Wednesday, June 14, 2017

"Stop sports Arenas Subsidies" bill introduced by Booker (D-NJ) and Langford(R-OK) in Senate

Two Senators have introduced legislation to stop federal government subsidies from support sports arenas. 

Two senators, Corey Booker, D-NJ and Frank Langford, R-OK want to stop sports team giveaways.They have introduced Senate Bill SB. 1342

Wealthy team owners don’t need federal tax breaks to build new stadiums, U.S. Senator Cory Booker said in support of the measure.

ESPN had the original, breaking coverage.

Here is the Brookings Report covering the waste of taxpayer subsidies going to billionaires.  

Another article from Vice Sports has lots of links on the issue.

To show how hard it is to get rid of these subsidies. Check out this story on Sen. Moynihan, who introduced legislation in 1996 to stop similar subsidies. The bill was S.1880.

And NPR in 2011 also had a good summary of the issues.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Some programs at the University of Phoenix have a 11% job placement rate for $60K tuition

The University of Phoenix looks like a scam

We were recently reviewing entrepreneurship programs at colleges in the US. We came across a program at the University of Phoenix which grants a Bachelor of Science in Business with a concentration in small business and entrepreneurship.  The program costs almost $60,000 and has an 11% job placement rate.

Gainful employment statement.
Another link.

The Gainful Employment Statement is the result rules created by the Obama administration in 2015 because of low performing for-profit schools.

Thursday, June 8, 2017


The value of LeBron to the city of Cleveland is making head line news.  The owner of Quicken Arena in downtown Cleveland has asked for a $180 subsidy from the city and county to renovate the area. We want to look more closely at the economic impact Lebron and the Q Arena have on the city of Cleveland.


Cleveland.Com discusses the value of LeBron's return in 2015.  The estimate was $500 million in the story. However, the article covers reason why that figure might not be reliable. Basically, very little new revenue is generated in northeast Ohio from outside the region, instead the money simply flows from other spending in the region like movies and restaurants. (Hey, I am going to skip Starbucks this week to see LeBron).

An older article from 2010 tracks the details of "How much is LeBron worth to northeast Ohio?" They breakdown LeBron value to the local businesses, City, Region and the Cavaliers.

The authors also call LeBron "priceless" in the story. The statement captures how difficult it is for a city to strike a fair deal with owners regarding arenas and superstars.  There is always an implied threat they will move away. And you can't negotiate with a monopoly.

We do want to note: There is some value in bringing together a diverse set of fans including those from the suburbs to downtown Cleveland. Also, LeBron and the Cavaliers enhance the image of the city of Cleveland nationally and internationally.


A new paper from American Enterprise Institute economists attempts to quantify the effect.
The paper called "Taking My Talents to South Beach (and Back)" looks at the natural experiment of LeBron James leaving Cleveland in 2010, moving to Miami (winning two championships) and then returning to Cleveland in 2014.

The researchers found that LeBron James increased the number of restaurants and bars by about 13% and employment by 24% in the local area.  The effect is most notable with in a one mile radius of the arena. There is was no effect past seven mile away


In related but separate news, one of the key papers in the sports subsidy field, "Do Economists Reach a Conclusion on Subsidiesfor Sports Franchises, Stadiums, and Mega-Events?" by Dennis Coates and Brad R. Humphreys, summarizes the opinions of economists related to supports subsidies.

Here is another link.

A majority of economists surveyed at the American Economics Association convention find no benefit to sports subsidies.  There is no market failure requiring a subsidies, instead the subsidies enrich monopoly owners. Basically subsidies are a waste of money and team owners are playing off cities against each other.

Here is a great quote from the paper...

"We have seen that economists in general, as represented by Whaples’s survey (2006), oppose sports subsidies. Economists reach the nearly unanimous conclusion that “tangible” economic benefits generated by professional sports facilities and franchises are very small; clearly far smaller than stadium advocates suggest and smaller than the size of the subsidies. The fact that sports subsidies continue to be granted, despite the overwhelming preponderance of evidence that no tangible economic benefits are generated by these heavily subsidized professional sports facilities, remains a puzzle."


Brookings Institute has the often quoted article from 1997, Sports, Jobs, & Taxes: Are New Stadiums Worth the Cost? by Noll and Zimbalist which discusses tactics cities can fight back against sports subsidies. Not a lot can be done but have active citizens and politicians can force monopoly sports owners to cut a better deal.

FANG and Google content sites

When we got up this morning, we did the usual.  We handled out business(we made coffee, people!) and used Google search to see what was going on. Google had a small ad at the bottom of the screen promoting an internal web site. Google sites are known to have some great content, so we clicked and got:

The sites are loaded with images and discussions. Lots of details and suggestions for further research. Just great, engaging material.


Then we thought about it for second.  FANG - Facebook, Amazon, NetFlix and Google - earn most of their profits from the content, creation, and products of others. The create almost zero, original content. Google let's you find other peoples web pages and watch youtube videos. Netflix lets you watch movies created by others. Amazon sell other peoples stuff. And Facebook, the worst of all, is 100% user created. FB has nothing original.  

To be fair, Amazon has opened distribution centers and Netflix has created some original content. 

What these companies have in common is that they are "natural" monopolies created by the internet.  They distribute the hard work of others for a fee, while making enormous profits.

Some of our richest and most successful companies, effectively "steal" content from people and then charge for accessing that content.  This hustle sends society the wrong message about how to be successful. People are no longer interested in putting in the hard work.  Instead, they are looking for a "get-rich quick" scheme like Facebook where they can skim off a little from the top.  That's the message these big companies are sending. 

We seem to be rewarding the wrong people in this process. We have created a business culture where there is little long-term innovation, rather everyone is looking for a quick payday. 

We have to find a way to reward our real innovators and our artists rather than IT people who move electrons around. 

Friday, June 2, 2017

Interesting Stories for June 2nd, 2017- What we are reading

This site has a list of eleven Black Business Directories and apps. Eleven Buy Black Mobile Apps are featured here. From the Black Economic Development web-site.


CityLab from the Atlantic Magazine discusses "The 100 year old penalty for being Black". The article looks at a paper describing "What would the US look like, if Black economic progress since 1880 occurred level as Whites." The paper also supports Black repartions in a wide set of areas.


Vox has a story of uninsured minorities being over charged at the hospital emergency room.

Emergency rooms over charge the poor.


Bloomberg has a great story on the US being unable to execute infrastructure projects. "The US has forgotten how to do Infrastructure,"  The story looks at over-priced infrastructure projects and how they undermine public support.  It's all about productivity.


Japan housing construction workers are more productive than US workers: FT Alphaville.  The blog says we don't need more workers just higher productivity.


A piece in VOX by Brian Resnick discusses research showing that people who are "science curious" are more willing to listen to opposing points of view.


Women are still lagging in pay for some STEM jobs according to Bloomberg


Quartz has a story about white collar unemployment.  The trend may be due to corporations no longer providing employee training. The Quartz story on white collar unemployment is here.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

UNH Study shows Rich/Poor gap in school extracurricular activities

Extra Curricular Activities by Income by Sarah Leonard

Research Brief

AP Story

Every now and then we see a piece of interesting original research.  A Ph.D. student at the University of New Hampshire looked at how kids spend their extracurricular time. She found that poor kids work at about half the rate of rich kids.  And rich kids participate in all after school activities at a 50% higher rate.  Poor kids are more likely to join sports teams while rich kids join clubs.

