We need real solutions that will actually improve communities in our country.
We have record high corporate profits in the United States, but do you know what else are at record highs? Mental illness, debt, stress, substance abuse, suicides, and single mothers. What we have to do is actually get the markets working to improve our families way of life, instead of following GDP and corporate profits off a cliff.
The way forward is a human centered version of capitalism, that actually uses the markets to improve our family’s lives. While our local communities are disintegrating beneath our feet, Americans feel like both political parties have been working in their own self interests.
Previous to the pandemic, our country automated away four million manufacturing jobs. Restaurants that have been closed the past 3 months will never return. Retail is decimated to the point where in 2004 70% of 16-24yr olds had jobs, now it is only 20%. Ecommerce is the the new normal, and those low-level retail jobs will never return. Amazon, the force behind this, is literally paying zero in taxes.
These are the changes that Americans are seeing and feeling every day. If we get to the hard work of curing those problems, we will actually be able to move our communities forward.
MLK championed the idea of income for all Americans, that would reshape our economy. In communities of color, we can make it so that black net worth is not ten percent of white net worth. We can’t regulate that away through any other means except by putting money directly into the hands of african-americans, latinos, and people of color: to allow businesses to actually flourish and grow in local communities.
We have seen his idea play out in the first round of stimulus checks. Any digital marketing expert in this country will tell you there have been two spikes in consumer purchasing during the pandemic. First, being the initial panic buying that we saw at super markets. Second, being a spike in ecommerce purchases due to people receiving stimulus checks. Everyone knows the cost of the stimulus was 2 trillion, but did you know that only 300billion was used for our checks? That means that if the full 2 trillion was used solely on stimulus checks, Americans could have a stimulus check every single month for 6 months. Instead, the bulk of the money was plundered.
Black and latino consumers need to have buying power in order to help their community survive. This is where we have to move as a country.
The real truth that needs to be drilled into everyone’s minds, is that the median african-american household net worth is projected to be zero by 2050. Things are not getting better for people of color, if anything they’re getting worse. This is because we’re in the process of eliminating the most common jobs in our economy. This is an economic disaster and who suffers most in a natural disaster? People of color, people with lower levels of capital, access to opportunity, and education. We love to champion education, but only 33% of Americans attend college, and an even lower percentage of African Americans. There is no way we can prevent this economic tsunami from wiping out African American net worth unless we put straight cash into their hands.
It’s not just minorities, it’s truck drivers, retail clerks, call center workers, accountants, and bookkeepers. We are in the midst of the greatest economic transformation in the history of our country and it’s going to hit minorities the hardest. We have to stop nibbling at the edges and actually start solving the real problem.
What about our children? 40% of American children today are born to single moms, and 90% of those single parents are women. If you’re a non-college educated man in the United States, you have a less than 50% chance of ever being married, but occasionally you have a kid, this is why this statistic exists.
Right now we have fallen into this trap where we have allowed the markets to tell us what we are all worth. What is the market value of your partner, stay-at-home parent, caregivers, volunteers, activists, coaches, mentors, artists, and local journalists?
The mission for us ahead is to disentangle economic value and human value. We need to say they are not the same things, and make the case to our fellow Americans that we each have intrinsic value as citizens, as human beings, and as owners and shareholders of the richest country in the history of the world.
We are going to do very poorly in a country that is tearing itself apart with rioting and people turning on each other. This is the mindset of financial scarcity that is sweeping our country. 78% of people are living paycheck to paycheck. So we have to ask ourselves, what is the plan moving forward? Who is making this case to the American people?
So anyone who thinks that America is getting less reasonable and rational and more prone to bad ideas, than you are right. Because if people can’t pay their bills, that’s exactly what goes on in their minds and in their households.