Presentation on theme: "The Racial and Gender Wealth Gaps in the U.S.. ''As all of us saw on television, there is also some deep, persistent poverty in this region (the South)"— Presentation transcript:
''As all of us saw on television, there is also some deep, persistent poverty in this region (the South) as well. That poverty has roots in a history of racial discrimination, which cut off generations from the opportunity of America. We have a duty to confront this poverty with bold action.” - George W. Bush
Lets start with Louisiana, the center of Hurricane Katrina. There, the average income for African-Americans is $21,461, while that of whites is $40,049. While African-Americans comprise 31.5% of the population in Louisiana, 69% of the children in poverty are African-Americans.
Bush suspended the requirements of the Davis- Bacon Act in the storm-ravaged areas. Passed during the Great Depression, this law requires contractors on federally funded construction projects to pay at least the prevailing wage in the region. Imagine, for example, the impact of this on truck drivers doing highway construction in Gulfport, Miss. who earn the Davis-Bacon wage rate of $6.14 an hour. Even at this rate, they earn less than the poverty threshold, even if they work full-time, 52 weeks a year.
About 1.5 percent of the $1.6 billion awarded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency has gone to minority businesses - less than a third of the 5 percent normally required.
But if you think that racial economic inequality is particular to the south, think again. It is the norm nationwide. In 2001, the median household net worth of the typical white family was $121,000, while for the typical African-American family it is $19,000, and for Latinos only $3,000.
Despite a growing economy, the number of African-Americans in unions has fallen by 14.4 percent since 2000, while white membership is down 5.4 percent. As many jobs move overseas, this means an increasing loss of blue-collar jobs for African Americans.
Many families are not poor, but very close to it. For example, 79% of African American families would run out of money in three months if they lost their income, and similarly 73% of Latinos would. For whites, however, only 38% would run out of money in three months.
A gender gap is prevalent as well as a racial wealth gap… For example, in 2004, the average man got paid $15.26/hour while the average woman made only $12.49/hour. The median income for a man working full time was $38,275, whereas it was only $29,215 for women.