Thursday, May 18, 2017

For long as I can recall, at least after the civil rights era, the economic prosperity in the African American community has been on the decline. Ironically this started under the purview of a new approach to economics trumpeted to be the end all and be all to the problems (economic and civil) that confronted the U.S. since the end of the Vietnam war. This is what it was supposed to be but what it became was a new-fangled form of lassez-faire policy that to date, has serve to retard economic growth and increased disparities in wealth and income inequality in the U.S. and worldwide.

You got it, I am speaking about neoliberalism. I have defined neoliberalism policy as policy that transfers controls of economic factors from the public sector to the private sector. Neoliberals rather in the form of Ronald Reagan, Barack Obama, Tony Blair or The Clinton’s assert that economic and foreign policy that removes trade barriers and restrictions on capital flows is the best thing you can do to create job growth, economic prosperity, wealth and more importantly, eliminate or at least, lift folk out of poverty. Although apolitical, after the 80s, democrats (social democrats in France, Labor in England & Democrats in the U.S.) used this ideology to usher in and promote their views on domestic and foreign policy. A strange occurrence, since historically, these political parties were framed as being the representative of the little man, main street, the factory worker and union member. Establishing neoliberal free market foreign and domestic would mean that the democrats would not have to work with the vulture class.  This meant forming more relationships with the elite and wealth of the big cities more so than the lowly farmers of the Midwest or miners in other states.  Even in urban areas, it meant economic ostracization for minority communities until it was time to secure their vote.

This alone demanded that Democrats listen and accept more ideas from the wealthy and affluent, and it has been the same since Tony Blair and the Clinton’s. Although democrats proclaim their policies serve progressive and liberal objectives, the harsh reality is that the do not. They have led to the destruction of unions and reduction in collective bargaining rights while they claim to be the party of the working class.  They have tightened relationships with the white-collar elite and for taking their money, have put in place policy that has help to suppress wages and wage growth.  These policies have also resulted in the ruination of the auto industry as we have witnessed in Detroit. But they did not stop there.  Starting with Bill Clinton, they even deregulated banks and had the gumption to tell the working poor that their situation was due to education, while rich liberals ignore the fact that even going to college, whether one finishes with a degree or not results in most African Americans having amassed nearly two times the amount of student loan debt than whites. Even Obama and other black establishment cats representing the democratic party got in on the act preaching the same credo asserting a culture of poverty argument that basically suggest that black are poor and need to go to college. As if all our problems are due more to having a poor education, than the neoliberal policies they unabatingly advance.

With Obama and his neoliberal economic locution, African American unemployment is still two times that of white unemployment. Economic disparity between whites and blacks has grown wider since his election and African American median income has fallen more than 10 percent with 26 percent of Black households being considered “food insecure.” Since Obama took office, the seasonally adjusted labor-force-participation rate for black Americans across the board has declined and the number of black food-stamp participants has increased more than 50 percent. Add to this that the percentage of black Americans who own homes has declined sharply and that real median income among black households based on data from your Census Bureau has also declined.  This means a higher poverty rates for blacks since 2008, a reduction in the number of young black men with full-time employment and an increase in median white wealth providing them with more income at a pace way surpassing that of blacks under your administration. Maybe this is why it has been determined that single African American women ages 36 to 49 have a median wealth of $5. This is without me even mentioning the paltry rate of GDP growth since you took office.  To put it bluntly, the economic liberalism of the Obama era was just a more murderous form of Reagan – unfettered (legal or illegal) immigration was encouraged and a blind eye was turn to both corporate tax evasion via overseas accounts and the activity of criminal banker activity on Wall Street.

All the can be connected in a causal manner to policy put in place by folk (99% democratic progressive liberals) elected to office or thought leaders, by the poor and working class black folk who have been distressed by said policies. Again, plainly put poverty and racism has only got worse during Obama’s tenure. Obama and democrats love to tout a higher minimum wage as being a solution but never answer how is this possible, when even with a higher wage, you cannot be sure that cats will give folk the hours they need just to get by let alone move out of poverty? How can this solve any economic issues sustained for blacks since democrats came to power during the post-civil-rights era and with democrats still pushing for capitalist globalization that has had a disproportionately negative influence on African Americans over the past 40 to 50 years? How can this help when 95% of the jobs created during the Obama Presidency were temporary? And don’t say because we talk about education because the reality is that African Americans with some college education have higher unemployment rates than whites who never went to college or even completed high school?

It was President Obama in 2014 that stated "if Uncle Jethro would get off the couch and stop watching Sports Center and go register some folks and go to the polls, we might have a different kind of politics." This in a nut shell is neoliberalism, who's efficacy that even the IMF is starting to question. A philosophy which states we get rich if you vote for us and us alone while you black folk will remain restricted to unstable low wage service sector jobs (which are vanishing) and represent the fastest growing population of homeless in the U.S., women and children. This is one reason why economic position of African Americans have not changed since democrats began to represent all major urban areas since the mid-1960s. If I am wrong, then why have schools failed to improve and have been on a downward trend since then?  Why have long-term job prospects in these same places decreased and even disappeared since then? Neoliberalism has never been shown to have been effective or even work in the real world, especially when it comes to improving the economic conditions of blacks regardless of location of residency. So, I ask you, why support a party that takes your vote and destroys your community and ability to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Riddle me that Batman.

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