October 18, 2004


WASHINGTON -- The enormous wealth gap between white families and blacks and Hispanics grew larger after the most recent recession, a private analysis of government data finds.

White households had a median net worth of greater than $88,000 in 2002, 11 times more than Hispanics and more than 14 times that of blacks, the Pew Hispanic Center said in a study being released Monday.

Blacks were slowest to emerge from the economic downturn that started in 2000 and ended in late 2001, the report found.

See full Article

My commentary on this is that African American, given the structural economic changes taking place in America and the world, will regress back to rates of poverty we have not seen since the early 70’s. A few years back, blacks had recorded our lowest poverty level ever here in the United States. At the apex of the 90’s boom, the black poverty rate had dropped to 22%, which is the lowest rate ever recorded. However, extrapolating from trends, by 2010 the black poverty rate, I predict, will be up above 30% again and by 2020, up near or above 40%. In other words, I am suggesting that if trends continue, the black poverty rate in America will nearly double in the next 20 years.

The primary reason is due to the decline of an industry that brought income and middleclass status to millions of African Americans with little education, which was the Northern Manufacturing industry. Not surprising, Cleveland Ohio has the highest poverty rate for any big city, and other Northern cities like Detroit, Gary, Flint, Pittsburg, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, and Chicago that once lifted Southern fleeing blacks out of poverty and into the middle class, now no longer have those jobs to offer like it once did. Those Steal, Auto, Rubber, tool and die and other manufacturing jobs have gone oversees to cheaper sources of labor. Blacks were disproportionately employed in these smoke stack industries and hence will disproportionately be hurt by the industries decline.

Structurally, never in America has hard work not simply been a conduit out of poverty, all other things being equal, until recently. Today, a college degree (in practice) is needed to secure those types of jobs that can elevate a family out of the ranks of the poor. The catch is, however, only about a quarter of all jobs being demanded by the economy require such a college degree. The consequence of these events will be a shrinking of the middle class and an increase in the lower class. Blacks will experience the severest drop percentage wise from the ranks of the middle class and into poverty, due to the type of industries and jobs that blacks are employed in.


At 9:58 AM, Blogger Faheem said...


Check this out Noah, it reiterates most of what you hav written.

At 11:22 AM, Blogger Noah TA said...

Thanks my brother...I always like to have raw data such as that to process into useful information for our people in regards to the big picture of things.

At 2:14 PM, Blogger Scott said...

"Blacks were disproportionately employed in these smoke stack industries and hence will disproportionately be hurt by the industries decline."

Do you have any data to back the up, my reading on Unions is that they were also used to protect white workers often at the expense of black workers. I would be interested in data showing that blacks had a higher percentage of good manufacturing jobs than whites.

A good friend of mine was just recently screwed over by his white run union.

At 2:37 PM, Blogger Noah TA said...

When I said disproportionate, I meant relative to black percentages Scott. For example, hypothetically, if 15% of the black workers were/.are employed in smoke stack industries, compared 5% of white workers, then that is a disproportional representation. I will grant you exception on your misunderstanding on this one, because It was not clear.

At 5:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Noah, I do not know if your stats are accurate or not about certain jobs but - for the sake of argument, let's assume that you're right.

This is all the more reason to stress education, education - and education some more - for black kids! There is NO LAW that blacks must restrict themselves to the sorts of jobs that you mention! I read about some of YOUR history; you apparently learned lots of computer skills, and got some pretty good jobs from that.

A HELL of a lot of business people want well educated workers who can do a good job - period. And patients want good doctors, students want good teachers, infrastructure demands good engineers - and so forth.

Study hard in early years - then get a scholarship or student loans or something - even if to community college - and get an education!

More options will then be available, and the stats that you show will shrink.

At 5:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry - forgot to sign last post. Peg K. (I bet you recognized my writing style anyway though.. *_*)

At 7:43 PM, Blogger Noah TA said...

Peg K...stressing education has been the case since blacks arrived in this nation as slaves. That is not telling black folks nothing new. In fact, blacks are more educated today, than ever before in our history in this land. The problem is, however, the educational requirements keep being raised. We keep getting more education...and jobs keep requiring more education.

Contrary to your theory, only about a quarter of the jobs demanded in our economy requires a college degree. thus, if the 25 and older labor pool is all educated with college degrees...and only 25% of the jobs require college degrees..then who are going to take those other 75% of jobs that do not require a degree or pay as well and who will get those 25% of jobs that do require a degree plus pay well. THus, it is elementary to see why the educational system in America is so underfuned and leave so many left behind. The reason being is that the market needs folks to fill the vast majority of jobs that exist that does not require a college degree. If you have too many highly educated people not able to find work that rewards their collegiate sacrafice, such will breed social discontent. Its best when people can rationalize and accept the low end jobs based upon not having the education and feeling personally responsible instead of believing that society is not fullfilling a promise.

