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Troy
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Posted on Monday, August 24, 2009 - 07:53 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/barbara-ehrenreich/the-destruction-of-the-bl_b_250 828.html
The Destruction of the Black Middle Class

By Barbara Ehrenreich and Dedrick Muhammed
Huffington Post
August 3, 2009

To judge from most of the commentary on the Gates-
Crowley affair, you would think that a "black elite" has
gotten dangerously out of hand. First Gates (Cambridge,
Yale, Harvard) showed insufficient deference to Crowley,
then Obama (Occidental, Harvard) piled on to accuse the
police of having acted "stupidly." Was this "the end of
white America" which the Atlantic had warned of in its
January/February cover story? Or had the injuries of
class -- working class in Crowley's case -- finally
trumped the grievances of race?

Left out of the ensuing tangle of commentary on race and
class has been the increasing impoverishment -- or, we
should say, re-impoverishment -- of African Americans as
a group. In fact, the most salient and lasting effect of
the current recession may turn out to be the decimation
of the black middle class. According to a study by Demos
and the Institute for Assets and Social Policy, 33
percent of the black middle class was already in danger
of falling out of the middle class at the start of the
recession. Gates and Obama, along with Oprah and Cosby,
will no doubt remain in place, but millions of the black
equivalents of Officer Crowley -- from factory workers
to bank tellers and white collar managers -- are sliding
down toward destitution.

For African Americans -- and to a large extent, Latinos
-- the recession is over. It occurred between 2000 and
2007, as black employment decreased by 2.4 percent and
incomes declined by 2.9 percent. During the seven-year
long black recession, one third of black children lived
in poverty and black unemployment -- even among college
graduates -- consistently ran at about twice the level
of white unemployment. That was the black recession.
What's happening now is a depression.

Black unemployment is now at 14.7 percent, compared to
8.7 for whites. In New York City, black unemployment has
been rising four times as fast as that of whites.
Lawrence Mishel, president of the Economic Policy
Institute, estimates that 40 percent of African
Americans will have experienced unemployment or
underemployment by 2010, and this will increase child
poverty from one-third of African American children to
slightly over half. No one can entirely explain the
extraordinary rate of job loss among African Americans,
though factors may include the relative concentration of
blacks in the hard-hit retail and manufacturing sectors,
as well as the lesser seniority of blacks in better-
paying, white collar, positions.

But one thing is certain: The longstanding racial
"wealth gap" makes African Americans particularly
vulnerable to poverty when job loss strikes. In 1998,
the net worth of white households on average was
$100,700 higher than that of African Americans. By 2007,
this gap had increased to $142,600. The Survey of
Consumer Finances, which is supported by the Federal
Reserve Board, collects this data every three years --
and every time it has been collected, the racial wealth
gap has widened. To put it another way: in 2004, for
every dollar of wealth held by the typical white family,
the African American family had only one 12 cents. In
2007, it had exactly a dime. So when an African American
breadwinner loses a job, there are usually no savings to
fall back on, no well-heeled parents to hit up, no
retirement accounts to raid.

All this comes on top of the highly racially skewed
subprime mortgage calamity. After decades of being
denied mortgages on racial grounds, African Americans
made a tempting market for bubble-crazed lenders like
Countrywide, with the result that high income blacks
were almost twice as likely as low income white to
receive high interest subprime loans. According to the
Center for Responsible Lending, Latinos will end up
losing between $75 billion and $98 billion in home-value
wealth from subprime loans, while blacks will lose
between $71 billion and $92 billion. United for a Fair
Economy has called this family net-worth catastrophe the
"greatest loss of wealth for people of color in modern
U.S. history."

Yet in the depths of this African American depression,
some commentators, black as well as white, are still
obsessing about the supposed cultural deficiencies of
the black community. In a December op-ed in the
Washington Post, Kay Hymowitz blamed black economic woes
on the fact that 70 percent of black children are born
to single mothers, not noticing that the white two-
parent family has actually declined at a faster rate
than the black two-parent family. The share of black
children living in a single parent home increased by 155
percent between 1960 to 2006, while the share of white
children living in single parent homes increased by a
staggering 229 percent.

Just last month on NPR, commentator Juan Williams
dismissed the NAACP by saying that more up-to-date and
relevant groups focus on "people who have taken
advantage of integration and opportunities for
education, employment, versus those who seem caught in
generational cycles of poverty," which he went on to
characterize by drug use and crime. The fact that there
is an ongoing recession disproportionately affecting the
African American middle class -- and brought on by Wall
Street greed rather than "ghetto" values -- seems to
have eluded him.