The study uses data from the 2012 National Survey of Children’s Health.

The research also found that the highest income group was twice as likely(33%) to work than the lowest income group(17%).

Other findings include: low-income youth spend more time using electronics and watching TV.

Achievement Gap

The Rich/Poor achievement gap has long troubled educational advocates. While lots of studies look at the teachers and courses, or parents and home background, extracurricular activities have not been as closely looked examined.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

May 18th, 2017 Grab bag of top stories and the reading list

Urban League releases the state of Black America


The report contains comparison with Whites and Hispanics.  The wealth gap is always shocking, but it just measure continued widespread discrimination in the housing market along with residential segregation.


One of our favorite editorials of all time.  The Dalai Lama discusses the fear of being unneeded.  This is the first time we are say must read.

Dalai Lama: The fear of being unneeded


Corporations pay 21.2% effective tax rate

The Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy has a detailed report on the effective corporate tax rate being 21.2%

Highlights include GE, International Paper and PG&E paid NO taxes over the 8-year study period. And 25 of the most profitable companies used tax breaks of $277 Billion (about half of all corporate tax breaks).


By the way, we love ITEP. They are the number one resource in tax policy.  If you know economic and follow politics then ITEP covers the place where the two meet: Tax Policy.  For the past 40 years our tax policy has largely been shaped by corporations and their lobbyists.  Now as the economy has cratered for the middle class; we are all asking why? ITEP has part of the answer: poor tax policy.


Apple has a new web site touting it's job creation in the US. Apparently in response to the Trump pressure.

Apple's PR job page is here.


Before Piketty, there was Tony Atkinson, who worked long and hard in inequality.

15 Proposals to Reduce Inequality

Unfortunately, most of the proposals require government action, which is better suited for Europe and the United States.


The Pew Research Trust article on the declining middle class. This is one of the seminal articles on the decline of the middle class in the US.  The article is constantly referenced in economic ciricles

Pew Research Middle Class


The single best reference on immigration. We use the report all the time !!!

National Academies of Science -- Report on Economic and Fiscal Consequences of Immigration

Rarely does one report settle an economic debate.  This report does; and on controversial topic. The report is hefty at over 500 pages.  It has tons of research and data. And the report passes the common sense test with flying colors.

Basically, the winners in the immigration process are immigrants themselves, corporations and people who employ immigrants.  The losers are competitors of immigrants: non-recent immigrants, Blacks, Hispanics and poor people along with state and local government who provide benefits. Over the very long term immigration has a net positive benefit.


Companies have defunded their training programs leading to high unemployment among older workers.

You can read the story in Quartz: Secret surge of white collar unemployment

The US is notorious for lack of active labor market polices(ALMP). We are close to last among the OCED.


Another labor share of GDP is crap article. We do like Bloomberg.

Bloomberg falling labor share


Still reading Peter Temin's book on inequality.  He, at least, bring race into the picture.

Atlantic article

Apple's job creation public relations page

Apple Jobs

Apple Job Creation Website

Apple has a website that lists how many jobs it creates in each state in the US.  It looks like a pretty clumsy response to President Trump.  The site actually show how little,  Apple and high tech companies, contribute to the labor and wage economy.

Apple is the worlds richest company that is not a bank.  Apple has $256 Billion in Cash and marketable securities.

In it's October 2016 Annual Report(10-K), Apple claims to employ 116,000 full time equivalents. So is that a million people working 8 1/2 hours a week or 78,000 professionals working 60 hours a week? The point is, Apple is completely vague.

2011 Employees

"As of September 24, 2011, the Company had approximately 60,400 full-time equivalent employees and an additional 2,900 full-time equivalent temporary employees and contractors."

"As of September 24, 2011, the Retail segment had approximately 36,000 full-time equivalent employees..."


As of September 29, 2012, the Company had approximately 72,800 full-time equivalent employees and an additional 3,300 full-time equivalent temporary employees and contractors. Approximately 42,400 of the total full-time equivalent employees worked in the Company’s Retail segment.


As of September 28, 2013, the Company had approximately 80,300 full-time equivalent employees and an additional 4,100 full-time equivalent temporary employees and contractors. Approximately 42,800 of the total full-time equivalent employees worked in the Company’s Retail segment.


As of September 27, 2014, the Company had approximately 92,600 full-time equivalent employees and an additional 4,400 full-time equivalent temporary employees and contractors. Approximately 46,200 of the total full-time equivalent employees worked in the Company’s Retail segment.


As of September 26, 2015, the Company had approximately 110,000 full-time equivalent employees.


Apple report 116,000. So job growth is slowing and the build out of retail is over.

So, in 2015, Apple, sensing it had an issue, changed how it reported it's employee headcount.

However, we can still make a pretty good guess of the number of retail and professional employee based on past reporting.

For 2011, we can compute by subtraction, there are 24,400 professionals and the ratio of retail to professional is 60% retail to 40% professional.

Apple's public relations job page claim two million direct and indirect jobs.  But it uses very broad measure that includes anyone writing apps for Apple platform. May they should include only apps that made more than $10,000 dollars or worse apps that were profitable.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

PBS Newshour: How corporations avoid taxes by shifting profits overseas

The PBS Newshour has a good, clear story about how big US corporations are avoiding US taxes. Corporations have an estimated 2.6 Trillion dollars in overseas profits.

PBS Newshour reports on corporate tax scams.

Corporations are depriving the government of needed tax revenue for infrastructure, education, healthcare and public services(for example: roads, schools, hospitals and police). And when corporations pay less, we the people all pay more.

It is certainly not fair, but it is legal.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

What we are reading this week - May 6th, 2017 - A lot !!!

The biggest story this week was Obama's $400,000 sellout to Wall Street firm Cantor Fitzgerald and A&E Networks.

MSNBC has the basic story

So does NY Post which reported he got $400,000 from A&E networks.


The Atlantic has a story on the decline of Black Businesses. 

But's really a story about market concentration and power squeezing out small businesses: Black, White and poor.

We have long supported limits on market power and concentration which would allow room for small businesses to flourish.


The National Urban League released it's State of Black America Report.

SOBA 2017

The NUL has created an equity index showing how far behind Blacks are as compared to Whites. This year they fully report on the Black/White and Hispanic/White differences.


Peter Temin from MIT has a new book on inequality and racism. It's called The Vanishing Middle Class: Prejudice and Power in a Dual Economy.

He argues we have a dual economy but only the rich and powerful have the ability to make changes.

The introduction is all over the internet. Here.

The Atlantic has a write up.

If you are interested in inequality, check out almost anything by Tony Atkinson.

15 Proposals to reduce inequality


Crain's New York has a list of minority businesses. It has only 19 names. Jokes on us.

Crain's New York


Jobs are heading to Mexico again on

US companies are resuming their outsourcing and offshoring after a brief pause. Absent a real policy or regulation, labor intensive jobs will continue to move to Mexico, China and other low wage countries.


American Airlines decided give it's workers a pay raise. Wall Street smacked down the stock. Not much we can do but "whine" about shareholder value.

