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Middle-Class Dream Eludes African American Families
Washington Post ^ | 13 November 2007 | Michael A. Fletcher

Posted on 11/13/2007 6:28:17 AM PST by shrinkermd

Nearly half of African Americans born to middle-income parents in the late 1960s plunged into poverty or near-poverty as adults, according to a new study -- a perplexing finding that analysts say highlights the fragile nature of middle-class life for many African Americans.

Overall, family incomes have risen for both blacks and whites over the past three decades. But in a society where the privileges of class and income most often perpetuate themselves from generation to generation, black Americans have had more difficulty than whites in transmitting those benefits to their children.

Forty-five percent of black children whose parents were solidly middle class in 1968 -- a stratum with a median income of $55,600 in inflation-adjusted dollars -- grew up to be among the lowest fifth of the nation's earners, with a median family income of $23,100. Only 16 percent of whites experienced similar downward mobility. At the same time, 48 percent of black children whose parents were in an economic bracket with a median family income of $41,700 sank into the lowest income group.

This troubling picture of black economic evolution is contained in a package of three reports being released today by the Pew Charitable Trusts that test the vitality of the American dream. Using a nationally representative data source that for nearly four decades has tracked people who were children in 1968, researchers attempted to answer two questions: Do Americans generally advance beyond their parents in terms of income? How much is that affected by race and gender?

"We are attempting to broaden the current debate" beyond the growing gap between higher- and lower-income Americans, said John Morton, Pew's managing director for program planning and economic policy. "There is little out there on the question of mobility across generations, and we wanted to examine that."

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: class; middle; race
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I note the only explanation discussed is race; however, perhaps the downdrift in income and social class might be explained by employment history and substance abuse history for both Whites and Blacks. Alternatively, there may be other factors that correlate with downdrift.
1 posted on 11/13/2007 6:28:18 AM PST by shrinkermd
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To: shrinkermd
three reports being released today by the Pew Charitable Trusts that test the vitality of the American dream.

So, if they downdrift, it ias the American Dream that is broken?....Right...
2 posted on 11/13/2007 6:31:19 AM PST by steel_resolve (Liberals, Dems, anarchists and traitors - get used to Americans getting in your face from hereon out)
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To: shrinkermd
Actually, this article is a pre-emptive campaign strike on this:

Movin' On Up - (A Treasury study refutes populist hokum about "income inequality.").

3 posted on 11/13/2007 6:31:49 AM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: shrinkermd

You can thank the snake Johnson and his Great Society give away, why work?


4 posted on 11/13/2007 6:33:59 AM PST by boomop1 (there you go again)
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To: shrinkermd

More entitlements I sense.


5 posted on 11/13/2007 6:34:14 AM PST by UglyinLA
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To: shrinkermd

It is Bush’s Fault, Hurricane Katrina, the 2000 selection, not election, Republicans and Reagan, I think I covered it all.


6 posted on 11/13/2007 6:35:48 AM PST by Trueblackman (Terrorism and Liberalism never sleep and neither do I)
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To: shrinkermd

Adding to your list: divorce...sexual promiscuity and resulting pregnancies...expansion of welfare programs...encouragement of the victim mentality...generalized decay of the culture


7 posted on 11/13/2007 6:35:51 AM PST by Wage Slave (Good fences make good neighbors. -- Robert Frost)
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To: shrinkermd
Nearly half of African Americans born to middle-income parents in the late 1960s plunged into poverty or near-poverty as adults

And, how many tried to better themselves by working hard, studying, going to school, joining the military & gaining an education THAT way, like me?

How many just sat back & waited for the gov't to help them?

8 posted on 11/13/2007 6:36:08 AM PST by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I shall defend to your death my right to say it)
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To: shrinkermd

Frankly, since white folks are not permitted to discuss such issues without being labeled a racist or bigot, I have ceased to be concerned why it is that the dream is not being realized.


9 posted on 11/13/2007 6:36:20 AM PST by JustaDumbBlonde
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To: shrinkermd
Have you ever heard of "The Great Society"? This is the cause and the fact that the "experts are perplexed" points out how they are hopelessly tied to a bogus frame of reference!