We don't need any more moralizing or glib analyses of
class and race that could have just as well been made in
the 70s. The recession is changing everything. It's
redrawing the class contours of America in ways that
will leave us more polarized than ever, and, yes,
profoundly hurting the erstwhile white middle and
working classes. But the depression being experienced by
people of color threatens to do something on an entirely
different scale, and that is to eliminate the black
middle class.

__________________

Barbara Ehrenreich is the president of United
Professionals and author, most recently, of This Land Is
Their Land: Reports From a Divided Nation.

Dedrick Muhammad is a Senior Organizer and Research
Associate of the Institute for Policy Studies.
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Troy
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Posted on Monday, August 24, 2009 - 08:08 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

This article describes and further supports my own observations over that last quarter century. The Black middle class is indeed disappearing.

The most odd thing is that few seem to notice -- even in the Black community. We focus so much on the rich (celebrity mostly) and the poor, that the folks in the middle are basically over looked.
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Carey
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Posted on Monday, August 24, 2009 - 11:28 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Troy, that's a very interesting article. Yet, I don't think the Black Middle Class are being overlooked. They didn't open their damn mouths when they "thought" they had a cabin in the sky. Now they want to cry "what about me".

I think its more about first thangs first.
People on the bottom can not fall into a lower class, they are out of there!

When I hear the phrase "middle class" I look at it with a very discerning eye. The middle of what class? Some are quick to lump blacks in a group with others when trying to support a claim. Take for instance the old statistics game ...."The share of black children living in a single parent home increased by 155 percent between 1960 to 2006, while the share of white children living in single parent homes increased by a staggering 229 percent"

WOW! "a staggering 229 percent increase", Please, the real numbers are in the whole numbers. For instance, a jump from 3 to 12 is a staggering 300 percent increase - right? Well, by comparison 1000 to 2000 is only a 100 percent increase - right? But 2000 is waaaaay more than 12.

Also, the average person has no idea where the middle class begins. And, for the most part, who cares. If moral values are linear with being in the middle class, then, lets talk about that.

To be real, these types of slanted essays only rear their ugly heads when white folks begin to suffer. Then as usually, black folk start pointing fingers at other blacks (as in this article) and the beat goes on.
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Troy
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Posted on Monday, August 24, 2009 - 04:13 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

So Carey, do you think there is no issue here?

The vast majority of Black people fall into the middle class. We talk about the poorest of the poor and the very wealthy "minorities", I guess, 'cause they are more interesting than someone who simply gets up and goes to work everyday, maybe goes to Red Lobster on Saturday and church on Sunday.

Well if you think everything is Hunky-dory with the Black middle class then, I guess I'll just throw my hands up in exasperation...

If you have not noticed whites are beginning to suffer too. This is probably the only reason Obama was elected -- white folks are desperate for "change" and something better.
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Carey
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Posted on Monday, August 24, 2009 - 05:35 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Troy, let me start by addressing this one "If you have not noticed whites are beginning to suffer too. This is probably the only reason Obama was elected -- white folks are desperate for "change" and something better"

That statement is too ambiguos for me to answer with a yes or a no. Yes, whites are beginning to suffer too. But no, it's not the only reason Obama was elected, far from it. Yes, they are desperate for change but the real issue is what kind of a change. So yes, there is an issue here. Right now, some of those desperate white folks want to change presidents - what's the issue.

Although the ariticle wrapped itself in "the middle class" I failed to see the significance of doing that.

I do not know if I agree with your opinion that the majority of blacks are in the middle class. In fact, I think that statement is false. Maybe we should define what the middle class is? It IS NOT those that simply have a job. Once we get on common ground, we will see what ground we are standing on.

What specifically did white folks want to change?