Here is the story by Matthew Yglesais in Vox 

Here is Joe Nocera on Bloomberg View

The Evil Black Economist Blog believes you can never soften or beat Shareholder Value Principal. Instead we should give stakes in the company to Employees and other interest groups and reserve places on corporate boards for the same stakeholders.


Apple has $250 Billion in cash. Vox reports. $250 billion in cash is about 1/80th of the 18 Billion dollar US economy.

We also have a long piece on the Evil Black Economist called "Apple is an investment bank that makes iPhones"

Forbes also has a story on Apple and their PR effort around job creation.

Apple may be getting scared.  It released a website announcing how many jobs it creates. Apple Job Creation.


Here is a key study constantly used in economic discussions.  It is a great reference in an argument or when trying to prove a point.

Pew Reseach -- American Middle Class is losing ground


Research Papers

Andreas Ferrara believes world war 2 White causalities led to Black worker skill upgrades and improved income, integration and political participation.

Why are there so many Subway and Dunkin Donuts franchises everywhere ?

Have you ever wondered why there are so many Subway, 7-11 and Dunkin Donuts franchises ? Where did they all come from so fast ? And why are so many owners from South Asia or the Middle East ?

It turns out 7-11, Subway and Dunkin Donuts believe in a high density store model.  Because there so many food and retail choices, the risk of cannibalizing sales from a different store of the same franchise is low. There can be multiple Subways and 7-11s on the same block in some cities. Second, the corporate strategy has been to sell franchises. All three chains have a limited number of corporate owned stores. They simplified and perfected the franchise model.  Third, they keep start up fees low.  Subway, for example, has a franchise fee of only $15,000. 

In an interesting twist in the US, Subway, Dunkin and 7-11 franchises appeal to members of the growing South Asia and Middle Eastern communities.  These communities face a difficult time finding employment, so many immigrants look to immigrant owned franchise owners who provide employment.  Many are willing to work 60-80 hours per week.

The franchise model also matches perfectly with the economic aspirations of South Asia immigrants who have extra cash to invest. If you are here on a temporary work visas like H1-B, you want make good use of your extra money and time since it may be limited.   So a franchise is a good investment. Franchises are bought and sold within the immigrant networks when the owner returns to his home country.


Now, it looks like Subway and Dunkin have reached market saturation.  Any new store will take sales from and existing. Many stores are marginally profitable. And occasional a store will close. 


Entrepreneur magazine says a Subway franchise costs $120,000 in startup costs such as construction and equipment leasing. And you only need about $30,000 in liquid assets plus $80,000 in net worth. The current franchise fee is $15,000

Starting a Dunkin cost $225K plus $125K in liquid asset.  The net worth requirement is $250K. The franchise fee is $40,000.

All very low compared to MacDonalds which requires $1,000,000 in startup costs and $500K in liquid assets.

The founder, Fred Deluca, gave an interview to Inc. magazine where he admitted one of the chains key goals was to have a large number of franchises

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Apple is really an investment bank that makes iPhones. Apple has $255 billion in cash

The original idea for this story comes from "Vox Apple has $250 billion in cash." (Hat tip)

$250 billion in cash is about 1/80th of the 18 Billion dollar US economy.

We have long believed that Americans over consume.  Over consumption includes buying luxury items or super sizing your meal.  It also includes buying products with features we like but may never use.

Another form of over consumption is buying products with status appeal such as foreign cars, soft leather goods(SLG) and handbags, or Apple iPhones. Thorstein Veblen first noticed that some goods are more valued because they have higher prices. He created the term "Conspicuous Consumption."


Apple has become the most profitable company on earth by tapping into the market for conspicuous consumption. They are king of the affordable luxury market. Today, we are going to look at how rich Apple actually is. And how Apple resembles an investment bank more than a high-tech company.  

Apple has yearly sales of about $200 Billion of which 67% are sales of iPhones.  Apple also has a huge amount of cash on hand.

Based on the Apple 10-Q from April 2017, Apple has

Cash                                $15 Billion
Short Term Securities     $52 Billion
Long Term Securities     $190 Billion

Or about $255 billion in cash.  Just cash, not assets, CASH!!!

They have net income from sales of about $40 billion a year and spend about $10 billion on R&D.

They continue to earn huge amounts of investment income on the marketable securities ($12 billion mark up) this quarter. And roll over the cash ($99 Billion in securities purchases this quarter) into new marketable securities. The biggest holdings are US Treasury Securities($53B) and Corporate Securities ($157B). The biggest use of the money(about $30 Billion a year) is for share repuchases. 

They also have $84 Billion in debt at ridiculously low interest rates.  Most of the bond rates are between 1.00% and 2.00% along with one special set of long term debt ($24 Billion) at 0.28%.  Yes, that 28 basis points.  Not only is Apple loaded with cash, they are using other peoples money to make even more money.

Apple looks like an investment bank that just happens to make iPhones.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Obama's Disappointing Sellout to Wall Street for $400K

The Evil Black Economist Blog is disappointed that Barak Obama will take $400,000 for making a speech to a Wall Street firm. We all feel hurt and betrayed. Obama, the first Black president, is a role model.  He should have displayed stronger morals and principles. He should have more class.

In the past, Mr. Obama has given speeches during his campaign supporting progressive economic causes.  He has spoken out again against income inequality, wall street greed, and money in politics. He liked to portray himself as a community organizer; a man of the people.

Now, he is trampling on his legacy.  His presidential legacy. The move make him look like a money grubbing suck up. Valarie Jarret would have known better.

The Obama's did not need the money. He and Michelle just signed a $65 million dollar book deal.  He has been hanging out on the private island of Billionaire Richard Branson. He has penty of offers to speak. But it's the speed and size of the sellout that has everyone worried.

He couldn't find a good charity or liberal group to talk to ? It had to be a Wall street firm ? It makes you wonder if his values and beliefs were an act. Does he really stand for anything ?

Lets hope he releases the text of the speech and donates the money.

Cantor Fitzgerald. Cantor is a wall street financial services firm that specializes in financial trading.


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Trump tax proposal is a huge give away to the rich - Test your pundit skills here

Bad News

So, Trumps tax proposal, which is a really a one page memo of bullet points, is a good test for any of us want-to-be progressive pundits. It is definitely not a tax plan. It contains no details, costs, analysis or review of effects on the debt.

All of us pundits in training should be able to explain and rip apart Trumps tax proposal in about 30 seconds. Please write your version of why Trumps tax plan is bad for the average US citizen and the country.

Then compare to our list

Here is ou list...

1. Gives huge amounts of money to rich people. Reduces tax rate to $15% for some pass through business like Trump's real estate companies. 
2. May cause an asset / stock market bubble driving up real estate prices.
3. Rewards investment income and rents at the expensive of wages.
4. Increases inequality. Does almost nothing for middle class and truly nothing for the poor.
5. Cuts government revenue for crucial programs including state and local programs. Eliminates state and local tax deductions. 
6. The tax proposal also drops the corporate tax rate to 15%. It is also a huge give away to corporations who have been holding tax money overseas and avoiding and minimizing taxes for years.
7. Eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax (which trump pays).
8. And scariest of all, it may eliminate the deduction for employer sponsored healthcare, financial wrecking our current healthcare system


It increases the national debt by giving money for consumption rather than investment (ie, yachts and shoes rather than research, colleges and roads). Note: The author believes that below a certain ratio of debt-to-GDP, debt incurred for investments can have an overall positive effect on the economy.