Yes, I got computer skill...but I will never be one of the pompous Anal arses who say that just because I did it, that others could do the same thing. Were I come from I know the obstacle and know that I was really jam lucky. In truth, my failure at the ability to reach success and status as defined by the hood, forced me to seek other avenues. If I could have achieved status and success in the hood (which I wanted to do) it would have trapped me in a cycle. Everyone wants to fit in and be recognized and respected in their given environments. Often when black youth do that...it traps them in the cycle of poverty. Of course...you can't likely relate to that...I made it out simply because I failed in my attempt to have status in the hood...which was the ONLY world that was real to me.

At 8:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Noah - you really do a service to the young black community when you tell your story, like you did a few posts ago.

YOU can let people who will identify with you - and not with me - what can work for them and what will help them. (I remember you had other posts about how to handle credit & money, etc.)

I agree with you that not everyone will get a college education - and not everyone "needs" one (though it's certainly very nice to have the opportunity.) But - everyone does need to learn skills that will help them to get a productive, satisfying and reasonably decently paying job.

You're right again - I do not know what it is like to grow up in the 'hood and to "escape."

All the more reason why guys like YOU must spread the word and help others to have a good life.

Peg K

At 9:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That isn't all that is happening, especially here in California.

3 Strikes locks up Blacks at 13 times the rate of whites
by by Malik Russell Monday, Oct. 18, 2004 at 11:34 AM

New data released by the Justice Policy Institute revealed that California’s 3 Strikes law disproportionately locks up African Americans and Latinos compared to whites.

Washington, D.C. - New data released Wednesday by the Justice Policy Institute revealed that California’s Three Strikes law disproportionately locks up African Americans and Latinos compared to whites. According to this first-of-its-kind analysis of the racial and ethnic makeup of Three Strikes defendants, African Americans are given life sentences under Three Strikes at nearly 13 times the rate of whites and the Latinos are incarcerated under Three Strikes a staggering 82 percent more than whites.

According to “Racial Divide: An Examination of the Impact of California’s Three Strikes Law on African Americans and Latinos,” African Americans and Latinos are penalized at every stage of the criminal justice system at rates disproportionate to their share of the general population.

“Three Strikes is systematically funneling African American and Latino defendants into prison for longer and longer sentences, mostly for non-violent crimes,” said Vincent Schiraldi, executive director of Justice Policy Institute and co-author of the report. Schiraldi added that the racial disparities for African Americans were particularly harsh by criminological standards. “Rarely does one see any law imposed so disproportionately against one racial group,” he added.

The report found that African Americans constitute 6.5 percent of the state population, but nearly 30 percent of California s prison population, and 44.7 percent of those sentenced to life under Three Strikes. By contrast, whites constitute 47.1 percent of the population, 29 percent of the prison population, and 25.4 percent of third strikers. When comparing arrest and incarceration rates between African Americans and whites, African Americans are arrested at 4.4 times the rate of whites, imprisoned at 7.5 times the rate of whites and “struck out” for life at nearly 13 times the rate of whites.

“We’re overcrowding prisons with generations of young men of color at $31,000 each per year, nearly two-thirds of whom are locked up for nonviolent offenses,” said John W. Mack, president of the Los Angeles Urban League. “Surely it’s a better investment for society to spend that money on front end prevention and jobs rather than wasting it on the imprisonment of nonviolent offenders who have harmed no one.

The report also analyzed data from counties throughout California regarding the racial impact of Three Strikes. In every county, African Americans made up a higher portion of the “striker” population than they did of the felony arrest population. In Los Angeles County, 10 percent of the population is African American and African Americans are 29 percent of those arrested, but African Americans represent an astonishing 56 percent of those serving life sentences under Three Strikes. In Contra Costa County, African Americans made up 17.7 percent of felony arrests, but 52 percent of the strike population - three times their arrest rate.

San Mateo County had the largest African American-to-white disparity of California’s large counties. In that county, the Three Strikes incarceration rate for African Americans was almost 28 times greater than the white Three Strikes incarceration rate.

