May 12, 2005

Race Gap / Wealth Gap

Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) was just on the floor of the House talking about the racial wealth gap. Some key points she made, drawn from a number of studies and surveys:

  • After average black household income rose during the Clinton administration from 55% to 65% of average white household income, it fell back to 62% of average white household income during the first 3 years of the Bush administration. Average Latino household income has fallen below 2/3 that of the average white household income for the first time in 15 years.
  • Unemployment among black men between the ages of 18 and 64 is hovering around 50%.
  • A British study indicated that a 1% increase in racial disrespect increases the death rate in the targeted population by 350 deaths per 100,000 people.
  • She pointed out that because of high rates of unemployment, the Social Security privatization plan would disproportionately decrease the retirement security of African Americans.
  • The majority of American whites are under the impression that the average black household is situated as well as or better than the average white household, and this poses a significant barrier to taking even the least intrusive actions to close the gaps that exist.

She directed listeners to the State of the Dream 2005 report by the economic justice organization United for a Fair Economy, from which she drew several of these points. They've also got an interesting charts showing that even though CEO pay has dropped from its 2000 highs, CEOs still get paid 301 times the pay of the average worker as of 2003, and a graphic depiction of who owns our ownership society.

Posted by natasha at May 12, 2005 01:16 PM | US Politics | Technorati links |