Here's what I did like about the article

"Juan Williams dismissed the NAACP by saying that more up-to-date and relevant groups focus on "people who have taken advantage of integration and opportunities for education, employment, versus those who seem caught in generational cycles of poverty," which he went on to characterize by drug use and crime. The fact that there is an ongoing recession disproportionately affecting the African American middle class -- and brought on by Wall Street greed rather than "ghetto" values -- seems to have eluded him"

Although I seldom agree with Juan Williams (hate that dude) and I am not now. But, we can not alienate ourselves from the issues of "ghetto" values. So, yes Troy, there's an issue. I guess I am taken aback when the middle class suffering are leading the voice of change. It could have been my knees jerking.
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Ferociouskitty
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Posted on Monday, August 24, 2009 - 07:47 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

As of 2006 data, about 24% of black folks lived beneath the poverty line. So, unless we believe that about an equal % of us are also considered wealthy (bridge, to sell you, etc.), I think it's safe to say that a lot more than half of us fall in the middle.

http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/histpov/hstpov2.html

As for actual income-based definitions of "middle class", someone else can look that up, but Carey is correct in saying that middle class does not mean simply having a job. Middle class falls between working class and upper class.

That said, I think the middle class has a right to cry "what about me"--why not? Lots of people--poor, working, and middle class--are struggling today, and it's unfair (and inaccurate) to paint the middle class with such a broad brush as to say they care/d only about their cabin in the sky. I doubt the majority of folks who volunteer or work for social justice programs are trust fund babies. They are middle class themselves. They certainly aren't in it for the money and comfortable lifestyle.
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Carey
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Posted on Monday, August 24, 2009 - 07:59 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

That's true Kitty, they have the right to cry, I'll bow to that one. Thanks for making my point. I think the middle class starts somewhere between $60,000 and $70,000.

The poverty line is around $20,000 or higher, if we are talking dollars. Or if we are talking government standards.
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Troy
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Posted on Monday, August 24, 2009 - 08:05 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Everybody I never said the middle class was defined by someone who had a job; no more than someone who goes to red lobster on Saturday is autonatically middle class...

Carey I'm not saying we do not need to worry about poor people. All I is saying is the black middle class (you look up the definition) majority is disappearing, struggling harder and largely overlooked by the media. Which made the article refreshing.
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Carey
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Posted on Monday, August 24, 2009 - 08:09 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

But how fitting is it to say "the destruction of the middle class". Talk about being drama queens.

Yes, the middle class can cry but lets put it in the proper perspective. Maybe they should cry about their shame and guilt over their greed and their wacking off of more than than could chew. Some thought they were in the middle class or were trying to get in the middle class (appearance) by taking on mortgages they could not afford. We shouldn't hate the game, we should hate the foolish players.
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Ferociouskitty
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Posted on Monday, August 24, 2009 - 08:44 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Carey, are the poor and underclass also "foolish players"? Leaving aside the complicity and culpability of the mortgage and banking industries re: the mess you referenced, how are those who were trying to get in the middle class (by the tried and true method of home ownership) any more foolish than the poor who make what some would call reckless or otherwise ill-advised decisions?

Is your gripe with the middle class--or with foolish behavior, which knows no class bounds?
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Carey
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Posted on Monday, August 24, 2009 - 09:27 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Well first, I wouldn't call it a gripe. I'd like to refer to it as a discussion.

"Carey, are the poor and underclass also "foolish players"? Leaving aside the complicity and culpability of the mortgage and banking industries"

Kitty, your question is unfair because we can not excuse the players (as you tried to) and lay an inappropriate amount of blame on "complicity and compabilty" of the mortage industry. Your statement also threw in "by the tried and true method of home ownership" as if, again,implying that the borrowers did nothing wrong. FIRST! they did NOT use the tried and true method. Had all those things been true, many would not be in the mess they are in. Which brings me back to my original point. Greed and social ladder climbing played a significant role in their debacle. And we all know several borrowers reached way beyound their means. Lets put the blame at the feet of the right individuals.

I will agree, foolishness has no bounds, yet, ignorance is another bag of worms. Recklessness and making ill-advised decision are the sores of ignorance and poverty.

So, although I do not know the purpose behind this question >>>>..."any more foolish than the poor who make what some would call reckless or otherwise ill-advised decisions?"

I will say a fool is a fool - and?

Kitty, are you trying to imply that during this "recession" the fate of the middle class is just as devastating as the poor? I've said they have a right to cry but again, "the destruction of the middle class" is a bit much".

If I am missing your point, please let me in?
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Abm
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Posted on Monday, August 24, 2009 - 10:23 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Carey,

You are kicking TAIL in this thread, brougham!
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Ferociouskitty
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Posted on Monday, August 24, 2009 - 10:33 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Carey,

My point is that you are making blanket statements about "the black middle class"--a group so large and diverse that generalizations can't possibly hold. Trends and statistics (however limited) can be noted as to the erosion of the black middle class, but the notion that this group as a whole is greedy or guilty of something--how would you even begin to measure that?

