are off to the races. It’s the boomers and their kids who are getting hardest hit in this recession anyway.

    Chairwomen Wagnon, of the sate of Kansas Democratic Party says, “Mr. Davis – It is a very ingenious plan – Certainly taking the partial distribution now would lower the payout costs over the lifetime of the recipient and I agree that spending a lump sum now (assuming they didn’t save it) would be a great.. Stimulus….. It would allow for large item purchases, such as homes, automobiles, furnishings and other durable consumer goods.”

    Chairwoman Lewis of the state of Maryland Democratic Party says, “Thank you so much for your thoughts. I think they deserve an honest look. I am forwarding them to the DNC.”

    Rev Sharpton, you want us to march and protest on December 9th. Why then can we not march with purpose and with a plan of action as a mantra which if implemented will end this recession and bring this chapter of our horrific misery to an end? Can you answer that sir?

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