The Great Society, a creation of Lyndon Baines Johnson, was an attempt to eliminate poverty, but in reality, provided African Americans with an easy, fast-track to a place where they became wards of the state and had their, until that time, strong nuclear family ethic destroyed by government money that encouraged out-of-wedlock births. Unemployment was encouraged by relatively high welfare payments and African-American men started to provide "stud service" to African-American women who were interested in the welfare checks awarded for each child in poverty. A certain percentage of the check was to be forwarded to the man. This resulted in large numbers of African-American families without strong, male role models and self-perpetuating "underclass".

I consider it an act of genocide inflicted on the African-American society by the Democrat Party.

10 posted on 11/13/2007 6:36:36 AM PST by Redleg Duke ("All gave some, and some gave all!")
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To: shrinkermd
Forty-five percent of black children whose parents were solidly middle class in 1968

The parents who were middle class in 1968 would presumably have had their formative years in the 40's and 50's, pre-civil rights era. The children, on the other hand, would have grown up in the 60's and 70's. A working hypothesis would be that the civil rights agenda has not been kind to black children.

11 posted on 11/13/2007 6:36:59 AM PST by FairWitness
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To: shrinkermd

I call BS.

About 55% of my clients are Black. Many of them are “ordinary” people that have a higher net worth than I do and certainly higher than their parents do.

Do some fall to poverty? Sure. I think just as many move UP from it.


12 posted on 11/13/2007 6:37:09 AM PST by RockinRight (Just because you're pro-life and talk about God a lot doesn't mean you're a conservative.)
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To: shrinkermd
however, perhaps the downdrift in income and social class might be explained by employment history and substance abuse history for both Whites and Blacks.

Don't forget single-motherhood, which went way up in this time period, and skyrocket among African-Americans..
13 posted on 11/13/2007 6:37:25 AM PST by Dr. Sivana (Not a newbie, I just wanted a new screen name.)
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To: shrinkermd
Cosby talks about the culture of fatherless families. Bet your bottom dollar the majority of the ones that went into poverty, regardless of race, had no father living in the home.
14 posted on 11/13/2007 6:37:50 AM PST by Earthdweller (All reality is based on faith in something.)
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To: shrinkermd

70% born out of wedlock.


15 posted on 11/13/2007 6:38:00 AM PST by Balding_Eagle (If America falls, darkness will cover the face of the earth for a thousand years.)
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To: shrinkermd

It’s election time. The MSM and liberal think tanks must create some more black and minority victimhood.


16 posted on 11/13/2007 6:38:43 AM PST by kabar
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To: Balding_Eagle

Bingo!


17 posted on 11/13/2007 6:40:32 AM PST by Macrinus
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To: shrinkermd
How many of those African-American children in 1968 lived in a household with an employed father on the premises?

How many now?

That's the answer.

Most white families have two bread-earners in the household much of the time, while most African-American households have one.

18 posted on 11/13/2007 6:41:41 AM PST by wideawake (Why is it that so many self-proclaimed "Constitutionalists" know so little about the Constitution?)
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To: shrinkermd
a perplexing finding that analysts say highlights the fragile nature of middle-class life for many African Americans.

It is really not that perplexing. The downward trend coincides with the rise in popularity of the civil rights movement in which blacks were convinced they were a victim of the white man's society, coupled with the ever popular welfare system and affirmative action plans.

19 posted on 11/13/2007 6:42:13 AM PST by WesternPacific
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To: shrinkermd

They haven’t been watching “My Sweet 16” show. At least half the snotty little rich kids on there are black.

BTW, I don’t watch it but when channel surfing it’s pause for a snort of disgust.


20 posted on 11/13/2007 6:42:49 AM PST by mtbopfuyn (I think the border is kind of an artificial barrier - San Antonio councilwoman Patti Radle)
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To: shrinkermd

Could it be that there has been a decrease in two-parent families since LBJ’s “War on Poverty” replaced Black fathers with the welfare check? The surest predictor of poverty, school dropouts, and juvenile crime is the lack of a father in the home.


21 posted on 11/13/2007 6:43:15 AM PST by kittymyrib
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To: shrinkermd
"I note the only explanation discussed is race; however, perhaps the downdrift in income and social class might be explained by employment history and substance abuse history for both Whites and Blacks."

Well, in the segment you posted, no "explanation" was offered, it just discussed the problem (and no, I'm not about to visit the WP website to find out).

But the obvious cause is the "new black cultchah" that "avoids acting white" by not doing things like learning to read and speak well, studying and making decent grades in school, "getting knocked up" for the females (and "knocking up" for the males), getting married and staying married. Simple things like that.

