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Assignment #4: Chapter 7 Individual and Collective Economic Empowerment (Income v. Wealth)

According to Chapter 7, “few economists would deny that African Americans and other groups historically have been the victims of economic discrimination… There is a continuing debate between researchers who insist that discrimination continues to produce racial disparities… Growing income inequality among Blacks serves to exacerbate existing wealth gaps between Blacks and Whites. In other words, racial wealth disparities have persisted, and even increased, even though many differences in income and education have declined….”

The purchasing power of African Americans is more than one trillion dollars annually. There are several articles in the chapter course materials that analyze the purchasing power of African Americans. What are the items that African Americans spend the most money on and why? Is that different from other groups? Does that spending generate any real wealth? Why not? What are some of the reasons why these massive consumer expenditures have not resulted in greater wealth for African Americans? Other minority groups? Why has this not resulted in a much greater increase in the number and economic viability of Black-owned businesses? Should Black-owned businesses and other minority-owned businesses (Hispanic-, Asian-, women-, etc…, owned) work together or be competitors in America?

After reviewing the Chapter 7 course materials (including “How the economy works,” the “Racial wealth gap,” “Pay equity and discrimination,” and “Black buying power”) answer the above questions and then write down your average spending (including leisure, household, entertainment, savings, etc…) for a typical month. Then review how much money you are spending versus how much you are receiving or bringing in as income. Is there a deficit or shortfall in revenue? Are you able to put aside anything for savings? retirement? emergencies? Then watch the video “Black Friday” (located in Chapter 7 Part II course materials) It is about the consumption and spending of African Americans and their impact on the American economy.

Will you make any changes or think about any revisions to your spending as a result of reading the course materials and watching the “Black Friday” video? Why or why not? Could your dollars be better spent for your family’s future? Or, help improve the African American community? Should you support African American businesses more? Or, other minority-owned businesses? (These personal finance questions are also connected to this chapter’s “Discussion” topic on COVID-19 and its impact on the finances of African Americans.)

This assignment is an exercise on the effects of American capitalism on the African American community and how individual spending habits can positively or negatively impact their long-term economic empowerment. And, the development and viability of the communities, organizations, and entities. Most individuals spend

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