In Santa Clara County, the findings were similar, as African Americans represent only 2.7 percent of the population, but 27 percent of those locked up under Three Strikes. Santa Clara County stood out as the county with the largest over-representation of African Americans and Latinos. Santa Clara also had the highest disparities between Latinos and Whites of any of the large counties in California; Latinos were imprisoned under Three Strikes at nearly three times the rate of whites. Data on racial and ethnic rates of arrest and incarceration under Three Strikes are included in the report for each of California’s counties.

“Three Strikes is turning California’s prisons into a purgatory for minorities,” said report co-author Eric Lotke, director of research at JPI. “What this research shows is that justice in California is far from colorblind.”

“Racial Divide: An Examination of the Impact of California’s Three Strikes Law on African-Americans and Latinos” was authored by Justice Policy Institute Executive Director Vincent Schiraldi, JPI Research Director Eric Lotke and Scott Ehlers. A copy of the report can be obtained at http://www.justicepolicy.org or by contacting Malik Russell at (202) 363-7847, ext. 308, or mrussell@justicepolicy.org.


At 4:02 AM, Blogger Constructive Feedback said...

Noah: How does a story that indicates that Blacks and Hispanics are not benefiting from their capitalistic exploits as much as White people are align with your views of capitalism?

What if Blacks were found to have gained more wealth than White folks because we have accelerated their our adoption of capitalism. Would this sit well with you?

At 6:24 AM, Blogger Noah TA said...

I believe that capitalism is a Trojan horse for exploitation. The economic and material success of the West is as much, if not more, due to exploitation than due to pure capitalistic theory. It generally takes money to make money, like it takes fuel to power an engine. Capitalism is an engine and exploitation provided enough fuel to keep the kinetic energy and momentum flowing. Without exploitation, the capitalistic momentum built up from the past will slow. This is why there is the push for globalization, since domestic exploitation has been severely subdued by laws and unions…owners of capital must seek other cheap sources of exploitable labor and environments.

That’s my view of capitalism for those who don’t know Renaldo. I am a proponent of the reconciling of debts. I pay my bills and debts and I believe that this society and nation needs to pay its debt to black people. If paying that debt to black people thus puts black wealth on par with whites…so be it.

At 5:47 PM, Blogger NmagiNATE said...


I want to know what was the purpose of your "you really do a service to the young black community" remarks you addressed to Noah.

At 6:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is what I meant by my compliment to Noah.

Way too many people (of any color) don't know enough about money, credit, savings, etc. I read a very good post by Noah explaining what people should do with their money and to have good credit - good advice for everyone.

Once I was at the bank, waiting to make a deposit. The woman in front of me was buying money orders to pay her bills for the month. She maybe had to buy 8 or 9 of them - and each one cost a fair piece of change! While we were waiting, I recommended to her that she open a checking account. It would be either free - or, at least much less than the money orders.

The woman told me that she had a checking account once - but she kept on "running out of money" and bouncing checks - so she closed it.

This poor woman needed someone like Noah to explain these things to her!

B.T.W. This was not a black woman... but was someone who had never learned much about money. Too bad for her - and for all those who do not get taught.

Peg K

At 5:07 AM, Blogger NmagiNATE said...


Have you ever stop to think that Noah (and definitely myself) would not consider your comments as "complimentary"?

I mean... here you are saying the information is good for anyone but your comments to him were that, in essence, you sure knew it was something that would be helpful to the young Black community something that readily implied that such information is something particularly if not exclusively needed for "Blacks" exclusively seeing as how you didn't mention anyone else then. It's like your "BTW"... Obviously you assumed that we would assume that the Money Order was Black and/or we would be SUPRISED that she wasn't Black.

But beyond all that, your statement presumes that Noah somehow would need, require or desire your "compliment" and its content as if that's something he doesn't already know and that he doesn't already do so purposely. It would seem as if you feel he needs some type of confirmation or affirmation from you... like he needs your approval or accolades.

But let's examine your supposed "compliment" in its entirety. Of course, I question this because it went beyond a "compliment" and represents something completely different.

PEG, I don't know about you but compliments I get and things I understand to be compliments basically amount to someone saying, "That's good!", or "You did or are doing good or excellent!" and stopping at that. END OF COMPLIMENT. But you didn't just do that if that was at all your purpose to begin with, let alone your sole purpose.

..... " YOU can let [your] people [know] " .....
Once you essentially said just that (and that's what you comments amounted to, something more closely resembling an order/command rather than a "compliment" - intentional or not), your comments ceased being "complimentary". Call it what you want but when you start informing people, Noah in this case, of things in which you think they CAN or should do, the natural implication is that you either think that they don't realize that they CAN or should do it. And all of that presumes, again, that they are not already doing so.