Currently, the tax plan would add $3 Trillion to $7 Trillion to the debt.  It also assumes a growth rate of 3%. The US GDP growth rate is 0.7% in first quarter of 2017.

Tax proposal was rushed to meet 100 days deadline

The tax plan is little more than an outline or an opening move in a negotiation. But, it was put together by two of the more competent members of the Presidents staff:  Gary D. Cohn and Steven Mnuchin.

While it initially looked like the administrations was getting it's act together, this grab bag taxes proposal, shows how disorganized they are.

Version 3

Monday, April 24, 2017

What we're reading today April 24th, 2017

We checked in with Dr. Boyce Watkins here on your tube. Dr. Watkins gives a lot of informative talks on YouTube.

Boyce Watkins web page

Dr. Watkins mission is to spread financial literacy among Black people.
His Black Wealth Boot Camp has a full personal finance curriculum.


Demos.Org has a interesting story on the Black-White wealth gap.  The look a some of the common proposals to close the wealth gap and explain why they won't work.

The asset value of Whiteness


Bloomberg has a piece on the large number of retail bankruptcies. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that about 600,000 retail works have lost their jobs in the past year.

Retailers are going Bankrupt at a record pace.


The National Association of Black Journalists and National Association of Broadcasters have put together a toolkit for "Reporting on Race"

Reporting on Race Toolkit

It is a little sad that in 2017 local news broadcasters have to be instructed on how to handle reporting stories when race is involved.  You know there a problem when they break out the "Toolkit." Yikes!

National Association of Black Journalist Statement


Peter Temin from MIT has a new book out called "The Vanishing Middle Class" which also discusses race as well as economics.

Read the intro here.

Corporations used racism to destroy the middle class and turn us into a developing nation.


More charts on the vanishing middle class from Bill Moyers. You can always use one more chart.


Black businesses in Philadelphia have launched Buy Black Campaign and card.

The card is called iBuyBlack.

On here.


The Congressional Black Caucus issued a report on things to improve in the US for Black Americans. The report is called "A lot to lose"


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

What we're reading today April 4th, 2017

Today we are reading the blistering critique of Donald Trumps presidency in the LA Times: The Problem with Trump.

While the pain of the LA times editorial board maybe real, the opinions have the feel of a publicity stunt.


WAPO has a story on increasing mortality among whites. The story also covers the narrowing happiness gap between Whites and Blacks. 


New CH-53K helicopter will cost $26 billion over the life of the contract.

What we're reading April 3rd, 2017

Going to try something new today, what we are reading.

The New York Times has tough article on Uber using human psychology and behavioral economics to pressure drivers. Here.

The National Science Foundation publish statistics on science and engineering education and employment at the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics.

They also publish data on Women, Minorities and People with Disabilities in an annual report  called Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering.

Neel Kashkari dissented against the recent Federal Reserve interest rate hike.  Hear why at

Sunday, April 2, 2017

The "Cost of Segregation" in Chicago

The Metropolitan Planning Council of Chicago, a non-profit dedicated to improving the Chicago Metropolitan Area, and the Urban Institute released a report in March 2017, describing the "Cost of Segregation" in Chicagoland.

The summary news release is here.

Here are the links to the report and website.

Highlights from reducing segregation include...

  • Black incomes would rise about $3000 dollars or $4.4 Billion. The GDP of the Chicago region would rise by $8.0 Billion.

  • The homicide rate would drop by 30%.

  • An additional 83,000 people would graduate college adding an additional $90 Billion in lifetime income.

"Lower Ed": an expose' of For-Profit Education which preys on women, minorities and the poor

Author Dr. Tressie McMillian Cottom has written a new book called Lower Ed which details some of the failures of the for-profit education industry.  Ms. Cottom worked in the industry and now studies for-profit education at Virginia Common Wealth University.

For-profit colleges and universities are know for high costs, federal student loan and grant abuse and low graduation rates. Their marketing campaigns target Black, female and poor students through personal relationships and one-to-one marketing. Until they sign up. Then students are loaded down with debt and poor job prospects.

Dr. Cottom gave a detailed talk at the Economic Policy Institute that covers much of the content of her book.

Dr. Cottom was also featured on NPR.

And in The Atlantic, where her piece covers the conditions of economic inequality that led to the rise for-profit industry.


We have to acknowledge that for-profit schools are filling a gap in our education system and society. Stagnant wages are creating high demand for education just as most states cut back on education funding and private colleges and universities choose to serve the rich. The for-profit schools stepped into this space.

The real issue is that private and state universities have abandoned their role in providing opportunity to low-income students and intelligent students from bad schools. The for-profit industry is just filling a need.


The Obama administration was aware of these issues. It implemented the "Gainful Employment Rule" requiring reporting of student debt-to-income ratios.  It is expected that the Trump administration will rescind the rules.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Broke. ESPN films profiles players who have made bad financial decisions

Broke is a quick hit piece about financial mistakes that professional athletes make when investing. Not very enlightening but kind of fun in a jealous, crabs-in-a-barrel kind of way. A little painful.

On You tube

Webpage from ESPN

Direct quote from the film web site...

"Film Summary

According to a 2009 Sports Illustrated article, 60 percent of former NBA players are broke within five years of retirement. By the time they have been retired for two years, 78% of former NFL players have gone bankrupt or are under financial stress.

Sucked into bad investments, stalked by freeloaders, saddled with medical problems, and naturally prone to showing off, many pro athletes get shocked by harsh economic realities after years of living the high life.

Drawing surprisingly vulnerable confessions from retired stars like Keith McCants, Bernie Kosar and Andre Rison, as well as Marvin Miller, the former executive director of the MLB Players Association, this fascinating documentary digs into the psychology of men whose competitive nature can carry them to victory on the field and ruin off it."

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Does raising the minimum wage kill jobs?

One of the longest running battles in economics is whether raising the minimum wage destroys jobs.

In fact, we have an on-going argument with a good friend of this blog.  The argument is over the effect of raising the minimum wage.  We fully support the "fight for $15", "$10.10", $9.00 or any raise. While our friend is worried over the job loses when wages rise.

The minimum wage was last increased in July of 2009.  It was increased from $5.15 in 2007 to $7.25 in 2009 under president George W. Bush. The raise was attached to small business tax cuts.

The minimum wage is also a good indicator of hard right turn congress has taken in the past 30 years. The minimum wage is now an ideological issue for conservatives. Raising the minimum wage is a non-starter in the current, conservative congress.

Most of the states with the Federal Minimum Wage or below(Georgia) are "Red" - Republican voting states.

There used to be a broad consensus for minimum wage hikes by both Democrats and Republicans with steady increases posted during the 70s, 80s, and 90s (except for Reagan). Back then there were many more White males earning minimum wage in a wide variety of jobs.

Now the image of a minimum wage worker is a surly, Black women asking: "If you want fries with that ?"


Fact: Most studies find no or very small job loss when the minimum wage is raised.

Fact: A majority of states(29) have a higher minimum wage than the federal minimum wage.

The definitive study on the effect of raising the minimum wage was done by John Schmidt in 2013 for the Center for Economic and Policy Research.  He look at a meta sample of all other minimum wage studies available.  Basically, here took all the data points in 64 studies and then grouped them into one giant study (n=1,492).