Further, the purpose behind my question was simply to find out if you believe that foolishness is happening across classes, because your comments suggest that you believe that the middle class has a monopoly on foolishness. I asked for clarification, because that is how your comments read to me. And yes, they do have the tone of a "gripe"--not a criticism of you, but rather an observation.

Kitty, your question is unfair because we can not excuse the players (as you tried to) and lay an inappropriate amount of blame on "complicity and compabilty" of the mortage industry.

I didn't excuse anyone. It's not uncommon in discourse to focus on one entity at a time, and for the purposes of our conversation, I wanted to focus on the home buyers exclusively for a moment, to address what you were saying about them. How do you figure I'm laying a disproportionate amount of blame anywhere? I haven't ranked anyone's culpability. The fact that I offered the "leaving aside..." caveat and mentioned the "foolishness" of the homebuyers is by definition my acknowledgment that both sides had a part to play in that mess.

Your statement also threw in "by the tried and true method of home ownership" as if, again,implying that the borrowers did nothing wrong.

I don't follow your logic at all. Someone buying a house is a tried and true method in the pursuit of upward mobility. Simply wanting to own a home isn't wrong or suspect. This in and of itself is not foolish. That is my point.

FIRST! they did NOT use the tried and true method.

I was referring to home ownership, not subprime mortgages.

Greed and social ladder climbing played a significant role in their debacle.

What's wrong with social ladder climbing if you are on a low rung and want yourself (and/or your children) to be on a higher one?

Lets put the blame at the feet of the right individuals.

Speaking of individuals...my entire point is that your assertions about these greedy, guilt-ridden members of the black middle class may apply to individuals, but not the class as a whole. Why not lay your accusations at the feet of the individuals who fit this description instead of painting with such a broad brush as to make your statements ring hollow?

I will say a fool is a fool - and?

If a fool is a fool, then your comments suggesting that foolishness is the exclusive domain of the middle class don't make sense to me.

Kitty, are you trying to imply that during this "recession" the fate of the middle class is just as devastating as the poor?

If you lose your job and you're middle class, it's devastating. If you are already poor and become poorer because of the recession, it's devastating. By the grace of God, I don't fall into either category, so I wouldn't be so arrogant as to rank either party's suffering. But I will say this: as more of the black middle class become poor, all of us will feel the devastation, so we'd better care.

I've said they have a right to cry but again, "the destruction of the middle class" is a bit much".

It would be, if the authors of this article (or Troy) were "ranking" devastation. You're the only person that has suggested a hierarchy of suffering. The poor can suffer *and* the middle class can be destroyed or eroded or whatever one calls it, at the same time. Both are happening. This article just happens to be about the middle class. As Troy has pointed out, other articles focus on poor and working class folks.

And, Barbara Ehrenreich, the co-author of this piece, is most well-known for her book "Nickel and Dimed: On Not Getting By in America", written some years ago, in which she chronicled her year spent working in minimum wage jobs around the country, to draw attention to the plight of the working poor and to the lie of a "livable" minimum wage.

Finally, you may be interested in a recent NYT op-ed piece by Ms. Ehrenreich entitled, "Is It Now a Crime to Be Poor?"

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/09/opinion/09ehrenreich.html
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Carey
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Posted on Monday, August 24, 2009 - 10:40 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

*lol* @ Abm

I thought I was holding my own.

I knew I was in for a fight when Miss Kitty stepped on the floor. But it seems like they are having a hard time defining their position.

But see, now you've gone and done it. Now they will come back loaded for bear. Step in any time, I could use some help.

Chris left me hanging in the "acting white" tread. After I came in to support his behind he left me out to dry.

Anyway, I think Kitty was just playing moderator - we'll see. She's very cagey.
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Carey
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Posted on Monday, August 24, 2009 - 10:46 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Utt oh, see ABM, here she is. I'll be back.
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Carey
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Posted on Monday, August 24, 2009 - 11:43 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Kitty, let me start from the back.

"And, Barbara Ehrenreich, the co-author of this piece, is most well-known for her book "Nickel and Dimed: On Not Getting By in America", written some years ago, in which she chronicled her year spent working in minimum wage jobs around the country, to draw attention to the plight of the working poor and to the lie of a "livable" minimum wage"

And? So she wrote a book and spent a WHOLE year working AS a minumum wage worker. What? Why should we know that? Lets move on.

