Part 4: Tracking Obama’s Response to the Economic and Housing Crises in Black America

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Part 4 of a 5-part series…

[Part 3]

 Vicious Cycles

“What is the task of policy in such an environment? While greed is no virtue, entrepreneurship and the search for opportunity is what we need today. We need a program that breaks and reverses the vicious cycles. We need to instill the trust that allows opportunity to overcome fear and enables families and businesses to again imagine a brighter future. And crucially, we need to create confidence without its leading to unstable complacency.” – Barack Obama, “Responding to an Historic Crisis — the Obama Program

Entrepreneurship and the search for opportunity. Does Black America even need to “hit that”?

We’ve been talking, ad nauseum, about starting our own businesses and creating our own opportunities for decades.

Though it has yet to happen on a large scale, except for a few Black millionaires popping up every now and then, those millionaires, by and large, find it all too easy to ditch and get as far away from the Black Community as they possibly can [just call it “Black-out-of-Black Flight”] when they do hit the BINGO jackpot number.

This “Black Flight” out of the ‘hood happens even if they only hit pay-dirt because they siphoned Black dollars out of the community like everyone else did. Call that “The Grinch Stepping Out with Christmas” economy.

Here is the critical piece, though, in Obama’s own words:

WE NEED TO CREATE CONFIDENCE (consumer confidence?) WITHOUT ITS LEADING TO UNSTABLE COMPLACENCY.

Black folks are getting a revolving door screwing here:

  • Upended Income and Property Taxes
  • Devalued Housing Climate
  • Higher costs of housing, land and transportation, utilities, schooling, groceries, clothing, petro, etc…
  • Economic Siphons pumping out Black dollars and putting nothing back in
  • Media Malaise based on Publicized Racism (being portrayed erroneously as the “financial bad egg” in the American nest)
  • Black “bleed out” on our finances
  • Ring-around Racism when it comes to the slave economy inside of prison walls and jail cells
  • Welfare infusion when we end up having to take care of our poorer relatives that the government is stiffing
  • Workplace devaluation based on racism, or the fact that many of us have not valued ourselves equally on the Job Market, et al

These things do not operate in a vacuum, they have a beginning, and an ending whenever we get around to educating ourselves. But how do we end it? What is the end game here. For a clue, let’s take a solid look at our President and not a FOX-instigated one. President Obama is saying one thing in public airwaves and throwing their asses under a bus without touching them at the same time, and you missed that BIG ONE that just flew over your head.

Moving on…

While the economy is falling far short today, perhaps a trillion dollars or more short, we should never lose sight of its potential. We are the most productive workers in the world, [we have] the great[est] universities (note: no, no HBCUs in the Top 100) and capacity for innovation, an incredible amount of resilience, entrepreneurship, and flexibility, and the most diverse and creative population of any economy in the world.”

Let’s everybody go ahead and say this all together:

THANKS BLACK AMERICANS WITH HISTORICAL SLAVE ANCESTRY!

Our ancestors built the Cornerstone of this nation’s economy, involuntarily and later, VERY VOLUNTARILY. Maybe this ungrateful wretch of a nation will get its acts together one day. America has nothing whatsoever that Black people didn’t give it or weren’t ravaged for in order for this economy to thrive. It doesn’t matter how they translated it later into industry and manufacturing, that is this nation’s beginnings. THAT WILL NEVER EVER CHANGE, no matter who the President is, or is not.

We Built It!
Black America’s history and contributions, voluntary and involuntary, have been too deep and hardcore in this country for a (first?) Black President to give it a cursory glance and a few platitudes of acknowledgement from time to time.

This “most diverse and creative population ‘r’ us.

That said …

The first component of the President’s program is direct support for jobs and income, to engage the multiplier process in favor of economic expansion. Increases in income lead to financial repair which supports further increases in income. Rising employment will lead to rising spending which leads to further increases in income and employment. The Recovery and Reinvestment Act [ARRA] is the largest peacetime economic expansion program in the country’s history. It will inject nearly $800 billion into the economy, three-quarters of it within the next 18 months. The Council of Economic Advisers’ estimates suggests that it will save or create 3-1/2 million jobs. At the same time that it creates jobs for people who need them, it will do work that the nation has needed for a long time. Doubling renewable-energy capacity in the next 3 years, supporting middle-class incomes, modernizing 10,000 schools, and making the largest investment in the spine of our economy, the nation’s infrastructure, since Dwight Eisenhower’s Interstate Highway System some 50 years ago.”

Since the ARRA hit the economy running in June of 2009, that number has been dead on point.

Politifact stated that the President’s administration making about 5 million jobs in 2012 is “half” true.

What he said in 2009 was about 3.5 million, give or take a few, and it was spot on. Five million stretched it a bit, but 3.5+ million was the original prediction and that is actually what did happen. Can’t win ’em all.

The second major portion of the President’s strategy is the Financial Stability Plan. It is directed at addressing the vicious cycles associated with deleveraging and credit contraction. A strong flow of credit is necessary because factories need it to buy equipment, stores to stock their shelves, students to attend college, consumers to buy cars and businesses to meet their payrolls.”

The Two-Pillar Prong of Part 2 of economic recovery is in the History of Economic Crisis: (a) The Consumer Business Lending Initiative; and (b) Capitalizing banks so that they are strategically in position to lend in order to support the Financial Stability Plan.

Component Three:

But the third component of the President’s recovery strategy is addressing the housing market. A vicious cycle of foreclosures leading to declining home prices, leading to rising foreclosures, leading to declining home prices and problems in the mortgage market must be contained as it is at the heart of our economic crisis. Through direct intervention using GSEs to bring down mortgage rates and make possible refinancing for credit-worthy borrowers who have lost their home equity as house prices decline, and through setting standards and providing significant financial subsidies for measures directed at payment relief to prevent foreclosures, we are achieving several objectives. Housing wealth and its contribution to expenditures is being maintained, and critically, lower mortgage rates mean more income for consumers and function like tax cuts in support of consumer spending.

Let’s see where Black America is right now in this ebb-and-flow “rising tide” of a wave in a capitalistic economy.

What have we gained? What have we lost? What is the REAL point in discussing it?

Our goal is to teach you how to get OUT of that vicious cycle, out of that ‘revolving door effing’ Black America has been getting in for far too long. After this time, there will truly BE no such thing as an “excuse.”

Component One: Job creation and income.

Component Two: Flow of Credit.

Component Three: Foreclosures and the Destabilizing of Home Ownership amongst Black Families in America (i.e., ‘predatory lending scams’).

Part 5…

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PUBLIC NOTE: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the view of the Urban Intellectuals, affiliates or partners.

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