African-Americans and minorities in the USA believe that hard work and education can help them build a better life than had been available to their parents. Unfortunately, a major portion of the African-Americans stays in communities that have the lowest prospects when it comes to upward mobility. This speaks volumes about the unintended and intended consequences of the policies of the United States that shape the economic opportunities people get in these communities.
Sure, an economic calamity can strike anyone, but it worse for minorities. In this situation of a downturn, they fall faster and harder. They have a minimum resource to dig themselves out of the hole and this makes it more difficult for them.
Since time immemorial, African-Americans are forced or enslaved to work in barbaric conditions in fields like service workers, domestic, and agriculture. According to the estimates, slaveholders procured labor worth $14 trillion from the captives. The enslaved people use to sow and plow fields, raise, milk, and butcher livestock, and harvest and pack crops.
Slavery was abolished in 1863 but it didn’t give equal economic opportunity to the black workers to liberate themselves. African American, Hispanic, Asian, and Latino comprise 36% of the total U.S. workforce, they form
· 70% of the housekeeping cleaners and maid
· 58% of various agricultural workers
· 74% of bellhops and baggage porters
The legacy of these kinds of work continues to affect the American economic system.
The Income Gap Is Driven by Difference in Outcome of Men’s and Not Women’s
People growing up in families with comparable incomes, minorities grow up to earn lesser than white men. However, in comparison to this, white women earn only a little more than women in minorities. There are significant gender differences when it comes to outcomes.
This difference in outcomes in college attendance rate, high-school completion rate, and the incarceration rate is considerably higher for men than for women.
New Deal Programs to Institutionalize Disparities in Benefits and Wages
The United States came up with the New Deal after the Great Depression to help struggling families improve their economic mobility. The policies strengthened labor standards by improving working conditions and wages and increasing protection. This policy helped several families find work. However, most of the benefits were reserved for the whites and restricted the Hispanics, African Americans, and other minorities.
At present, the median wage in the USA is $18.58 per house. Nevertheless, in occupations comprising of a higher level of black workers, the median wage is only $12.91-$14.59. The Wagner Act and the FLSA act had been notable pieces in the New
Deal legislation as it opened door to several households to prosper. Albeit, the policies had been marketed as universal, there were disparities, and the benefits excluded several occupations that were commonly held by minorities. A large number of people from the minority community are stuck in low-paying jobs that have little or no benefits, sordid working conditions, and minimum employment security.
Structural discrimination has led to persistent inequalities in economic opportunities and well-being.