Come on Kitty, You know I can play chase the issue game but this >>>>....

"If you lose your job and you're middle class, it's devastating. If you are already poor and become poorer because of the recession, it's devastating. By the grace of God, I don't fall into either category, But I will say this: as more of the black middle class become poor, all of us will feel the devastation, so we'd better care"

Although you tried to evade the question with a cagey ...

"so I wouldn't be so arrogant as to rank either party's suffering" ...

You did however (sort of) answer my question. Of course it goes without question that a person on the ground has no where to go. It stands to reason that their ability to get a good paying job suffered. But the middle class person is still in the game. So, although you said they both would be devastated, that wasn't my question. Your silence is noted.

"the destruction of the middle class" is a bit much".

Kitty repied: "It would be, if the authors of this article (or Troy) were "ranking" devastation"

AGAIN Kitty, you are shifting the point. "I" said, "the DESTRUCTION of the middle class" is a bit much. You re-defined it as devastation rankings. Your silence is noted. A destruction is a great ruin.

"Speaking of individuals...my entire point is that your assertions about these greedy, guilt-ridden members of the black middle class may apply to individuals, but not the class as a whole. Why not lay your accusations at the feet of the individuals who fit this description instead of painting with such a broad brush.

Okay, I can do that. Some of these greedy cry babies should look within themselves for a solution to their problems.

"I don't follow your logic at all. Someone buying a house is a tried and true method in the pursuit of upward mobility. Simply wanting to own a home isn't wrong or suspect. This in and of itself is not foolish. That is my point"

My point, one mo gen. The line that you just referenced followed one in which it appears you were trying to build a case of excuses for the middle class, and their own mistakes. The words "tried and True" implies that it worked before so what's the problem. Here's the problem, THEY DID NOT follow the tried and true system. For one thing, the system they used was new. That's why the doors opened to the situation we now find ourselves in. THAT'S WHY, I said, if all those things (tried & true) be true, they wouldn't be crying! You clarified it in your next sentence but you re-posted my comment, as if you didn't know what I was talking about (you actually said that).

"The fact that I offered the "leaving aside..." caveat and mentioned the "foolishness" of the homebuyers is by definition my acknowledgment that both sides had a part to play in that mess"

Okay! I see you're bridgeable.

"Trends and statistics (however limited) can be noted as to the erosion of the black middle class"

Okay Kitty, I'll agree that an erosion is happening to the black middle class.
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Cynique
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Posted on Tuesday, August 25, 2009 - 12:16 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Of come on. The middleclass is suffering and waning and bearing the brunt of the economic crises if for no other reason than they are paying taxes at a dispropotionate rate than the other classes. The rich are given ways to circumvent paying their share of taxes and the working poor don't make enough money to pay high taxes. Both black and white middle classes did everything they were supposed to do; worked hard, got educations, pulled themselves up by their boot straps and when the deal went down they got left holding the bag. They are the ones whose pension funds and savings are in jeopardy.

The people who got in over their heads with the adjustable mortgage rates pawned off on them by the greedy bankers were middle income people who didn't have the prudence or foresight that is synonymous with true middle class values.

And there is a delination made between upper middle class and the lower middleclass.

White people are looking for somebody to target for all of their problems and Obama is a perfect foil.

Black people are holding their tongues and crossing their fingers, trying to maintain the audacity of hope. IMO
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Ferociouskitty
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Posted on Tuesday, August 25, 2009 - 12:43 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

And? So she wrote a book and spent a WHOLE year working AS a minumum wage worker. What? Why should we know that?

Don't you read your own posts? You've suggested some negligence because this article (and its authors, presumably) focuses on the middle class. It should be relevant to that point that a co-author of the article has also written extensively on the subject of the working poor. But if that's not obvious, then I'm not going to spend anymore time connecting dots.

Your silence is noted.

Sigh. If you ask me which of my children I love more, I will tell you I love them both. Is that being silent? I wouldn't be evading the question; I don't think it's an appropriate question.

You asked me: Kitty, are you trying to imply that during this "recession" the fate of the middle class is just as devastating as the poor? Doesn't it go without saying that the poor, generally speaking, have more to lose? That's what you're implying, but your question asked something different, something to which I felt a "yes" or "no" answer would be inappropriate. Just as devastating "to whom"? Me? I'm sure it's quite devastating to the people to whom it's happening, especially those who are suffering due to no fault of their own.

