Published on January 14th, 20130
Akindele Akinyemi: Blacks, Detroit, & REAL Community Empowerment
Economics is the key to salvation in our community. We generate over $1 trillion in the Black American community as consumers. Detroit is the #1 seller of Cognac in the entire world. In other words, we drink more liquor here than anywhere else on Earth.
However, as we move into the summer months we have to begin to think out the box.
For example, if Detroit wants to come back as a world class city it will have to position itself as a family centered city. Detroit is NOT a family friendly city at all. In fact, it promotes so much government controlled programming that it is no wonder people move out to find better opportunities. 82% of the city are headed by single parents. No one here wants to be married or be in a relationship. Now it makes sense why poverty is astronomical in our community.
I keep telling our sisters that a woman cannot raise a boy. A man cannot raise a girl. While men and women who are single are and have raised their children and done a great job we still should support the notion of having BOTH parents raising their children. But they have to be the RIGHT parents to raise a child.
Interesting enough, Detroit talks about the housing boom that is taking place. Who are moving into these homes? And if they are for single families how would that equate into reducing poverty? While homeownership is important in our community it would be better if two parent families would own a home together.
I also find it interesting that we have so many SOCIAL programs in Detroit geared towards helping the community, yet, we do not openly talk about rebuilding families in our communities. Don’t you think its time to discuss building new innovative ways of creating sustainability other than more social programs?
In terms of the social programming how can so much money go into social programming and neighborhood organizations when we are improving our quality of life here in Detroit? We are so hung up on socialization that we often forget about economics.
In some cases we simply do not understand economics.
Speaking of family economics nationwide incomes dropped 6% last year. 64% of married mothers of small children work – 6 times more mothers than 11% in 1950. Note, here we speak of married mothers, not single mothers. Therefore, are children better-off from a family training & discipline and education quality standpoint without a full-time mother?
Our state economy has not provided for long periods of rapidly rising inflation-adjusted real median family incomes in recent decades, especially for one wage-earner families. Such stagnated, and recently declined.
Our state economy has not provided for steadily rising rates of personal savings from disposable income for families; in fact savings from income are disappearing.
Our state economy has not provided for rising living standards with less debt. Household debt ratios explode higher than ever before, much faster than national income – - and home equity ratios have also fallen – - as has housing affordability despite low interest rates and creative financing.
Our state economy has not made it easier for families of school-age children to make a choice for a mother to stay home, if both parents think that is best for their children. Unlike families several decades ago, which could be well supported with one wage-earner, very few of today’s families realize such.
A very important measure of the success of a society is an economy so structured as to provide steadily improving incomes, living standards, savings with reduced debt, and freedom for its citizens, which improves with each generation. All families want their children to have more economic opportunities and freedom of choice than they experienced – - certainly not less.
Family incomes are under pressure compared to the past because Detroiters have too much government with too much taxation & regulation, with a debt culture invested in socialized consumption instead of national productivity of goods, with too little 21st century technical education quality in our public schools and colleges – - to allow more of our citizens to effectively compete in the increasingly more competitive global economy. Families should not wait for government bureaucrats & politicians to ‘save them’ here in Detroit. Instead, they must reduce their debt, save more, and invest more of their own productive time in high-quality education. In other words, families must face the reality of the situation or suffer its consequences.
That is why I say we need to reduce social programming that are doing nothing but chasing their own tail when it comes to helping our people. We have to start teaching people how to fish not constantly give them fish to eat.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Akindele Akinyemi is one of the nation’s most respected educators, coaches and leading authority on educational options through organization, leadership, ethics, management, and change in educational business Akinyemi is a hard-hitting Nigerian-American conservative educator, blogger, motiavtional speaker, researcher and political commentator. He is well known for his hardline views on education and his “blunt” way of expression. He sits on the boards of diretors for the Detroit Black Alliance for Educational Options and Attucks Inc, and the co-founder of the Emerging Leaders Think Tank, which is geared towards building educational and economic institutions through urban policy.