The report also discusses the offsetting reason why job loses are small.


Finally there are some more recent reports on raising the minimum wage

Here is another good research report that says that raising the minimum wage has a small negative effect on employment. They set the rate of job losses (elasticity) at -0.1. A 10% increase in wages will causes a 1% drop in employment.

Almost all economist accept there will be some job loses if we raise the minimum wage.  The real question is: What is the size of the loss ?  Who does it affect ? and will the additional income effects offset the job loses ? 

At the Evil Black Economist, we lean toward the more optimistic prediction.  The increase in income for low-wage workers will lead to a general increase in demand. The new demand will create low-wage jobs that will offset any low-wage job loses.


The Congressional Budget Office writes clearly about the effect on page 10. 

" If employment increased under either option, in CBO’s judgment, it would probably be because increased demand for goods and services (resulting from the shift of income from higher-income to lower-income people) had boosted economic activity and generated more jobs than were lost as a direct
result of the increase in the cost of hiring low-wage workers. "


In summary, the small(if any) job loss is worth huge increase in wages for existing low-wage and hear low-wage workers though out society. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Black Workers Struggle in Los Angeles According to New Report from UCLA

New report shows damage from unemployment in the Black community

The UCLA labor center and the LA Black Worker Center released a new report detailing how Black workers are struggling in Los Angeles County.  Overall Blacks have lost employment and population in Los Angeles.  Many jobs Blacks held in manufacturing have moved overseas.  In Construction, Blacks have largely been replaced by Latinos. The high unemployment and low incomes have long term sociological and health effects on Black people in Los Angeles.

Among the report highlights...

"Blacks with a high school education or less have double the rate of unemployment as Whites."

"1 in 10 Black workers with a higher degree are unemployed."

"Many Black workers in low-wage jobs earn less than White workers in similar postions." "Blacks earn on 75% of what Whites earn."

The report also highlight Blacks leaving Los Angeles for the Inland Empire. About 250,000 Blacks have moved to the Inland Empire.

The study proposes solutions such as creating high-paying, quality, accessible jobs. Expanding hiring benchmarks for under represented groups. And partnerships with institutions to implement targeted outreach, recruitment and retention programs.

The the UCLA labor center report is available here.

LA Times has a nice summary.

Black Talk Radio Stations

As a writer, I sometimes have a lot of time on my hands.  To kill some of that time, I listen to Black Talk radio.  There are some good stations out there but nothing like when I was growing up.

I grew up listening to Mary Mason in Philadelphia on WHAT 1340 AM, and Cathy Hughes on WOL 1450 AM when I lived in DC and Gary Byrd on WLIB 1190 AM during my time in New York City. That was good radio.

Here is a list of Black Talk Radio stations I check in on via the internet.

900 AM - WURD, Philadelphia
1690 AM - WVON, Chicago
1380 AM - WAOK, Atlanta (CBS)
1450 AM - WOL, Washington DC (Newsone)
1010 AM WOLB, Baltimore (Newsone)
1200 AM WCHB, Detroit (Newsone)
Sirius XM Urbanview (Pay wall)

You really have to hand it to Cathy Hughes, the found of Radio One.  She purchased WOL in DC and continued to build an empire of Black radio stations.  Her story is one of the most inspiring in the media business.

Radio Ones corporate site is here.

Radio One is one of the few Black managed publically traded companies.

PS. One of the stupidest moves I have ever made in my life was not listening to Cathy Hughes. When she was on the air in DC, she constantly invited members of the community to join the ownership of WOL. I chose not to participate in WOL for whatever lame excuse I had at the time. Boy was I stupid.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Us Lifting Us will host an Economic Summit March 18th, 2017 in Atlanta

US Lifting US is hosting a Black economic conference March 18th, 2017 in Atlanta Georgia.  The theme of the conference is "Family Centered Economics."

The location:

Shrine of The Black Madonna
946 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd SW
Atlanta, Georgia 30310

For more details visit the webpage at

Here is a video of the 2015 conference.

2015 Conference Video

Atlanta Black Star has a nice write-up of the conference.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

President Trump's first unemployment report shows 235,000 new jobs. Rate stable at 4.7%

The BLS released the first monthly employment situation report under President Donald Trump.  The report was surprisingly good.  The number of new jobs, Non Farm Payrolls, increased by 235,000 jobs which is well above the long-term averages. Unemployment rates across all major groups were flat or down. And there was a surprising bump (+58,000) in construction and manufacturing (+28,000) jobs. Healthcare and education added 62,000 spots. Retail Trade lost (-28,000) jobs ad information technology(no new jobs) was flat. Wages also increased by six cents which is also above average.


The February report showed a small decrease in the US unemployment rate to 4.7% while the Labor Force Participation rate remained flat at 63.0%. Average wages increased by 6 cents in February after a 5 cent increase in January. The number of unemployed stayed at about 7.5 million people.

Here is the chart of Non-farm Payrolls over time since the recession.

The national unemployment rate was 4.7%. After a steep decline during the recovery, the rate has flattened recently.  The Labor Force Participation rate continues to increase.


President Trump has been given a gift of a strong economy with few short-term issues. The economy is performing well enough for the Federal Reserve Bank to raise interest rates. The employment report, along with the stock market, are the two main economic indicators the average person pays attention to in the news.

The President may want to look at some of the following long-term issues that affect his his supporters and all of us. He could tackle slow wage growth and the shift to a service economy from a manufacturing economy. requiring high levels of education in the job market

Present Trump has attacked the BLS in the past

President Trump is also noted for a having criticized the accuracy of the BLS unemployment reports. He used misleading definitions of unemployment during the presidential campaign. Trump will almost certainly try to make cuts at BLS, US Census and EEO offices as he continues to 'wage war on the facts."

Black Unemployment

The Black unemployment rate rose to 8.1%.  The rate is volatile because of the small sample size and moves around a lot. But the overall trend has been decreasing. Black men older than 20 years have an unemployment rate of 7.85% while Black women have a rate of 7.12%.

White the Black Unemployment rate ticked up, the long term trend in participation look good since the end of 2013.  Black people are finally getting jobs as White leave the job market. It looks like more Blacks are returning to the job market so the unemployment rate is fixed while the participation rate increases.

The "Real" Black unemployment rate stayed at a relative high at 12.6% showing continued slack in the Black labor market.

The national U-6 rate show continued improvement dropping to 9.2%.  U-6 includes all unemployed, people working part time who want full time work, and marginally attached workers (basically everyone who is available to work and wants to work)

The Business Survey showed strong employment growth especially in private goods producing sectors.

Again, strong job growth was across many industries. The suprise category was consturction(+58K which may have been helped by warm weather in January and February.

There was a slight change in the Goods to Service New Job Ratio.  Goods producing jobs showed a large increase thanks to changes construction and manufacturing jobs. Approximately 16% of all new jobs are goods producing jobs. 


Other Notes

ADP reported 298,000 new jobs were created in February 2017.  The jobs were split among small businesses (+104,000), medium sized businesses (+122,000) and large businesses (+72,000).  ADP report a big jump in good producing jobs which increased by 106,000 including 66,000 in construction. Service business hired 193,000 people. including 66,000 in business services and 40,000 each in Ed/Health and Leisure/Hospitality, respectively. .