22 posted on 11/13/2007 6:43:52 AM PST by Wonder Warthog (The Hog of Steel-NRA)
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To: Trueblackman
Middle-Class Dream Eludes (Fatherless) African American Families
23 posted on 11/13/2007 6:44:10 AM PST by johnny7 ("But that one on the far left... he had crazy eyes")
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To: Balding_Eagle

And I wonder why these studies never look at asian-americans and why they are so successful.


24 posted on 11/13/2007 6:44:30 AM PST by kabar
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To: shrinkermd

Despite the massive drive toward the abject dead-end that is socialism, by the media, Hollywood and academia, the American dream is alive and well.

If most blacks are not on board, it is their own fault.

Theirs and NO ONE else’s.


25 posted on 11/13/2007 6:45:18 AM PST by EyeGuy
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To: RockinRight
"About 55% of my clients are Black. Many of them are “ordinary” people that have a higher net worth than I do and certainly higher than their parents do."

There's a zillion ways to make money. Living with your mother playing video games and sports by day and getting girls pregnant by night is not very lucrative tho.

26 posted on 11/13/2007 6:45:23 AM PST by Earthdweller (All reality is based on faith in something.)
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To: mtbopfuyn
That show is a train wreck!

Sadly it is also a telling window into our society.

The downward death spiral of our entire society, encapsulated in a stupid TV show.

27 posted on 11/13/2007 6:45:31 AM PST by -=SoylentSquirrel=-
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To: shrinkermd
Hmmmm.....

With the "Great Society" and the affirmative action plans of the Liberals, they've managed to keep 'em "on the plantation" now, haven't they?

So long as they are indoctrinated into a "blame whitey" and "we'll take care of you with Gubmint programs" mentaltiy, the hip-hop/rap rhetoric will keep them from achieving any semblance of self-respect, self-motivation, and self-reliance.

No amount of mandatory "diversity training" or "sensitivity training" will change the fact that personal responsibility is the path to success in any endeavor.

28 posted on 11/13/2007 6:45:57 AM PST by traditional1
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To: Wage Slave

I worked as a substitute teacher in the Houston ISD for a while in the 1970’s and again in the 1980’s. A lot of the kids in some of the “inner city” schools where I was worked hard to get to school, get a diploma and go on to college. There were others whose only interest was to disrupt the class and keep others from learning. I’m assuming that some of those kids who are now adults are among those who find that the middle class eludes them.


29 posted on 11/13/2007 6:45:58 AM PST by texgal (end no-fault divorce laws return DUE PROCESS & EQUAL PROTECTION to ALL citizens))
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To: 1rudeboy

I read that this morning. Good article.

90.5% of the bottom quintile moved up at least one quintile in within 9 years.

The thrust of the article on THIS thread is that America must still be systemically racist, and that’s why blacks cannot be upwardly mobile.

No, wouldn’t have anything to do with coddling and subsidizing irresponsibility in an entire culture, with these subsidies being granted solely on skin color, now, would it?


30 posted on 11/13/2007 6:46:54 AM PST by MrB (You can't reason people out of a position that they didn't use reason to get into in the first place)
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To: shrinkermd
Nearly half of African Americans born to middle-income parents in the late 1960s plunged into poverty or near-poverty as adults,

Could we assume those were the females who became unwed mothers?

31 posted on 11/13/2007 6:46:57 AM PST by SampleMan (Islamic tolerance is practiced by killing you last.)
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To: WesternPacific
It is really not that perplexing. The downward trend coincides with the rise in popularity of the civil rights movement in which blacks were convinced they were a victim of the white man's society, coupled with the ever popular welfare system and affirmative action plans.

Yes, my grandparents must have had the fantasy of living under Jim Crow implanted by the Democrats. Legal segregation did not really exist.

The truth is, it is a lot harder to build a strong family without two parents and two incomes. A single mother is going to have a hard time, even if she comes from a middle class background. When 70% of black children are born out of wedlock, it isn't surprising that economic progress has began to reverse.

32 posted on 11/13/2007 6:48:43 AM PST by LWalk18
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To: shrinkermd

Keep any class or group of people doped up on narcotic welfare and you’ll pave the road to eternal poverty.


