Sunday, August 25, 2013

Dr. King, The March on Washington, and Full Employment


From the site:

As we approach the 50th anniversary of the historical civil rights march on Washington, a number of analyses have raised hard questions about the lack of economic progress among African-Americans.  The WaPo notes, for example, that:

    [f]ifty years ago, the unemployment rate was 5 percent for whites and 10.9 percent for blacks, according to the Economic Policy Institute. Today, it is 6.6 percent for whites and 12.6 percent for blacks. Over the past 30 years, the average white family has gone from having five times as much wealth as the average black family to 61 / 2 times, according to the Urban Institute.

    “If you look at 50 years after the 1960s civil rights movement, the most stubborn and persistent challenge when it comes to the nation’s racial challenge remains in the areas of economics and wealth,” said Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League.

That’s unquestionably true, and yet, these sweeping analyses risk overlooking some important evidence right there in the data that Dr. King would have recognized as entirely consistent with where he was trying to take the movement when his life was so tragically cut short.

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