Reclaiming Our Way promoting the well-being of African American children & families


National Urban League Panel Discussions: 2014 State of Black America – One Nation Underemployed



‘One Nation Underemployed’ Shows Blacks Still In Crisis

From NPR:  The National Urban League's new "State of Black America" report finds that African-Americans are still struggling to find jobs, but there's plenty they can do to recover from the recession.

MARTIN: Thank you so much for joining us, Professor Overton. So, Marc Morial, the report is titled "One Nation Underemployed." Why do you focus on underemployment? And I mean, one of the issues we've been reporting on quite extensively in recent years is that the unemployment rate for African-Americans and Latinos has been consistently high. So why are you focusing on underemployment?

MORIAL: Underemployment is sort of a component of the economic challenges we face. So underemployment means a person may be working but - for example, they may be in a full-time job, but want to work in a - or maybe in a part-time job - may want to work in a full-time job. Or they're working, as a woman I recently met, as a cashier at a grocery store, happy to be employed, but qualified to - and spent 24 years as a teacher. So this underemployment problem is not fully captured by simply looking at the joblessness rate or the unemployment rate. And we think it is something that is part of the picture of the recovery since the great recession.

One of the points raised is that African American families should increasingly encourage our children to move into some of the professional fields in which we are overly-invovled as consumers, and under-involved as producers. Such fields include the various STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields:

OVERTON: I think so. One piece here is STEM and the importance of STEM. You know, African-Americans are much more likely to use Twitter, to have a mobile phone than some others, but they are underrepresented in terms of producing in the technology area. And so there's a Joint Center report that found that if we were to increase the rate of STEM-related degrees among African-Americans and Latinos to the same rate as Asian-Americans, we'd add about 140,000 new STEM degree holders every year. That would benefit the economy. It would also go a long way in terms of inequality.


Was this TED Talk Banned? Nick Hanauer “Rich people don’t create jobs”

Check out another TED Talk - except this one didn't make it to primetime.  I wonder why?

Read on, and then watch the video.

From a 2012 TIME article...

Their slogan is “ideas worth spreading.” But the folks at TED – the Technology Entertainment and Design nonprofit behind the TED Talks, beloved by geeks and others interested in novel new ideas – evidently think that some ideas are better left unspread. At least when the ideas in question challenge the conventional wisdom that rich enterpreneurs are the number one job creators.

This past March, millionaire tech investor and entrepreneur Nick Hanauer – one of the early backers of – gave a talk at a TED conference in which, among other things, suggested that middle-class consumers, not rich people, are the real job creators – and that because of this rich people should be paying more in taxes. Though the talk drew applause from conference attendees at the time, TED Talk curator Chris Anderson decided it wasn’t worth sharing with the wider world, and refused to post it on TED’s website.

His explanation? The talk was “too political” to be posted during an election year, and that “a lot of business managers and entrepreneurs would feel insulted” by some of Hanauer’s arguments. This seems more than a tad disingenuous, since TED generally doesn’t shy away from controversial ideas, and is sometimes so “political” that it invites actual politicians to talk at its conferences.

From Nick Hanauer's unpublished TED Talk...

Consider that for thousands of years humans believed that the Earth was the center of the universe. It's not. And an astronomer who still believes that it was, can do some pretty terrible astronomy. Likewise, a policymaker who believes that the rich are job creators, and therefore should not be taxed, will do equally terrible policy.

Ultimately, businesses need people to buy their product. When there are no people to buy the product, there is no need for people to create or sell the product. When there's no need for this, businesses have no reason to hire people.

Moreover, as it is currently, the money people are spending on goods and services is being kept by the increasingly rich business and corporate executives (and their investors of course), with the decreasing numbers of workers who create and sell the product receiving less and less income. Meanwhile, the people doing the work are working harder and longer hours with less and less pay for their work.

Get wise, people. While you continue to watch Scandal and other mindless television shows, there are many advocates and policymakers working hard to undermine the livelihood and life experiences of our children and their children yet unborn. Watch whatever you want to watch; that's not my point. The point is that we need to better understand what's happening around us, and do the hard work of making this country, and the world for that matter, the kind of country and world we want and expect it to be. We need to spend less time numbing ourselves to the stress and pain of the daily grind, and spend more time actively working to create a present and future that is worthy of the term "civilization" or "humanity".