2012 Economic Forecast for Blacks: Stormy

The recent economic indicators released in December of 2011  for the month of November suggest that the economic outlook for Americans is getting brighter. However, that may not be the case for most people and blacks in particular. The same indicators and news showed that the black unemployment rate rose to 15.5 percent from 15.3 percent while the overall rate dropped to its lowest level in two years. No matter where one looks in America, the unemployment situation across the country for blacks in some areas is more like a depression.

According to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center, from 2005 to 2009, the median net worth of black households fell by a brutal 53 percent, from an already low figure of $12,124 to $5,677.  The same report demonstrated that in 2005, the average net worth for white households was $134,992 compared to $12,124 for black households and that in 2009, the number dropped to $113,149 for whites and a paltry $5,700 for blacks.

The National Urban League just released a troubling report during its annual meeting in Boston noting that the recession has basically wiped out all of the economic gains blacks made in the past 30 years.

Apparently, neither the president nor the members of Congress can see this or feel the impact of such dire economic conditions for they have failed to do anything substantial about this via targeted policy formulation. That reaction is to be expected when according to the Wall Street Journal, the median net worth of members of Congress is now $913,000 and approximately  250 members of Congress are millionaires.

According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, 36.4 percent of all children in Philadelphia are living in poverty, 40.1 percent of all children in Atlanta are living in poverty, 52.6 percent of all children in Cleveland are living in poverty and 53.6 percent of all children in Detroit are living in poverty. In Washington, D.C., for example, in 2010, whites earned $3.08 for every $1 earned by blacks. It is not difficult to guess what proportion of the people in these cities are black.

All these factors contribute to the effective radicalization of inequality in America. The economy is in much worse shape than most people think, and the poor in America are rapidly getting poorer. The president, Democrats and Republicans need to act now or 2012 will be an even tougher year economically for blacks.

torrance stephens



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