If you want to understand better why so many states—from New York to Wisconsin to California—are teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, consider this depressing statistic: Today in America there are nearly twice as many people working for the government (22.5 million) than in all of manufacturing (11.5 million). This is an almost exact reversal of the situation in 1960, when there were 15 million workers in manufacturing and 8.7 million collecting a paycheck from the government.
Shutting down the government, however brief, will impact BRA
And guess which group is employed disproportionately by the government? The same group of people who still support Barack Obama with a staggering 85 percent approval rating; Black people.Let's take a quick look which private sector jobs have the lowest Black participation before we get started:It gets worse. More Americans work for the government than work in construction, farming, fishing, forestry, manufacturing, mining and utilities combined. We have moved decisively from a nation of makers to a nation of takers. Nearly half of the $2.2 trillion cost of state and local governments is the $1 trillion-a-year tab for pay and benefits of state and local employees. Is it any wonder that so many states and cities cannot pay their bills?
1. Artists and related workers—0.8%2. Environmental scientists and geoscientists—1.0%3. Cost estimators—1.1%4. Farmers and ranchers—1.4%4. Dentists—1.4%4. Surveying and mapping technicians—1.4%7. Farm, ranch, and other agricultural managers—1.5%8. News analysts, reporters and correspondents—1.8%9. Millwrights—2.1%9. Miscellaneous physical scientists—2.1%
What was the Wall Street Journal alluding to again?
We already know that TSA, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the Post Office, NASA and virtually every other Federal agency hires Black employees at rates that far exceed private companies. Black people rely on the public sector for jobs that the private sector just can't create for them to perform, hence high rates of unemployment because every Black person can't work in human resources for the state department.
Just how reliant are Black people on the government for jobs?:
The figures on the number of blacks in federal government positions tell the story of just who will be hurt the most in a government shutdown. According to a 2010 study by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, blacks make up nearly one out of five non-postal federal employees. The disproportionate number of black federal employees is more than a paper figure if the government issues temporary pink slips to nearly one million federal employees in any shutdown. They have rents and home mortgages to pay, children's tuition due, food and clothes to buy.Let's dig further into those numbers:
In short the human toll would be huge, and would go far beyond the $100 million dollar per day that some experts estimate a government shutdown would cost. The disproportionate hurt that a government shutdown will inflict on blacks is no anomaly. Public employment, and the federal government being a centerpiece of that, has been the economic life blood of black communities for generations.
Nearly 60 percent of older black people rely on Social Security for more than 80 percent of their income, according to the study, released Friday by the Boston-based non-profit United for a Fair Economy. That's compared to 46 percent of older white Americans.How bad would Black unemployment be without public jobs? We might find out soon if the government shuts down, however brief a period it might be.
"These programs are to lift up all Americans, regardless of race," said Brian Miller, executive director of United for a Fair Economy and a co-author of the report. Still, he added, "for black and Latino households, things like social safety nets are far more important."
The safety net is not all that's at stake. African Americans are 30 percent more likely than the overall workforce to hold public sector jobs -- and 70 percent more likely to work for the Federal government, the study found.
Spending cuts, then, amount to a "one-two punch" for black households, Miller said.
"Not only do they get these cuts in public services, they also get hit with layoffs," he said.
Budget austerity would come at a time when unemployment among African Americans has reached epidemic proportions. Last month, the national unemployment rate was 9.4 percent, and the white unemployment rate was 8.5 percent. For black Americans, it was 15.8 percent.
We joke about what will happen when the welfare checks and Section 8 housing vouchers run out, but let's face it, it won't be funny. It will be chaos. Worse, think about how many jobs the government provides Black people that the private sector can't replicate.
Think about all the various organizations that exist on the government dime that help Black people:
The government has run out of money. At some point, austerity measures will be implemented that will impact Black people at ratesThe government of the United States, i.e. the tax-payers, bankroll a disproportionate amount of Black employees. Government programs go to support the Black population at rates far exceeding their percentage of the population that can't find private sector work.
One the biggest pushes by the GOP is to cut funding for Planned Parenthood. Despite the GOP’s demonization of Planned Parenthood, the organization isn’t purely about providing abortions. Planned Parenthood provides condoms and other means of contraception to people in urban communities. They also educate teens on sex, children and parenthood and offer other options such as adoptions and counsel young parents on how to raise children.
The GOP is also looking to make major cuts to HeadStart, which provides childcare for children under five for people in urban areas who may not be able to afford other sources of daycare. Another proposed cut by the GOP is to WIC or Women with Infants and Children which provides money to families who may not be able to feed their families.
The Republicans also want to cut Pell Grants which subsidize college tuition for people who may not be able to afford college and cut the Minority Business Development Agency which helps minorities start their own small businesses.
At some point soon, massive austerity measures will be enacted in most states across the country and, worse, in Washington D.C.
Black Run America (BRA) is coming to an end, because we can no longer pay for it. As the Wall Street Journal showed, we are a nation of takers, not producers. Our government takes, to pay for BRA.
Shut it down. Shut it down for good.