Further, a middle class person can fall into poverty lower than someone who is already poor. Another reason why ranking the devastation makes no sense--other than to marginalize the experiences of people who may or may not have had a hand in their own downfall. How much more devastated are the middle class folks who didn't take out subprime mortgages entitled to feel? 10% more?

AGAIN Kitty, you are shifting the point. "I" said, "the DESTRUCTION of the middle class" is a bit much. You re-defined it as devastation rankings.

Your entire point is that "destruction" is too strong a word BECAUSE the middle class's suffering pales in comparison to poor folks. You introduced ranking into this discussion.

Your silence is noted.

Wow, if my silent posts are that long, I'd hate to see my wordy ones.

A destruction is a great ruin.

And no one in the middle class has ever experienced great ruin? Do you think everyone who is poor was born that way?

But the middle class person is still in the game.

All of them? Really?

The words "tried and True" implies that it worked before so what's the problem.

No. "Tried and true" means that home ownership--not subprime mortgages--has been a common means of upward mobility. There is no problem with home ownership. My "tried and true" acknowledges what you seem to be forgetting: that some of the folks who got involved in the subprime stuff did so out of pure ignorance, not greed. That's not excusing the greedy ones, but let's put down the broad brush. Again.

For some reason that I can't fathom, you *want* me to offer excuses for these folks, but I'm not the one. You'll have to pick that fight with someone who actually holds that position.

Because you are stuck on this false notion of my excusing irresponsible behavior, you're completing ignoring the second half of my rhetorical question to you: Was the bad behavior of these homebuyers (see? I accuse them!) worse than the foolishness some poor folks can rightfully be accused of? My point again being if there is foolishness across class, why is your criticism of acting foolish so class-specific?

You clarified it in your next sentence but you re-posted my comment, as if you didn't know what I was talking about (you actually said that).

I said I didn't follow your logic--my way of saying that I found your logic faulty, not that I didn't know what you were talking about.

As for evading questions, why would I? I don't feel outmatched because I don't see this as a match at all. I've never understood when people use competitive metaphors in this forum. I don't seek to win anything here, because there's nothing here that I need to win. Further, if there's something I don't want to answer, I'll simply say so, plus I'll concede a point where it's warranted, gladly.

But if your basic premise is that I'm being evasive, then you can continue this conversation with the straw man you've created.
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Carey
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Posted on Tuesday, August 25, 2009 - 12:52 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"And there is a delination made between upper middle class and the lower middleclass"

Good point.

"The people who got in over their heads with the adjustable mortgage rates pawned off on them by the greedy bankers were middle income people who didn't have the prudence or foresight that is synonymous with true middle class values"

Good point again, I agree. "true middle class values"

I don't know about the this >>>>"they are paying taxes at a dispropotionate rate than the other classes"

I don't know where the "other" classes begin or stop, yet, it would seem by sheer numbers that the "other" groups would be adding more to the pie. There has to be more people outside of the loop than inside. Moreso,5 poor people making 30,000 each might all pay more in taxes than 2 people making 75,000 each, because the poor slobs making thirty grand doesn't generally have the same tax deductions as a person that owns their home. Hence, $150,000 is $150,000 but which 150 is going to reap the most taxes?
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Carey
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Posted on Tuesday, August 25, 2009 - 01:02 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Well Kitty, we are done. We've beat this up. I've enjoyed the exchange.

I have to admit I sometimes use competitive metephors and I am sorry if my tone and words cross that line. I am going to blame it on the stupid and aggresive black man in me and ABM *lol*.

Now you know we cool - right?
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Ferociouskitty
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Posted on Tuesday, August 25, 2009 - 01:05 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Like Freddy Jackson sipping a milkshake in a snowstorm, Carey-Carey...
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Carey
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Posted on Tuesday, August 25, 2009 - 01:09 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Well, at least we didn't start calling each other nasty blk SOBs and stankin' wh**res *lol*

Nope, so we are way above the water mark of TCs.
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Carey
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Posted on Tuesday, August 25, 2009 - 01:11 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Or is that "below" the water mark *scratching head*
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Yvettep
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Posted on Tuesday, August 25, 2009 - 10:14 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The Black middle class is no where near "destruction"--I agree that is too strong a word.