Paychex small business jobs index was up slightly (0.03%) to 100.78 in February for straight month of increases.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Economic State of Black America 2016

The Evil Black Economist releases the 2016 Economic State of Black America report. The report is dedicated to Martin Luther King. The report is grouped into four sections: Wealth, Income, Health, and Happiness

This project grew out of a discussion over how to measure the impact of the Presidency of Barack Obama.  President Obama is widely viewed as have a very successful presidency in terms of accomplishments and popularity. However his success was affected by two larger issues: the 2007 recession and 35 years of a shrinking middle class. He did have one major accomplishment and a slew of minor successes.  His major legacy is improving health care access for 20 million who previously were uninsured.


Overall, Black Americans, like many in the US, are not doing well. The 2007 recession and financial crisis led to a huge number of foreclosures wiping out a huge amount of Black wealth. Jobs remain scarce. As of 2016 has Black unemployment has recovered to 2007 levels.. The Black unemployment rate of 7.8% is the same or below the 2007 rate. Black people have lost 10 years of income and wealth.

There is some good news.  Incomes are slowly rising. More Blacks are participating in the labor force while White Men drop out.  Blacks tend to work in Service and Transportation jobs. Black business ownership was flat in the latest survey.

Living in Poverty was report by 26% of Blacks. One in five (21.5%) Black households worries about food and 26% collect food stamps.

Educationally, we graduate high school at almost the same rate as Whites but attend college at a lower rate (10% difference). We graduate from college at an even lower rate(20% difference) as compared to Whites. Black student debt is estimated at twice that of Whites.

White economic indicators are trending flat or down, social and health indicators are moving in the right direction.  Life expectancy has increased while infant mortality has decreased. Health insurance coverage is up and crime has dropped.

Finally, the measures of economic opportunity do not look good. By one estimate, a Black poor child has only a 4% chance of being a rich adult and a 50% chance of remaining a poor adult.

Finally, if you have a Black statistic you would like added to the report, please send and e-mail to:



Wealth / Home Ownership / Housing Statistics 

Net Worth

Net worth is the most basic measure of wealth.  It is the value of assets a household controls.  Middle class people in the US usually have one large asset: their home. The rich have multiple real estate properties and investment assets. The poor have no assets at all.

The table below lists household assets from the Federal Reserve's Survey of Consumer Finances. The median (one-half above and one-half below) is a better measure of assets because people like Oprah and Bob Johnson (BET) skew the average number.

The ratio of Black wealth to White wealth was 12/100 meaning Blacks has just 12% of the assets of Whites and Whites were 8 times richer than Blacks. 

2013 Median 2013 Mean Median Ratio to White
White $139,857 $572,870 100%
Black 17,387 101,736 12.4%
Hispanic/Latino 15,758 126,808 11.3%
Other 84,284 460,960 60.3%

Here is the trend over the past 12 years. Black home ownership took a huge hit during the last recession.

Source: Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finance, 2013

Home Ownership

Total Stock Levels (in Thousands[000])

2011 2013 2015
Total 114,907 115,852 118,290
White 92,820 93,284 93,760
Black 14,694 15,015 15,998
Hispanic/Latino 13,841 14,675 15,617
Asian 4,620 4,725 5,477

Source: US Census, American Housing Survey

Home Ownership Rate

The Black home ownership rate has recovered since the 2007 recession but still trails the White rate by more than 30%.  Home Ownership Rate is the number of household

4Q 2016 Rate
Total 63.7%
White 72.2%
Black 41.7%
Hispanic/Latino 46.3%
Other 53.7%

Chart of US home ownership rates over time period 2013 to 2016.

Source: US Census, Quarterly Residential Vacancies and Home Ownership, Q4 2016. Note: 4Q 2016 was released as we went to press.

Mortgage Loans

The primary way people build assets in the US is through home ownership. And the main way to buy a home is with a mortgage loan. However, the mortgage loan market has under gone a huge crisis. In the 2000's the "sub-prime" mortgage market was developed and in the 2007 it collapsed.  Now we are in a slow recovery from that event.

The majority of Black mortgages are non-conventional mortgages.

Black 2013 Mortgage Loan Applications 186,074/ Originated 113,723
Black 2014 Mortgage Loan Applications 206,182 / Originated 130,176

We continue to see lower rates of loans made to Black applicants. Also, a higher percentage of the loan are non-conventional loans when compared to Whites.

Source: 2016 State of Housing in Black American. NAREB.


Median Weekly Earnings 


Black / White 2016 Ratio 80%
Black Men / White Men 2016  Ratio 78%
Black Women / White Women 2016 Ratio 84%

Here is a chart of median weekly earnings for the period 2000-2016.

Source: BLS, 2016, Median Usual Weekly Earnings from CPS

Household Income

Black households have a median (half above and half below) income of about earn about $37,000 dollars.

Median Household Income

2014 2015 Change
White $56,931 $60,109 5.6%
Black $35,439 $36,898 4.1%
Hispanic $42,540 $45,148 6.1%
Asian $74,382 $77,166 3.7%

Below is a graph of the trend since 1972.

Source: US Census, Table 1, Income and Earnings Summary Measures by Selected Characteristics: 2014 and 2015

Total Income for Population

One common question is: "How much money do Black people in the US earn collectively?" Well, there are two different measures: one is income and the other is called "Total Money Income (TMI)" which includes transfer payments.  In 2015, we earned $610 Billion in income and had a TMI of $898 billion.

The figure for Black Alone or in Combination is even larger at $949 Billion. Black AOIC includes Black people and mixed race and Hispanic people who identify as Black.

Household Income from "Income and Poverty in US 2015, Table 1"
Population and Income in Thousands (000)

Pop. 20142014
Pop. Change Real Income Change
0.99% 5.26%
0.26% 4.36%
2.63% 6.29%

Total Money Income from "Income and Poverty in US 2015, Table 1A"
Population and Income in Thousands (000)

Pop. 20142014
Black AOIC
Black Alone


Where do Black people work ?

Blacks are underrepresented in Management, Business, Science and the Arts(MBSA) and in Natural Resources and Farming, Construction and Maintenance(NRCM). They are over represented in Services and Transportation.

PTMM - Production, Transportation and Material Management

Occupations by Race 2015
Occupation Total % Male % Female %
Total Total150,534,773 100% 79,120,041 100% 71,414,732 100%
MBSA --- 37.1% --- 33.5% --- 44.1%
Services --- 18.0% --- 14.8% --- 21.5%
Sales & Office --- 23.6% --- 17.1% --- 30.8%
NRCM --- 9.0% --- 31.1% --- 0.9%
PTMM --- 12.3% --- 31.1% --- 5.8%
White Total 112,857,159 100% 60,181,754 --- 52,675,405 ---
MBSA --- 35.2% --- 33.5% --- 43.1%
Services --- 43.1% --- 13.2% --- 19.5%
Sales & Office --- 23.8% --- 17.1% --- 31.3%
NRCM --- 9.6% --- 17.2% --- 0.9%
PTMM --- 11.6% --- 17.3% --- 5.1%
Black Total 17,198,924 100% 7,885,268 100% 9,313,656 100%
MBSA --- 28.7% --- 22.8% --- 33.6%
Services --- 25.0% --- 22.0% --- 27.5%
Sales & Office --- 25.2% --- 18.7% --- 30.8%
NRCM --- 5.1% --- 10.5% --- 0.6%
PTMM --- 16.0% --- 26.0% --- 7.5%
Hispanic / Latino Total 24,845,756 100% 14,055,426 100% 10,790,330 100%
MBSA --- 20.5% --- 16.5% --- 25.7%
Services --- 25.6% --- 21.1% --- 31.5%
Sales & Office --- 21.9% --- 14.7% --- 31.3%
NRCM --- 15.6% --- 26.1% --- 2.0%
PTMM --- 16.3% --- 21.6% --- 9.5%
Asian Total 8,633,703 100% 4,504,912 100% 4,128,791 100%
MBSA --- 51.0% --- 52.1% --- 49.8%
Services --- 16.7% --- 13.6% --- 20.2%
Sales & Office --- 19.8% --- 16.7% --- 23.2%
NRCM --- 2.9% --- 5.3% --- 0.4%
PTMM --- 9.6% --- 12.4% --- 6.5%

Total Employment Levels

Black employment continues to grow while White employment is decreasing.