33 posted on 11/13/2007 6:50:08 AM PST by avacado
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To: EEDUDE

“a perplexing finding”

Hmmm. I wonder if they factored in such things as teen pregnancy, dropout rates, prison time?

From everything I have been able to find on the subject, black literacy rates were higher several generations ago than they are now.

Perplexing indeed.

And sad.


34 posted on 11/13/2007 6:50:22 AM PST by EEDUDE
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To: Earthdweller
Bet your bottom dollar the majority of the ones that went into poverty, regardless of race, had no father living in the home.

The statistics are quite clear:

If you:
a) Graduate high school (not a GED, but actually finish with your class)
b) Get a job
c) Get married
d) Have a kid

...in THAT order...
then you have a 90% chance of not being poor!
35 posted on 11/13/2007 6:50:45 AM PST by BikerJoe
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

I like your thinking.


36 posted on 11/13/2007 6:51:03 AM PST by abercrombie_guy_38
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To: shrinkermd
The primary factors are:

Disintegration of the Black family unit and the coarsening of elements of the Black society - obviously intertwined - all deriving from secularization, particularly from the media, and removal from traditional religion and the Lord God.

These ills obviously affect all skin colors today, and particularly the Blacks.

37 posted on 11/13/2007 6:53:03 AM PST by mtntop3
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Comment #38 Removed by Moderator

To: shrinkermd

Stop thinking and scream “Power to the people.”

Class warfare feels so much better than blaming oneself for failure. At least that’s how many operate. Drugs, broken families, a sub-culture that largely advocates a self destructive lifestyle..... no let’s rather not go there, that wouldn’t feel good and could even get labeled as racist.

You mention correlation. Do you really think that the author of this article or many others propagating this sort of nonsense care? They have something they think substantiates their pre-existing belief, and so they run off on their tangent.

It’s culture that makes wealth, not vice versa.


39 posted on 11/13/2007 6:54:41 AM PST by Red6 (Come and take it.)
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To: texgal

Yeah, that is a good observation.

We’ve been told that if life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Somehow, some people never learned that to make lemonade, you gotta squeeze some lemons.

“Hey, where’s my lemonade?” they whine.


40 posted on 11/13/2007 6:55:06 AM PST by savedbygrace (SECURE THE BORDERS FIRST (I'M YELLING ON PURPOSE))
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To: Pietro

I sincerely hope you forgot your sarcasm tag.


41 posted on 11/13/2007 6:55:32 AM PST by Earthdweller (All reality is based on faith in something.)
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To: avacado

42 posted on 11/13/2007 6:57:55 AM PST by Wolverine (A Concerned Citizen)
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To: Earthdweller
it's the elemnet of truth that gives sarcasm its bite, its juice, its BLING.

Its sometimes necessary to kick the kids out of the house "ready or not". We're long past that time w/ blacks and they're apologists.

43 posted on 11/13/2007 6:59:37 AM PST by Pietro
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To: Pietro
It’s also statements like the above that people pull out to accuse FR of being racist even when 99% of us are not. Thanks a lot/s.
44 posted on 11/13/2007 7:01:37 AM PST by Earthdweller (All reality is based on faith in something.)
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To: shrinkermd

Did I miss it? Certainly there must be a “blame Whitey” in there somewhere.


45 posted on 11/13/2007 7:03:53 AM PST by taxed2death (A few billion here, a few trillion there...we're all friends right?)
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To: Earthdweller

Sorry, but I don’t do PC.


46 posted on 11/13/2007 7:03:55 AM PST by Pietro
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To: Pietro

Are you “The Dog”? LOL..


47 posted on 11/13/2007 7:05:36 AM PST by Earthdweller (All reality is based on faith in something.)
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To: shrinkermd

Yeah, there’s a boatload of other ethnic groups in this country too (including Caucasians) where the $500K 2400 sq foot crappy built 1/4 acre lot McMansions American Dream are out of reach.


48 posted on 11/13/2007 7:06:00 AM PST by RSmithOpt (Liberalism: Highway to Hell)
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To: shrinkermd

Marital status?


49 posted on 11/13/2007 7:08:42 AM PST by CMAC51
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To: Wage Slave

Bingo. Divorce, cultural changes and pressures, drugs and expansion of welfare programs.

Also, add the rapid decline of the inner cities from the 1960’s.


50 posted on 11/13/2007 7:09:38 AM PST by khnyny (Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed. Winston Churchill)
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