One reason why Black middle class suffers more than White counterparts is because of the wealth (not income) gap. Also, a lot of times Blacks in the middle class are supporting more kin who are less financially advantaged and do not have generations of middle class family as a safety net. In addition, a lot of highly educated Black women who are "middle class" are in this bracket by virtue of one income, which has all sort of consequences for Black families and the long-term viability of the Black middle class generally.

Another reason is--I'll say it and take the pies in my face--because of the academic and professional decisions we make. Many Black middle class folks choose occupations that will make them highly educated, but not wealthy enough to make a huge economic leap. These professions include the traditionally respected occupations in our communities such as K-12 teaching/school administration, the ministry, social and human services, "entrepreneurs"--even primary care physicians I would place in this group.
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Troy
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Posted on Wednesday, August 26, 2009 - 10:19 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yvettep, I just read your last post you would not deserve a pie in the face for that one. You speak the truth. I'll extend your argument:

Consider, many in the professions you mention go deep into debt obtaining those advanced degrees. From a financial perspective they would have been better off it they just went into the military or drove a bus for a living.

You can add to that the decisions and life styes that make achieving wealth (again different that a high wage) virtually impossible, even for those with a decent salary and benefits: which includes going in credit card debt, never marrying (espeically when children are involved) which allow you to spend less by pooling resources with your partner, of course I could go on...

Sure if you specialize in a field of medicine, become a partner in a high powered law firm, work in financial services, or own the right kind of business (don't sleep on being an entrepreneur) you can earn a million plus a year and build generational wealth.

Of course the vast majority of the Black middle class do not do this.
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Chrishayden
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Posted on Wednesday, August 26, 2009 - 11:59 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hell, you think white folks are gonna take it on the chin and let Negroes slide?

The wheat getting separated from the chaff isall.
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Yvettep
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Posted on Thursday, August 27, 2009 - 07:25 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yes, Troy. School debt is no joke. I love my job and my husband is happy about his profession. But all these years out we are still paying back student loans, and will likely be at least for another 6 years. (We are both in our mid 40s.)

I was not knocking entrepreneurs. Believe me I wouldn't do that in your of all spaces! LOL But *most* people, IMO, have a pretty romantic idea of "going into business for myself." First, most people (any color) do not have nearly enough savings to start their own business safely. Many also do not realize that retirement is on them, health care is on them--not to mention their employees' health care, retirement...not to mention all sorts of legal protections and on and on. They also do not fully understand that when you're the owner/boss, if you do not work you do not get paid.

ANother mythical idea folks have about starting their own business is that they will have something "to pass on to the kids." Yet few business owners make adequate arrangements for doing so (especially if the kids are not interested, willing, or able). Also, the sentimental attachment to the business means that many are not positioning themselves to sell off all or parts of their business to the highest bidder.
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Cynique
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Posted on Thursday, August 27, 2009 - 02:00 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Will black America ever accumulate wealth, ever acquire entitlement, ever achieve status?

Barak Obama has had all this handed to him, and it seems to have stultified him.

We descendants of Ham seem destined to sustain the effects of Noah's wrath as single young black females busy themselves abiding by the commandment to be fruitful and multiply.
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Carey
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Posted on Thursday, August 27, 2009 - 02:41 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"Barak Obama has had all this handed to him, and it seems to have stultified him"

Cynique, would you like to take that back.

For one, our president had nothing handed to him.

"Will black America ever accumulate wealth, ever acquire entitlement, ever achieve status"

Was that a retorical question? Surely you can see many blacks that have achieved great wealth and status. Did you really want an answer to your question or were you singing (off note) to the choir?

I have know idea what Ham and Noah's wrath has to do with this. Splain dat ta me.
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Cynique
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Posted on Thursday, August 27, 2009 - 04:34 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

No, I wouldn't like to take back anything I said. I wouldn't have said it if I hadn't meant it.

IMO, the American voters handed Barak everything that a privileged white person has. He certainly wasn't born with it. That's why he doesn't know how to act now that he has it.

Accumulated wealth that has been passed down from generation to generation, commonly referred to as "old money" is an indicator of an upper echelon status rarely found in the black population which is now simply burgeoned with the "noveau riche". A rich rapper is not in the same category as a wealthy Rockefeller.

There are those who claim that black skin is the "mark of Ham" whose father, Noah, cursed him for laughing when he saw Noah naked. Guess you're too busy not tithing(giving a tenth of your income) to have heard this ol biblical lore.
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Troy
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Posted on Thursday, August 27, 2009 - 06:27 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"Guess you're too busy not tithing" ROTFLMMFAO!