Black Employment 2016 18,292,000 people
Black Employment 2015 17,802,000 An increase of 490,000 people


Key Black Unemployment Rates at the end of 2016

Table Black Unemployment 7.8%
Black Men 7.6% (8.7% 2015)
Black Women 6.8% (7.1% 2015)
Black Teenagers 25.7%

The Black unemployment rate has traditionally been twice the White rate. The Black unemployment rate of 7.8% is the lowest since August 2007. 

Labor Force Participation

The Black labor market participation rate has trended upward in the past year to 62.4% from a low of 60.3% in 2013. Blacks are returning to work as Whites drop out. 

Source: BLS, January Labor Report and website

Business Ownership and Formation

Black business ownership has been flat while White owners have decreased and Hispanic and Asian business owners have increased.

Source: 2012 Survey of Business Owners and 2014 Survey of Entrepreneurs


People in Poverty

2014 % of Total
2015 % of Total
Total 46,657,000 14.8% 43,123,000 13.5%
White 19,652,000 10.1% 17,786,000 9.1%
Black 10,755,000 26.2% 10,020,000 24.1%
Hispanic/Latino 13,104,000 23.6% 12,133,000 21.4%
Asian 2,137,000 12.0% 2,078,000 11.4%

Source: US Census, Income and Poverty in the US, 2015

Child Poverty (18 and Under)

2014 % of Total
2015 % of Total
Total 15,540,000 21.1% 14,509,000 19.7%
White 9,602,000 17.9% 9,204,000 17.2%
Black 4,090,000 37.1% 3,651,000 32.9%
Hispanic/Latino 5,745,000 31.9% 5,269,000 28.9%
Asian 524,000 14.0% 466,000 12.3%

Source: US Census, Income and Poverty in the US, 2015

Food Security by Household 2015

Food security is defined at three levels: 1) food secure, 2) low food security and 3) very low food security. Food secure is defined as "access at all times to enough food for an active, healthy
life for all household members." People who are food insecure do not meet condition one. They have either low food or very low food security. Very low food security is defined as "one or more household members had reduced eating patterns and their eating patterns were disrupted at times during the year because the household lacked money and other resources for food."

Race Total Food Secure %Insecure
Low Low % Very Low Very Low %
White 83,931 75,563 90.0% 8,368 10.0% 4,759 5.7% 3,6094.3%
Black 15,734 12,35778.5 3,377 21.5 2,127 13.6 1,2507.9
Hispanic 16,803 13,592 80.9 3,211 19.1 2,132 12.7 1,079 6.4
Other 8,695 7,803 89.7 892 10.3 521 6.0 371 4.3

Source: Household Food Security in the United States 2015,

Food Stamps (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)

About 5.7 million Black households receive food stamps in 2015. 

2015 Total (000) % Children % Elderly % Disabled %
Total 22,293 100% 9,510 100% 4,361 100% 4,498 100%
White 8,757 39.3% 3,092 32.5% 1,857 42.6% 2,047 45.5%
Black 5,747 25.8% 2,335 24.5 915 21.0% 1,271 28.3%
Hispanic/Latino 2,538 11.4% 1,133 11.9 575 13.2% 347 7.7%
Asian 561 2.5% 194 2.0 250 5.7% 38 0.9%

Individual Food Stamps Participants

Eleven million Black people participate in the food stamp program.

2015 Total(000) % Female(000) % Male(000) %
Total 45,184 100% 25,637 56.7 19,547 43.3
White 16,574 36.7% 9,405 20.8% 7,170 15.9%
Black 11,772 26.1% 6,846 15.2 4,926 10.9%
Hispanic/Latino 7,730 17.1% 4,336 9.6 3,394 7.5%
Asian 1,301 2.9% 716 1.6 585 1.3%

Children Raised by Single Parents (in 000)

Black Kids (18 old and under) Total 11,101
Black Kids (18 old and under) Living with both parents       4,294
Black Kids (18 old and under) Living with Mother   5,722

Black Kids (18 old and under) Living with Father    439

Black Kids (18 old and under) Living with Single Parent     55%

White 19%
Asian 13%
Hispanic 29%

Source: US Census, Families and Living Arrangements October 2016


Educational Attainment

Total Pop. 18 and older High School or Higher % of Pop. Bachelors or Higher % of Pop.
Total 242,831,196 210,098,654 86.5% 66,036,180 27.2%
White 161,426,754 143,105,261 88.7% 50,142,764 31.1%
Black 24,689,835 20,678,704 83.8% 4,812,215 19.5%
Hisp./Latino 29,952,299 19,439,898 64.9% 4,275,337 14.3%
Asian 11,220,496 9,647,290 86.0% 5,770,522 51.4%

Source: 2015 American Community Survey

Graduation Rate from 4-year program

Black 6 year or less college graduation rate (2008-2014) 40.9%
Black Male 35.3%
Black Female 44.8%
White 63%
Black 41%
Hispanic 53%
Asian 71%

4 Year College Degree Graduation Rate (With 6-years) for Males and Females

Source DOE: National Center for Educational Statistics, Postsecondary Graduation Rate, 2014, Table 326.10

Note: Cohorts are from 1996 to 2007.

High School Graduation Rate

Note: We used "Persons 25-29 educational attainment high school or greater" as an indicator of having completed high school or the equivalent.

Total 90.8% 91.2% 91.7%
White 95.6 95.4 95.2
Black 91.9 92.5 91.1
Hispanic/Latino 74.7 77.1 80.6
Asian 96.6 95.8 96.8

Source Department of Education: National Center for Educational Statistics, Postsecondary Graduation Rate, 2014, Table 104.20

College and Graduate Student Debt 

Black college students have about $7,300 dollars in extra debt compared to White college students and $24,000 more 4 years later.

Under Graduate 
Total Owed 
4 years Later
Total $16,491 ---
White $16,046 $28,006
Black 23,421 52,726
Hispanic/Latino 15,663 29,949
Asian 11,935 26,253

Note: The US Department of Education does not collect statistics on total debt by race. Brookings has estimated the amounts.

Source:, Oct, 2016 Report(2012 Data)

Infant Mortality

The Black infant mortality rate is 11.11 per every one thousands live births. 