In truth, your comments most likely reflect your recent arrival at that conclusion about their capacity, Noah's in this case, and what YOU have just realized about what they/he CAN do. But then the question begs itself, why do you feel the need to tell him HE CAN DO X, Y, Z?

What complicates this more is the Contradiction In Terms with your stated/professed admittance that:
"[You] do not know what it is like to grow up in the 'hood..."

What makes that problematic is that you admit that you come from a Position Of Ignorance but all your statements try to assert that you have knowledge. Knowledge about what you're sure Noah "CAN DO" or at least what you feel he should do... Oops! Excuse me what he and other Blacks - aka guys like him - MUST DO!
(Back to that order-command thing - again, intentionally or not.)

What's even more strange (and revealing) when it comes to that is the idea that only Blacks via "guys like Noah" can communicate this message to "help the young Black community". My issue isn't with the idea itself but with the implication that only Blacks have an obligation to help Blacks. As you said, "All the more reason why guys like YOU must spread the word..."

That's so revealing... and so much like a cop out.
Instead of saying you don't think you understand and asking for an understanding and accepting what is presented in response to such a request you would rather resign to yourself NO responsibility, no obligation, no concern effectively for (I guess) "people who don't identify with you" - read: people who don't share your skin color.

Now, I'm frank. I don't cut corners and I don't parade and hide things I say under false pretenses. Perhaps you don't realize it - either by way of you expressing this that you are not conscious of or by way of you expressing things you are aware of but would never want to say out loud - but nothing you said was "complimentary". Unless you actually think your segregationist like thinking: "Black people should and better(must) help Black people" -- and its corollary/defaults -- is something that represents a 'progressive' mindset.

Notice the way you stressed what you said.

"_YOU_ can let people..."
"All the more reason why ... __YOU__ must..."


All of those things implicit would confer upon you, not only NO SUCH OBLIGATION, DUTY, or responsibility but also self-reserve for yourself the role to assign and bark out Noah's marching orders.


At 5:34 AM, Blogger NmagiNATE said...

The point is this PEG K:

None of what you expressed to Noah in your (suspect) "compliment" was anything he needed to know or solicited from you nor do I even think such words coming from you could ever be received in the complete context of your post as a "compliment", not to mention your entire series of exchanges with Noah.

As a matter of fact, again, nothing you said represented something he didn't or doesn't know about himself and I'm sure about you and what you think and, more importantly, how you see things up to and including the way I've detailed what your comments amount to.

Making a compliment entails respecting the person and/or their efforts & thoughts. It's completely self-serving to when you pretend to pay someone a compliment to speak about what you agree with. That too would be a signal of how you comments were NOT a "compliment" or at least not a tainted one.

At best, yours is tainted with some motive to have the upperhand on Noah in your exchanges with him. At worst and most likely, your comments are tainted with your presumed sense of White Supremacy and your uncontrollable thirst to assert it, noted by your Order-Command statement structure along with your designated race-based ideas that asserted, in essence,
"what Blacks MUST do". Of course, being in your position where you can't relate or identify, you are imminently qualified to set those assignments. Assignments that don't implicate, conveniently, you or those who "identify with you", apparently.


At 7:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nmaginate, you are so wrong about so much about me it's difficult to know where to start.

First off, I MEANT my compliment as a compliment: period. My guess is that most beautiful people know that they are attractive. Still, I bet that they enjoy hearing a nice compliment now and then anyway. Similarly, while Noah and others may well be aware that he made an excellent post - I see no harm in saying, "I think so, too."

As for my points about it being great when a black man tells something of worth to his community - I say this because so many within a community will only listen to "one of them" - they won't "hear" it from an outside. I believe that truth is truth; it matters not if Noah says it or Bill Cosby or Colin Powell or me or George Bush or John Kerry. Truth does not vary according to who is speaking the words ... but some can hear far better from one person than another; that's all.

I pointed out that the woman in line in front of me was not black because I don't want anyone to think that I happen to believe ignorance attaches to any particular race. It doesn't. But, Noah often writes about those who have not grown up with much in the way of both wealth AND education - and I was attempting to make the point that it doesn't matter what color you are; if you don't learn how to handle money and credit, it can make life more difficult for you.

If you think that I am someone who believes in or promotes or wishes for white supremecy than you are totally misreading what I am saying and believe. (Maybe I am not expressing myself well enough - but I am making CERTAIN by this statement that I do NOT believe in that.)

I was raised to believe that color is irrelevant to the quality of the person. Period.