Yvettep, I hear you about entrepreneurs. Done right however, it can be a path to establishing real wealth.

Cynique, the way you are supposed to act with that type of wealth and power, in this society, is to do everything in you can to accumulate more -- even at the expense of others.

...a rich rapper can become a pauper over night. The upper class protects themselves and their assets. They actually control things. They make a call Junior has a high paying job.

Rich rappers buy gold teeth and 20 cars. What happened to MJ's millions?

Many white folks leave college with a house down payment (if the house was not brought outright), no students loans (parents covered that), a new high-end car given to them while in high school, wedding/honeymoon paid for -- all that and this is just upper middle class white folks.

It takes few genrations to get to this point and we (Black Folks) got a very late start. Then there are depressions, reccessions, and all kinds of ecconomic condidtions that push us back... but have less of an impact on white folks.

Few Blacks folks get a start on life like that. CNN's program could have focused more on people with that type of wealth, but no they choose to focus on some negative BS. But I digress...
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Carey
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Posted on Thursday, August 27, 2009 - 10:41 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Troy, you and Cynique should go on the road. Mom's Mable & Black Huckleberry Finn.
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Cynique
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Posted on Friday, August 28, 2009 - 11:23 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Do you mean "Moms Mabley?" Or somebody named "Mabel" who belongs to Mom????

And just what is it about Troy's incisive comments on white wealth in America that brings to mind Huckleberry Finn?????

Off the mark, - as usual.
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Carey
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Posted on Friday, August 28, 2009 - 12:15 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yeah, you knew who I was talking about - right? That old crinkled up black woman with the ugly mouth.

As your laugh track buddy said, I would expect nothing different from you, Moms.

Again, you missed it. Huckleberry Finn is just that. You know, like "I'll be your huckleberry, baby" .

You're too busy playing TC's Miss Spell check editor. Everybody is not like you. They don't have time to Yahoo copy and past, in an attempt to emulate-fake something they're not.
We read your book - OUCH!

What kind of bird don't fly, Carey?

Get out a little more, move around.
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Cynique
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Posted on Friday, August 28, 2009 - 01:59 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

All I ask is that you write things that make sense. But that is apparently expecting too much from you.
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Carey
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Posted on Friday, August 28, 2009 - 02:45 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

As A_womon would say ....AuuuuuuShuuuuuuT UuuuuuuP!
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Cynique
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Posted on Friday, August 28, 2009 - 05:29 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Welllll, "Caries",(the dental term for tooth cavities}, I went back to your 12:15 post to see if it made sense the second time around. No such luck. ..."Yahoo copy and past?"(paste?}

I have no idea how you read my book, but I can only assume a_woman sent you the copy she had. In any case, I know you aren't trying to say that I copied and pasted anything in that book that wasn't my writing. Everything I cited which wasn't my words, I put in quotes, and I acknowledged all of the poets I quoted. So once again whatever you and your "Huckleberry" are trying to imply makes no sense.

What I think you are attempting to convey is that I am trying to keep "Along The Way" a secret possibly because it contained some typos and word omissions. Jeeze. Why don't you just have the balls to say what you mean instead of hiding behind a lot of senseless drivel???? So, I was too impervious to employ a proof reader. Does that surprise anybody????

What really doesn't make sense is why I waste my time, babysitting your infantile comments. Playing online Bridge is so much more fun - and interesting. Gotta go.
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Chrishayden
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Posted on Saturday, August 29, 2009 - 11:26 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Damn! In an amazing illustration of reverse psychology this thread has reawakened my Middle Class aspirations. I want to own a Mercedes, wear Armani suits get a Rolex and go skiing with Troy (Ya Doesn't Have Ta Call Me) Johnson.

Somebody slap me!
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Yvettep
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Posted on Saturday, August 29, 2009 - 04:20 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Somebody slap me!

SLAAAAAAP!!!!

You're welcome.

:-)
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Carey
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Posted on Saturday, August 29, 2009 - 05:47 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"Somebody slap me!"

Move out of the way Yvettep, let me get some of that ass too.

SLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAP!!!! SWOOOOOOSH-KUUURPLUNK!!!

There's a swift kick for added measure. Is it all better now?

:-)
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Cynique
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Posted on Saturday, August 29, 2009 - 10:28 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm withholding my open palm, Chrishayden. I say go for it. Embrace the "bougie" dream!

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