Per 1000 Live Births 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Total 6.39 6.14 6.07 5.98 5.98
White 5.33 5.18 5.07 5.04 5.06
Black 12.40 11.46 11.45 11.19 11.11
Hispanic/Latino 5.29 5.25 5.15 5.11 5.00
Asian 4.40 4.27 4.36 4.06 4.07

Source: National Vital Statistics Report

Life Expectancy

Black men have a life expectancy of 72.3 years while Black women have a life expectancy of 78.4 years. 

In Years 2013 2014
Total 78.8 78.8
White 78.9 78.8
Black 75.1 75.2
Hispanic/Latino 81.6 81.8

Source: CDC National Vital Statistics Reports

Teenage Birth Rate(15-19)

The teenage birth is measured per 1000 live births. Black teenagers age 15-19 had a birth rate of about 32 per 1000 which is almost of half of the 2006 rate.  The drop was -73% over the 10 year period.

Per 1000 Live Births 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Total 41.1 41.5 40.2 37.9 34.2 31.3 29.4 26.5 24.2 22.3
White 26.7 27.2 26.7 25.7 23.5 21.7 20.5 18.6 17.3 16.0
Black 61.9 62.0 60.4 56.8 51.5 47.3 43.9 39.0 34.9 31.8
Hispanic/Latino 77.4 75.3 70.3 63.6 55.7 49.6 46.3 41.7 38.0 34.9
Asian 15.3 14.8 13.8 12.6 10.9 10.2 9.7 8.7 7.7 6.9

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, NCHS Data Brief No. 264, November 2016 and

Unmarried Birthrate

Seventy-One(71) percent of all Black children are born to unmarried women.

Percentage of Births to Unmarried Women

Percent of Live Births 2015
Total 40.3%
White 40.4
Non-Hispanic White 29.2
Black 70.1
Non-Hispanic Black 70.6
Hispanic/Latino 53.0
Asian 16.4

Birth Rates for Unmarried Women

Per 1000 Live Births 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Total 47.2 50.3 51.8 51.8 49.9 47.5 46.0 45.3 44.3 43.9
White 30.4 32.4 33.8 34.3 33.6 32.9 32.3 32.1 31.7 31.8
Black 67.2 70.7 71.4 71.0 68.7 65.3 63.7 62.6 61.7 61.5
Hispanic/Latino 96.2 101.5 102.1 97.3 89.4 80.6 75.1 72.6 69.9 68.5
Asian/Pac. Isl. 22.8 23.4 23.9 23.9 23.6 22.3 22.4 22.9 21.8 21.7

Source: National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 64, No. 12, December 23, 2015

Health Insurance Coverage

Close to 90% of all people have health insurance including 88% of Black people.  Health insurance is either private or government funded. 

Pop.2014 Insured % Uninsured % Pop.2015 Insured % Uninsured %
Total 316,168 283,200 89.6% 32,968 10.4% 318,868 289,903 90.9% 28,966 9.1%
White 195,352 180,528 92.4% 14,824 7.6% 195,646 182,546 93.3% 13,100 6.7%
Black 41,226 36,380 88.3% 4,847 11.8% 41,703 37,076 88.9% 4,627 11.1%
Hisp/Lat 55,614 44,556 80.1% 11,059 19.9% 56,873 47,637 83.8% 9,235 16.2%
Asian 17,796 16,137 90.7% 1,659 9.3% 18,249 16,889 92.6% 1,360 7.4%

Source: US Census, Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2015


Arrest data for key crime categories. Some categories were combined to save space.

Arrests Total White % Black % Hispanic % Asian %
Total 8,248,709 5,753,212 69.7% 2,197,140 26.6% 1,204,862 18.4% 101,064 1.2%
Murder/Manslaughter 8,508 3,908 45.9% 4,347 51.1% 1,370 20.8% 126 1.5%
Rape 17,370 11,809 68.0% 4,907 28.2% 3,516 26.8% 271 1.6%
Assault 287,566 184,024 64.0% 92,237 32.1% 59,883 24.6% 4,631 1.6%
RBLT 1,192,211 807,016 89.6% 350,180 10.4% 158,870 16.7% 14,472 1.2%
Violent Crime Total 386,467 232,180 60.1% 140,543 36.4% 77,557 23.9% 5,696 1.5%
Property Crime Total 1,125,950 779,529 69.2% 312,647 27.8% 146,980 16.4% 13,892 1.2%
Drug Related 1,136,950 803,809 80.1% 307,140 19.9% 186,841 20.3% 12,436 1.1%
DUI+Alcohol 1,340,158 1,081,956 80.7% 181,008 13.5% 236,054 21.6% 22,207 1.7%
Other 2,455,238 1,683,297 68.6% 688,146 28.0% 316,689 16.6% 25,197 1.0%

RBLT is Robbery, Burglary, Larceny, Theft and Motor Vehicle Theft. Drug related is the same as Drug Abuse Violations. DUI plus Alcohol is Driving while under the influence, Liquor Laws and Drunkenness.

Source: FBI Uniform Crime Report, 2015, Arrest by Race and Ethnicity


Black 2014 Jail Population                                                     263,800
Black 2015 Sentenced Prisoners State and Federal               523,000
Black Incarceration Rate (>18 or older) per 100,000                         1745

Male Female
Year Total Total Male White Black Hispanic Other Total Female White Black Hispanic Other
2011 1,537,415 1,433,741 465,100 555,300 331,500 --- 103,674 51,100 26,000 18,400 ---
2012 1,511,480 1,410,191 451,252 527,768 315,234 115,937 101,289 49,352 23,386 16,968 11,584
2013 1,516,879 1,412,745 454,100 526,000 314,600 118,100 104,134 51,500 23,100 17,600 11,900
2014 1,508,636 1,402,404 453,500 516,900 308,700 123,300 106,232 53,100 22,600 17,800 12,800
2015 1,476,847 1,371,879 446,700 501,300 301,500 122,400 104,968 52,700 21,700 17,900 12,700

Male per 100,000 Female per 100,000
Year Total Total Male White Black Hispanic Other Total Female White Black Hispanic Other
2011 492 932 478 3,023 1,238 --- 65 51 129 71 ---
2012 480 909 463 2841 1158 972 63 49 115 64 90
2013 478 904 466 2791 1130 998 65 51 113 65 93
2014 471 890 465 2724 1091 968 65 53 109 64 93
2015 458 863 457 2613 1043 929 64 52 103 63 90

Source Bureau of Justice Statistics


Harris Poll Happiness Index by Race

Race 2008 2009 2010 2011 2013
White 35 35 32 32 34
Black 35 41 40 44 36
Hispanic 32 36 39 35 28

Source: Harris Poll Happiness Index, June 2013

Social Mobility

Social mobility as measured by generational income levels has been dropping. We want to look at some data published in 2014 by Bhash Mazumder of the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank. He compiled data by race on inter-generational incomes.

He found that White men in the lowest one-fifth (quintile) of income had a 26% change of remaining in the lowest fifth and a 10% chance of moving to the highest fifth(top quintile). Black men from the lowest fifth of income and a 50% chance of remaining in the lowest group and only a 4% chance of making it to the top fifth.

Intergenerational Income Transition for Black men.

Note: Data is from 1978-86 for parents and 2003-2007 for children. Data analysis was published in 2014.


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