My 83 year old dad now lives in Florida, and every week he goes to an inner city school where most of the kids are minority and does his best to help to teach them to read. He cares about the kids and does other activities to help, too. He taught ME that it's important to give what you are able to the greater community to improve it. So, I, too, have done various sorts of volunteer work, from doing writing for my bridge community for the past 13 years, work at Cook County hospital in Chicago, tutoring in a few different school districts in the Twin Cities, and so forth.

Like my dad, I believe that reading is a key to success in life, so that has been something on which I like to focus.

That my underlying belief is that "people are people" and that each one of us, as we are able, should live our lives toward this belief and the world would be a far better place for it, could be understood as "white supremecy" is one of the most strange views I have heard in my life.

Peg K

At 8:47 AM, Blogger Noah TA said...

Peg K, sometimes people can discredit themselves, by there use of words and phrases that are intuitively seen as not true. You saying that you “see people as people” are akin to people saying they do not see color. These statements are on their surface fallacious. Even if one is colorblind biologically, they still can see different shades. Saying that you simply see people as people implies that you do not discriminate, when we all know that you and everyone else do.

I am sure that you discriminated in choosing who to marry…no doubt…or at least I hope you did. I am sure that you did not marry the man you married without being guilty of RANKING and thus filtering and discriminating the pool. You probably discriminated on the bases for his ability to provide, as well as many other factors. I am also sure that it was not just by happenstance that he happened to be white…or Jewish. Hence, you do not see all people as people, if you did, you could have married a poor black women, because she is just as much people as the next person.

I now that I have distorted your intention, because you were simply saying that you do not discriminate based upon race. That might be true in intent, but not necessarily true in effect. It is good that you were reared to not be an intentional racist. However, the next journey is to practice not being a racist in effect. That is more difficult because many of your self interest are tied to beliefs and ideologies that manifest a reaction that has disproportional racial impact and thus racist in effect. That is because institutional racism and whites supremacy is such a part of the structure of this society, which whites simply looking out for their interest and privileges works to the detriment of far more blacks that it works to the benefit of.

I believe that most whites have subconscious racism. I believe that most whites consciously do not want to be seem as, if not be racist. Thus, they work to consciously suppress and repress the subconscious leaning when they recognize it as a racial situation. However, when one fails to have their defense and guard up…the subconscious racism reveals itself. This is what black people pick up on. It is like a liar. I liar has to consciously remember all the lies he or she has told to protect the revealing of the truth or of their lying. When they fail to be cognizant of maintaining the lie while conversing, then certain things are reveal that are contradictory to the lie. Thus, being a racist is like being a liar….one is always on guard to maintain the lie…to others…and sometimes even to themselves.

At 11:53 AM, Blogger NmagiNATE said...

| "Nmaginate, you are so wrong about so much about me it's difficult to know where to start. - PEG K |

That difficulty is reflected in your attempt to re-direct my pin-point comments on what your statements say about what you think onto what it is you feel about who you are and how you want to be perceived.

Clearly from the logical you use and the logical context of the discussion you used those statements in, you don't have a leg to stand on. I wasn't talking about something about you that I couldn't possibly know. But, now, I am acquainted with how you think and present your thoughts. NOTHING I said was wrong about that.

| "First off, I MEANT my compliment as a compliment: period. My guess is that most beautiful people know that they are attractive..." |

Peg, I already covered this. How you simply stopped at saying, "Noah, you made a good point!" we wouldn't be having this conversation and you know it. It's what you said before and after the "compliment" were you erred and slipped into White Supremacy.

Advancing your foolish Beauty analogy...
Once your "compliments" to someone beautiful descend into makeup advise and such things that they "MUST" do to be "beautiful" again in the context of your professed ignorance can only be seen as your arrogance.

An Ugly person giving a Pretty person Beauty Tips is an oxymoron (or whatever the term is for something f@cked up like that).

| "As for my points about it being great when a black man tells something of worth to his community - I say this because so many within a community will only listen to "one of them" - they won't "hear" it from an outside" |

And what qualifies you to say that categorically as you do? And if that is so what makes you think, since this is some prevailing truism, that Noah doesn't recognize that?

Is that tidbit suppose to be the enlightening gem you had to offer? Again, there's inconsistency here.
Either your comments were a COMPLIMENT only (PERIOD! as you say) or you also intended to inform/"enlighten"... from the "outside looking in".

Which one is it PEG?
One or the other... or BOTH?

You maintain it was a compliment only.
Well, you've just hanged yourself by stating your "outside" opinion.


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