Daily Archive: August 3, 2011

Opinion

Housing crushing wealth

National home prices are down more than 30 percent since they peaked in 2006. Experts expect prices to continue to decline for the rest of this year, into the next. This is bad news for Black and Hispanic homeowners who have most of their wealth tied into their homes. Currently, White households have 20 times more wealth than Black households and 18 times more than Hispanic households. The wealth gap is at the widest it has been in 25 years. What is causing the divide? Most minorities had their funds invested in their homes, whereas Whites diversified their investments, putting money into the stock market, which has rebounded, and their 401Ks.

Opinion

A sugar-coated Satan sandwich

(NNPA)—Our country appears to have avoided default on our debt, based on a deal that was cut Sunday night, and negotiations that will begin Monday morning. Of course, as I write this, there may well be another monkey wrench thrown into the process of compromise, as the Tea Party Republicans have been intransient and completely unwilling to compromise. President Obama and some Democrats, on the other hand, have been far too willing to compromise putting everything sacred—Social Security, Medicare, educational programs—on the table while taking other matters, including tax increases on the wealthy, off the table. To swallow deep budget cuts without also looking at revenue increases seems misguided, at best, and perhaps even foolish. Further, to wait until the eleventh hour threatens the sense of security that our elderly, disabled, and others are entitled to. Eventually, this erodes confidence in government and weakens the fabric of civic participation.

Opinion

Guest editorial…GOP spin on deficit defies the real truth

Conservatives love to talk about personal responsibility. It’s their code for calling poor people irresponsible and insisting that irresponsibility is the reason they are poor. Oh, it has nothing to do with Republican policies that make it near-impossible for them to raise themselves out of their poverty while simultaneously dumping copious amounts of money into the coffers of corporations and into the pockets of billionaires. However, when it comes time for these so-called deficit hawks to take responsibility for their actions, they lie so blithely it’s shocking.

Opinion

Tale of two cities or two parties?

(NNPA)—It really isn’t a contrast of two distinct cities. Charlotte, N.C., and Tampa, Fla., have a lot in common. They are National Football League cities with a recent history of growth and cutting edge technology leading to much business growth. They are two southern cities on the economic move and striving to become even greater. Because of this they were each selected to become the venues of two of the most important conventions in our recent history. Charlotte will become the venue for the 2012 Democratic National Committee Convention. Likewise, Tampa will become the venue for the 2012 Republican National Committee Convention. This is where the two comparisons start to contrast significantly.

Entertainment

Hodge enjoys bad guy role

Aldis Hodge loves playing bad guy Alec Hardison on the TNT drama, “Leverage.” “I have played the bad guy who has helped people and the whole nine,” explained Hodge, 24, who began his acting career at the age of three. “Now I’m playing a thief who steals back for the good guy in a peculiar way. We always have to play a character inside of a character. That kind of stuff is fun.” THE GEEK—Aldis Hodges plays Alex Hardison.

Entertainment

Out & About with Brotha Ash

This week I visited the Savoy Restaurant in the Strip District, CJ’s in the Strip District and Tim’s Bar in the Hill District. My first stop was at Tim’s Bar in the Hill District where everyone from the neighborhood came to get their party and drink and Cousin Tim was in town from Washington, D.C. The ladies were having a great time at Savoy Restaurant in the Strip District.

Entertainment

Arts & Culture Calendar

Thursday 4 Jazz Jam CJ’s Restaurant & Lounge presents “The Roger Humphries & RH Factor Jazz Jam Session” at 8 p.m. at 2901-2911 Penn Ave., Strip District. There will be live jazz and fun every Thursday night. Must be 30-years or older and there is a dress code that will be enforced. No tennis shoes, sweats, or athletic gear. For more information, call 412-642-2377.

Business

Manufacturing growth hits lowest level in 2 years

by Daniel Wagner WASHINGTON (AP)—Manufacturers had their weakest growth in two years in July, a sign that the economy could weaken this summer. The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing executives, said Monday that its index of manufacturing activity fell to 50.9 percent in July from 55.3 percent in June. The reading was the lowest since July 2009—one month after the recession officially ended. WEAKEST LEVEL—In this July 27, 2011 photo, assembly worker Julaynne Trusel works on a Chevrolet Volt at the General Motors Hamtramck Assembly plant in Hamtramck, Mich. A private trade group says manufacturing activity barely grew in July, falling to the weakest level since just after the recession ended. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) Any level above 50 indicates growth. The manufacturing sector has expanded for 23 straight months.

Business

America’s racial wealth gap grows to largest on record

(NNPA)—In the 25 years since the federal government began publishing demographic data on wealth, the worst disparities emerged for 2009. A newly released analysis by the Pew Research Center found that the median wealth of White households is 20 times that of Blacks, and 18 times that of Latinos—a gap that nearly doubled in size for these same three racial groups more than 20 years ago. Further, when Pew compared wealth gaps for 2005 to those of 2009, the clear conclusion was that the combination of the housing market bubble and the subsequent recession were the underlying causes for these record disparities. In 2005, just before the housing bubble burst, White median net worth was $134,992. Comparable figures for Latinos and Blacks were respectively $18, 359 and $12,124.

Business

My last column and testament

After 10 years and nearly 250 columns, this will be my last Your Money Really Matters article. It has been a great experience and I feel that I have in some ways accomplished my objective of “raising awareness of personal financial planning in the Black community.” I would like to thank the NNPA for syndicating my column to the more than 225 newspapers that make up the Black Press. The Black Press is a major force in our community and continues to be the institutional voice of our people. Facebook, twitter and blogs are great, but we must continue to support our institutional voice, the Black Press.